Wááshindoon Weekly

June 12, 2023

Executive Director's Corner


The Navajo Nation Washington Office has had a busy week in the nation's capital, advocating for the needs of the Navajo people. From meetings with Congressional representatives to attending policy briefings, the NNWO has been working tirelessly to ensure that the voices of the Navajo Nation are heard.

One of the key priorities for the NNWO this week has been advocating for protection of tribal funding to support small businesses and enhance infrastructure on the Navajo Nation. With a population of over 410,000, the Navajo Nation faces unique challenges in building its economy and providing essential services to its citizens, and the NNWO has been working to ensure that federal policymakers understand the urgent need for increased investment in these critical areas.

In addition to our advocacy work, the Navajo Nation Washington Office has also kicked off its summer internship program, welcoming a new cohort of young scholars to the nation's capital. This program is a vital opportunity for young leaders to gain hands-on experience in federal Indian policy, learn about the importance of tribal sovereignty, and develop the skills they will need to become effective advocates for their communities.

The importance of educating young scholars on these issues cannot be overstated. Tribal sovereignty and federal Indian policy have a profound impact on the lives of Native Americans, and it is essential that the next generation of leaders understand the complexities of these issues and is prepared to advocate on behalf of their communities.

Overall, the Navajo Nation Washington Office's busy week in DC highlights the critical work being done to ensure that the needs of the Navajo people are being heard and addressed at the highest levels of government. This week’s issue of the Wááshindoon Weekly we also cover some exciting stories such as a new initiative with the World Health Organization aimed at improving indigenous health, the progress of Operation Rainbow Bridge, celebrating the accomplishments of our first Navajo District Judge, and lastly discussing Secretary Haaland’s recent announcement of a Public Land Withdrawal around the Chaco Canyon National Historic Park. 


Weekly Updates

Photo Source: Wikimedia Creative Commons

First Navajo to be Appointed and Confirmed as a Federal Judge

This week the Navajo Nation Washington Office spotlights the historical achievement of Sunshine Suzanne Sykes as she becomes the first Navajo Nation citizen to be appointed to serve as a United States District Judge. Judge Sykes was nominated by President Joe Biden in December of 2021.

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Navajo Nation Operation Rainbow Bridge Takes Action to Save Navajo Members in Fraudulent Rehabilitation Homes

The Navajo Nation's Operation Rainbow Bridge program has been making significant strides in its efforts to address the issue of fraudulent rehab facilities targeting Native Americans. Over the last month, the program has continued to work tirelessly to expose and shut down these facilities, which exploit vulnerable populations and often fail to provide adequate care. 

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Department of Interior Issues Order for 10-Mile Buffer Surrounding Chaco Canyon

On June 2, 2023, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland issued Public Land Order No. 7923 to withdraw federal public lands within a 10-mile radius of Chaco Canyon from new oil and gas leasing for the next 20 years. This leaves the Navajo Nation to worry about the future of our economy and the economic prosperity of some of our Diné. 

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Photo source: Wikimedia Creative Commons

 World Health Organization: The Health of Indigenous Peoples

Information shared by the World Health Organization involved a recent landmark resolution titled, The Health of Indigenous Peoples, that was developed for the sole intent of strengthening Indigenous Peoples’ health globally. This resolution is focused on developing a global action plan for health that will be presented to the seventy-ninth World Health Assembly in 2026 and is to be developed in consultation with Indigenous Peoples. 

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Meet Our Interns

Additional News and Updates

Federal Register

Presidential Declaration of a Major Disaster for Public Assistance Only for the Navajo Nation

This is a Notice of the Presidential declaration of a major disaster for Public Assistance Only for the Navajo Nation (FEMA–4703–DR), dated 04/11/202.

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Proposed SLFRF and CPF Supplementary Broadband Guidance for Tribal Governments

The U.S. Department of the Treasury hosted a Tribal Consultation on proposed State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SFLRF) and Capital Projects Fund (CPF) Supplementary Broadband Guidance for Tribal governments. 

Comment Deadline: June 16, 2023

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Applications for New Awards; Demonstration Grants for Indian Children and Youth Program-Native American Teacher Retention Initiative

The Department of Education (Department) is issuing a notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2023 for Demonstration Grants for Indian Children and Youth Program (Demonstration program)—Native American Teacher Retention Initiative (NATRI).

Applications Available: May 23, 2023

Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply:

June 22, 2023

Date of Pre-Application Webinar:

June 7, 2023

More Information

Tax Status of Tribally Chartered Corporations

The U.S. Department of the Treasury is hosting a Tribal Consultation on the tax status of Tribally chartered corporations. The consultations will be held Wednesday, June 21, 2023, and Thursday, June 22, 2023, from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. 

Comment Deadline: August 18, 2023

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Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records

In accordance with the requirements of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is modifying a system of records maintained by the Indian Health Service (IHS), System No. 09–17–0003, Indian Health Service Medical Staff Credentials and Privileges Records. The system of records covers records about individuals who request credentialing and privileging to serve as IHS medical or health care professionals.

Comment Deadline: June 22, 2023

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Notice of Availability of Proposed National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Low Threat Discharges in Navajo Nation

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 9 is proposing to reissue a general National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for water discharges from facilities classified as low threat located in the Navajo Nation

Comment deadline: June 26, 2023

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Ten-Day Notices and Corrective Action for State Regulatory Program Issues

The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) proposes to amend the regulations related to notifying a State regulatory authority of a possible violation of any requirement of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA). The proposed rule would also amend the Federal regulations regarding corrective actions for State regulatory program issues. 

Comment deadline: June 26, 2023

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Additional Guidance on Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program

Applicants investing in certain solar and wind powered-electricity generation facilities may apply for an allocation of environmental justice solar and wind capacity limitation to increase the amount of an energy investment credit for the taxable year in which the facility is placed in service.

Comment deadline: June 30, 2023

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Upcoming Events

 NCAI's 2023 Mid Year Convention & Marketplace

June 4-8, 2023

Tribal leaders, NCAI members, Native youth, and partners from across Indian Country will gather to embark upon a new era of Nation-to-Nation engagement, which will include: proactive strategy development, advocacy, and much more.

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 2023 Tribal Self-Governance Conference

June 26-29, 2023

An opportunity for all Tribal nations to achieve their own goals of self-government and seeks to ensure that the tenets and purpose of Self-Governance are accurately communicated and clearly understood by Congress, the Administration, Tribal nations and all other interested parties.

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SAIGE 20th National Training Program

June 20-22, 2023

SAIGE hosts an outstanding Annual National Training Program, open to all, focused on professional development, leadership and topics related to the complex Federal Indian Trust Responsibility. Integral to this, SAIGE provides specialized training sessions for Veterans and college-aged Youth. 

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Bears Ears National Monument Advisory Committee

June 22, 2023

The Bears Ears National Monument Advisory Committee will hold an in-person field tour on June 22, 2023, and an in-person meeting with a virtual participation option on Nov. 8, 2023. The meeting and field tour are open to the public, but advance registration is required to attend the June 22 field tour.

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National Transportation in Indian Country

September 24-28, 2023

The National Transportation in Indian Country Conference (NTICC) is the one-stop-shop transportation conference for tribes, by tribes. NTICC offers access to relevant training and an opportunity for Tribal transportation professionals to engage with federal officials and their Tribal transportation peers regarding Tribal transportation issues and challenges.  

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For more information regarding topics provided in the newsletter, please contact NNWO at info@nnwo.org.

Navajo Nation Washington Office | www.nnwo.org

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