Council members aim to strengthen partnerships with 

incoming presidential administration and congressional members

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters as he takes the stage for a campaign event in Dallas, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

WINDOW ROCK – Several members of the 23rd Navajo Nation Council are tentatively scheduled to attend the 58th Presidential Inauguration in Washington D.C. on Jan. 20, as President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Michael Pence take the oath of office.

Aside from the inauguration, Council members are tentatively scheduled to meet with several key Congressional members and officials with the incoming administration to continue the Council’s efforts to educate and inform incoming leadership of the priorities and initiatives of the Navajo Nation and its people.

“The Trump administration has yet to share its platform for tribes so it is very important that we establish dialogue with the new leadership to convey our needs, initiatives, and our position on issues in order to educate and inform them,” stated Speaker LoRenzo Bates (Nenahnezad, Newcomb, San Juan, Tiis Tsoh Sikaad, Tse’Daa’Kaan, Upper Fruitland).

Members of the Council attended a listening session in December hosted by the Trump Native American transition team where they emphasized the need to develop a partnership with the incoming administration to strengthen tribal sovereignty, amend policies and laws that hinder economic development for tribes, advocate for increased public safety funding, and many other pressing issues that affect Indian Country.

Speaker Bates said that he recognizes that many Navajo people do not agree with the outcome of the presidential election, however, there is a great need to work with the incoming administration especially when issues or changes arise that may be unfavorable to the Navajo Nation.

“I realize there is opposition to my colleagues and I attending the inaugural events and meeting with the administration, however, despite politics and differences, as leaders we must be able to have an open conversation with leadership from both sides of the aisle – this is imperative if we want progress for the Navajo Nation in the next four years,” added Speaker Bates. “President Obama has also encouraged the entire country to unite and work together despite politics.”