Published January 26, 2016
WINDOW ROCK, ARIZONA — Members of the 23rd Navajo Nation Council and attending dignitaries convened today for the start of the 2016 Winter Session at the council chambers in Window Rock, Arizona.
In an unusual turn of events, the 23rd Navajo Nation Council motioned to accept the reports as submitted from both the Office of the President and Vice President (OPVP) and the Office of the Speaker without hearing a verbal report from either or providing time for questions.
Thus, a State of the Nation address was not delivered by President Russell Begaye or Vice President Jonathan Nez before Council.
“Our administration is based on a foundation of ethics and transparency. Whether we present these reports before council, standing committees or the area chapters, we always present information with the intention of providing a complete and thorough overview of our projects, initiatives and priorities. If Council had any questions on our report, we were here to answer them,” President Begaye said.
Speaker Lorenzo Bates did provide time for both President Begaye and Vice President Nez to greet the Council and those in the gallery.
President Begaye said it always feels good to be back in the council chambers where both he and Vice President Nez ‘cut their teeth’ in being council delegates. Pertaining to the State of the Nation address, he told the Council to contact him if they had questions on OPVP’s submitted report.
Vice President Nez acknowledged both the Navajo Nation Youth Council representatives and the veterans in the audience who he asked to stand and be recognized.
“You are the leaders of now,” he said in retort to the youth council being referred to as leaders of the future.
As a service to the Navajo people, KTNN broadcasts every State of the Nation address in an effort to disseminate information and reports given by every presidential administration. Since President Begaye and Vice President Nez were not able to present the State of the Nation before Council, KTNN invited the leaders to deliver the address via the station’s broadcast.
“Vice President and I are eight months into our administration and we continue to make significant strides tribally, regionally and nationally,” President Begaye said during the broadcast. “There is definitely more to look forward to.”
Both President Begaye and Vice President Nez would like to thank KTNN for accommodating the delivery of the 30-minute State of the Nation address on the station’s airwaves.
“KTNN knows the Navajo people want to hear this critical address from their elected leaders just as any citizen of this nation or other municipality would,” President Begaye said.