Navajo Nation Speaker LoRenzo Bates Delivers Report on the Opening Day of the Summer Council Session

Speaker LoRenzo Bates welcomes the public to the 2017 Summer Council Session at the Navajo
Nation Council Chamber in Window Rock, Arizona on July 17, 2017.

Published July 18, 2017

WINDOW ROCK – On the opening day of the 2017 Summer Council Session, Speaker LoRenzo Bates (Nenahnezad, Newcomb, San Juan, Tiis Tsoh Sikaad, Tse’Daa’Kaan, Upper Fruitland) provided a report, which highlighted some of the combined efforts and successes of the Navajo Nation Council in recent months.

Speaker Bates highlighted the recent successful passages of legislations that provide $2.2 million for summer youth employment for all of the Navajo Nation’s 110 chapters, that reformed the Navajo Housing Authority board and confirmed four new board members to address the Nation’s housing issues, and for a legislation that approved a lease agreement with the owners of the Navajo Generating Station that secures over 800 jobs for Navajo people and a significant portion of the Nation’s annual revenue through 2019.

“Over the last several months, the Navajo Nation has encountered challenges related to our Nation’s current and upcoming budgets due to anticipated revenue shortfalls, federal budget cuts, and the possible closure of the Navajo Generating Station,” stated Speaker Bates. “I am confident that the 23rd Navajo Nation Council will continue to make progress on our priorities and overcome adversities.”

The report also touched on several ongoing challenges that the Council and its Standing Committees are working to address including the anticipated federal budget cuts that may affect critical funding for the Navajo Nation, continued support for the Bears Ears National Monument, protecting Navajo voting rights in San Juan County, Utah, and the need to make progress on the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project.

“Although these issues may seem daunting, I believe it also challenges us as leaders to rise to a new level of ingenuity and creates an opportunity to be innovative, and to pursue new ways of providing for and empowering our people,” added Speaker Bates.

A large portion of the report also highlighted the progress of theNaabik’íyáti’ Sexual Assault Prevention Subcommittee’s advocacy at the federal level for an increase in AMBER Alert funds and policy research to improve laws that help prevent sexual assaults on the Navajo Nation.

The Council accepted the report from Speaker Bates by a vote of 16-0. To view the full report, please visit www.navajonationcouncil.orgunder “Press Releases” on the homepage. You may also view other reports from the Summer Council Session by visiting the following linkhttp://www.nnols.org/2017-summer-session.aspx.

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