'Murderers' working for Navajo Nation Head Start

Navajo Nation leaders said they would work to restore federal Head Start funding after a review found employees with criminal backgrounds, some with serious offenses on the record.

"According to the federal government we have murderers working for us," Wallace Charley, vice chairman of the Navajo Nation Council's Education Committee, said at a special meeting called to address the loss of federal funds, The Gallup Independent reported.

Kaibah Begay, the director of the tribe's Head Start program, said the federal review of employees was flawed. She said the tribe has been conducting background checks and plans to challenge the loss of funding, a suggestion that drew concerns from council delegates.

"We've lost credibility," said committee member Katherine Benally, The Independent reported. "Fighting, saying they're lying, they're wrong all we're doing is aggravating the situation, we're denying the children."

More than 4,000 Head Start students are affected by the closure of the program.

Get the Story:
Shirley suspends Head Start programs (The Gallup Independent 5/4)
Navajos vow to fix child education programs (The Native American Times 5/4)
Ceremony and controversy (The Farmington Daily Times 5/5)

Relevant Links:
Navajo Nation -
Head Start -

Related Stories:
Navajo Nation loses federal Head Start funding (5/4)