Navajo Nation Council opens without usual speech by president

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye, right, and Vice President Jonathan Nez at Navajo Nation Council chambers in Window Rock, Arizona, on January 25, 2016. Navajo Nation Council Speaker LoRenzo can be seen in the background. Photo from Facebook

The Navajo Nation Council opened its winter session on Monday with a call for more cooperation among tribal leaders even though one was partially excluded from the proceedings.

President Russell Begaye wasn't able to deliver the State of the Nation address, which would have been the second of his administration. Instead, the delegates voted to accept a written report from the executive branch.

“Our administration is based on a foundation of ethics and transparency. Whether we present these reports before council, standing committees or the area chapters, we always present information with the intention of providing a complete and thorough overview of our projects, initiatives and priorities," Begaye said in a press release. "If council had any questions on our report, we were here to answer them."

It's not clear why Begaye wasn't able to deliver the speech. He was on his way to council chambers in Window Rock, Arizona, when delegates decided to move forward without him, The Farmington Daily Times reported.

2016 WINTER SESSION OPVP STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESSWINDOW ROCK-Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and Vice...

Posted by Navajo Nation OPVP Russell Begaye And Jonathan Nez on Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Begaye was allowed to make some brief remarks and ended up giving the full address on KTNN, the tribe's radio station. He's been in office eight months.

“There is definitely more to look forward to," Begaye told tribal citizens.

The remarks came as Navajo Nation Council Speaker LoRenzo Bates delivered his own written report to his colleagues. He said the tribe's legislative branch needs to work more closely with the executive and judicial branches.

“We cannot move forward and help our people without collaboration between the branches of government," Bates said in his report.

Get the Story:
Navajo Nation Council kicks off winter session (The Farmington Daily-Times 1/26)

Join the Conversation