The Navajo Nation

Office of the President

     The Navajo Nation

Office of the President

President Nygren meets with the Navajo Nation Women’s Commission

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Navajo Nation President Dr. Buu Nygren met with Vivian Arviso with the Navajo Women’s Commission to discuss revitalizing their effort to continue supporting the improvement of Navajo women, children, youth, men, and their families.

“I know that one of the things that I’m very passionate about is making sure that our women are represented,” President Nygren said to Arviso.

In 1983, the Navajo Office of Women was established and signed Vice-Chairman of the Navajo Tribal Council Edward T. Begay.

Tribal officials expressed the need for women to be represented and consulted for participation on issues. Then-Chairman Peterson Zah encouraged women to make recommendations at the local chapter.

At the time, the Office of Navajo Women conducted a study which showed that Navajo women had diverse issues covering a wide spectrum depending on their age grouping, socio-economic status, educational background and individual aspirations.

The study established the Navajo Nation Women’s Commission. Women from each agency were nominated. In 1992, the Navajo Women’s Commission was adopted into Navajo Tribal Code.

Navajo Nation President Peterson Zah stated that Commissioners would consist of 10 Navajo enrolled individuals representing various educational, socio-economic and professional backgrounds. Each agency would have two commissioners with staggered terms.

In 1999, the Government Services Committee passed a resolution that amended the plan of operation for the Navajo Women’s Commission. The changes reduced the number of commissioners from ten to five members and affirmed the following purposes and powers, according to Title 2 of the Navajo Nation Code.

Arviso informed President Nygren the women’s commission, though an audit that was conducted during Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly’s administration. The audit showed that the commission had not been filled for years.

“And the the idea was to put the commission under the Office of First Lady, but since the office is not codified, we couldn’t use that in the plan of operation. We had to use the Office of the President,” said Arviso. “But the focus was to move the commission because it has a lot of potential for community activities.”

Arviso told the President the women’s commission has the ability to uplift and to give people hope.

“We did a lot with very little. It’s a lot of volunteering by everyone,” Arviso said to the President.

President Nygren reassured Arviso his administration would seek funding so that the commission would continue supporting and improving the status Navajo women, children, men, and their families.

“I would be more than more than hopeful that we’ll get this through,” said President Nygren. “Let’s bring it back and make it successful.”