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Navajo-Hopi Observer | Flagstaff, Arizona

home : opinions : letters July 27, 2015

9/18/2012 10:03:00 AM
Letter: Navajo voters should encourage good, young leaders to emerge

To the editor:

Responding to President Shelly's state of the nation interview, which the Navajo Times ran a few weeks ago, Navajo voters need to be treated as adults and told the truth. We need leaders willing to do those things while confronting the reality of the issues at hand.

When times are tough and the stakes are high, the last thing we need is someone blowing smoke and promising us a rose garden that does not exist.

There are several very good tribal leaders of other tribes and it is no secret they succeed because they lead with courage from the front. They lead based on the reality of the situation. They share with their tribal members all the known dangers and challenges at hand

They give them the best picture of what they're confronting and the best view of the reality, which they are about to enter, They treat then as adults; they tell then the truth.

The truth is, my fellow Navajo people, unless we make major changes in our leadership, we are in for a long, rocky ride.

It is not hard to understand why there are too many Navajo people still unemployed. Thousands more have given up on work, and hundreds more have simply dropped from the rolls in futility.

At every turn, it's getting harder and harder to get by, while our Navajo leaders stand in the way of prosperity with no imagination and handicapping decision-making

The nation-building discussion held recently, while the intent is probably helpful, the real intended outcome to go after the trust funds is a stark example of how unimaginative our leaders are. There is no real leadership on the part of leaders to urge people to go after other funds; in contrast, if our leaders were committed to securing the funds by other means that would be the real test of leadership.

In such hard times, a good leader addresses the reality of the situation, makes difficult choices, and then provides a simple and honest plan for working through the mission or the mess. Their plan would unite the group, not divide it; inspire it, not demean it. If the council has its way in going after funds; I submit it will not be inspirational, but confirming what we already suspect, which is our leaders are weak and lack real imagination.

It's time for Navajo voters to encourage good young Navajo leaders to emerge, and the truth to lead us.

Wallace Hanley

Window Rock, Ariz.

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