Editorial: Navajo infighting over state collaboration law
"During the recent Legislative session, New Mexico lawmakers passed the State-Tribal Collaboration Act to ensure better relationships between state and tribal agencies.

This law was a long time coming, and the lawmakers who shepherded it through deserve a lot of credit for realizing how inadequate communication is between state and tribal agencies.

Many provisions are put into place by this act to help ensure a better understanding between tribes and the state, including more training for state agencies, requiring them to appoint a tribal liaison and creating a yearly summit for tribal leaders to consult with the New Mexico governor.

Everyone should be able to agree that this law was a long time coming.

So why is it that it only took a few days after its passing for the Navajo Nation to begin fighting among themselves over it?

The ink was barely dry from Governor Richardson's pen before the Navajo Tribal Council passed a resolution in an attempt to make sure it would be Council Speaker Lawrence Morgan who attends the yearly summit with the governor and not Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr.

The president's office immediately fired back, claiming that attending this summit was the right of the executive branch and that the council was overstepping its authority."

Get the Story:
Tribe misses the point of collaboration law (The Farmington Daily Times 4/17)

Earlier Story:
Navajo leaders disagree over aspect of NM law (AP 4/14)

Related Stories:
New Mexico governor to sign tribal collaboration bill (3/19)