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Navajo-Hopi Observer | Flagstaff, Arizona

home : opinions : letters August 24, 2016

1/28/2014 10:40:00 AM
Letter to the editor: Think twice before selecting leaders

To the editor:

Our behaviors and teaching, is it in doubt (t'áadooish bee bihónéedzání da)?

The problem is about self-respect and Diné integrity (honesty, reliablility) being weakened by our leaders. This hardship seems to be continuously eroded from year to year within our Navajo Nation. At the same time we say "our Nation" and the idea of "beauty way." But what is going on with our Diné bi Naat'áanii 'aláaji' naasizíniî?

We, as the Navajo people or Diné as our original name, have been proud to be Native American having our own government in this great country of America's United States. Those who are aware - 'ádaah halchi héegi, are becoming more agitated and disturbed but still allow suspicion to rule our society. This is caused by the actions of our leaders.

We as a Nation must respect ourselves and our Diné by being cautious of what we do from day to day. Especially, being a leader means we set the example in hopes that our young would think twice about getting into disorder. This is very critical in spite of what is thought, being openly said or has been done. Yes, it sounds childish to hear this warning but even with us grown ups, we should be mindful of its caring acceptance.

In our Diné culture it has been said that 'Ayóigo k'é 'ahííníi ní - we very much care for each other. This powerful thought should have a lot of meaning to us leaders as we serve our fellowmen. Is there fairness or confusion when we do things to benefit ourselves or neglect others who are also in a dire need? This brings us to k'é haszin; it is the foundation of our culture, shoo héí!

Sure! We respond saying I'm innocent, it's only an accusation! But the bigger scope of it is that we are teaching this kind of behavior especially to our young who are observing our actions. They take our excuses and what we say only as a second matter. It also, unfortunately, puts a suspicion on our government's integrity (uprightness). And furthermore, our sensitive generally has become discouraged because of the troublesome news to the world at large.

What more can we say to plea with our Naat'áanii? The voters need to say this alarming behavior is enough, let's remember our values as "a proud Diné." Let's be reminded that the test of strength of our leaders is put at risk. It is time our young to older generations alike decide in this Tribal election doósh nílt'ée da, it is embarrassing to think and say "our Nation." Nation means standing on our own feet, self-reliant, self-respect, true to our values, walking in beauty, and other admirable thoughts and actions.

Bá ná hidookaah góó 'ahaah nii, we as Diné are pleading with the participant in this misconduct with a respectful mannerism, let's stop the game of desiring materialism more than neglecting those most in need. If we're complacent or content about it maybe it's us voters who advance and lengthen the problem. Let's stop and think twice about who we select as our acceptable and ethical leaders.

Adolph June, Jr.

Kaibeto, Ariz.

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