The Navajo Nation

Office of the President

     The Navajo Nation

Office of the President

President Nygren reminds Navajo Nation attorneys of their importance to the Navajo Nation

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren gave a quick speech and reminded the attorneys they are champions for the Navajo people and Navajo sovereignty.

President Nygren knew of the injustices the tribe was facing. He told the attorneys attending the Navajo Nation Bar Association on Friday that the Navajo Nation needs strong advocates to fight for their rights, and he saw attorneys as the key to achieving justice for the Navajo people.

He began by thanking the attorneys for their service to the Navajo people, and for their commitment to upholding the principles of justice and equality.

“All of you are champions, all of you are the ones that on a daily basis, are challenging the status quo,” President Nygren said.

He spoke about the importance of upholding the rule of law and the critical role that attorneys played in ensuring that the rights of the Navajo people were protected.

The President then went on to explain his belief that attorneys were champions for the Navajo people and Navajo sovereignty. He reminded them of the importance of their work, and of the role they played in advancing justice and equality for all.

President Nygren highlighted one of the injustices the Navajo Nation was given: the 10-mile freeze around the Chaco Cultural National Historic Park that was imposed by the U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.

“I want to ask all of you to continue to champion and figure out that this doesn’t happen again,” he said. “When the Navajo Nation says, ‘No,’ when the Navajo Nation Council says, ‘No,’ when the President says, ‘No,’ and when the eight chapters that represent the local voices say, ‘No,’ that’s not honor to me. We’re not upholding the government-to-government relationship that’s supposed to happen.”

He added that members of the Navajo Nation Bar Association were to uphold the principles of justice and equality for the Navajo people and Navajo sovereignty.

“Your sole responsibility to me is to protect and honor the Navajo Nation’s sovereignty. How can we continue to strengthen that, and continue to make sure that we honor our treaty rights? How do we continue to make sure that the generations that come are protected on a daily basis? And that’s what’s very unique about all of you,” the President told the attorneys.

Despite the imposition, President Nygren said his number one priority is to protect the best interests of the Navajo people, its lands, and its resources within the boundaries of the Navajo Nation.

“There’s Western Navajo, there’s Northern Navajo, there’s Central Navajo, and that I have to work with the Secretary. But we need to continue to fix our roads and potholes and create right-a-ways for electrical lines, just to name a few,” President Nygren said. “ And I know some of you are working on some of these issues.”

The President also mentioned a law school on the reservation was in the near future.

“I’ve recently met with the Arizona State College of Law and Diné College. One of the things that we’re working on is trying to establish a Navajo Nation law school, the first college in Indian country,” President Nygren said. “Imagine if it can be the very first college of law in the country that’s recognized as a sovereign college.”

He explained that if a student went through law school, that student could transfer to any institution for law and start as a second or third-year law student.

“They will recognize that you went to an institution a sovereign institution like the Navajo Nation School of Law,” President Nygren said.

As the President concluded his speech, he urged the attorneys to continue fighting for the Navajo people and Navajo sovereignty and to never give up in the face of adversity. He reminded them that their work was essential to the future of the Navajo Nation and that they had the power to make a real difference in the lives of the Navajo people.

“I know there’s plenty of attorneys in this room that want to figure out how can we continue to protect Navajo sovereignty and self-determination,” he said.