Ben Shelly: Navajo Nation pursues a path to self-sufficiency

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly and LoRenzo Bates, a delegate to the Navajo Nation Council, defend the tribe's Class III gaming compact in New Mexico:
Like all tribes, the Navajo Nation has the inherent authority to make its own decisions and be governed by those decisions within its territorial jurisdiction. In making its decision to pursue gaming as an economic development venture, the Navajo Nation kept the purpose of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in mind, which is to promote tribal economic development, tribal self-sufficiency, and strong tribal government.

While the reward of our economic development has provided much-need jobs, it has also allowed our young Navajo professionals to return home, set an example within the community and strengthen the k’e of our Navajo People. K’e is recognized as your relations to everything in the universe, in the sense that we have a responsibility for others. With over 100,000 Navajo members residing within the state of New Mexico, it is our responsibility as leaders of the Navajo Nation to plan for our future as individuals and as a government.

With the impending expiration date of the existing tribal-state gaming compact, the Navajo Nation cannot endure further delay by the state to take action on this new agreement. If the compact expires, it jeopardizes the Navajo Nation’s gaming industry and places over 950 recently created jobs at risk.

Get the Story:
Ben Shelly and Lorenzo Bates: Navajos seek support on gaming compact (The Albuquerque Journal 1/27)

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