Wááshindoon Weekly

May 28, 2023

Executive Director's Corner


This week has everyone on edge as we continue to monitor the debt ceiling negotiations. Fortunately, there has been a deal and the Navajo Nation Washington Office will analyze the text as it becomes available and goes through Congress.

In other news, the Navajo Nation has taken significant steps in addressing the crisis of fraudulent rehabilitation facilities through the implementation of Operation Rainbow Bridge. Our thanks go out to Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren, Vice President Richelle Montoya, Attorney General Ethel Branch, Executive Director Thomas Cody, and the members of the 25th Navajo Nation Council.

Additionally, this week we discuss a push in Congress to establish a boarding school commission as producers from the popular Paramount Plus Series 1923 provided a screening and panel of Indian Boarding School and advocated why Congress needs to appoint such a commission. Finally, we also explore efforts to expand self-determination within the Farm Bill which is up for reauthorization.

We also wish everyone safe travels as we head into Memorial Day weekend. Although Memorial Day can be celebrated and enjoyed, it may weigh more heavily on the shoulders of certain individuals. Memorial Day is one of the United States' most meaningful federal holidays. It is a day to honor and commemorate those who paid the ultimate price in military service.

The national holiday honors those who died in service during numerous historic conflicts, such as the American Civil War, World War II, and more recent wars. Many of us gather as a community to observe parades, visit memorials, or host barbecues or picnics with our friends. This theme is shared with comparable holidays, such as Veterans Day, which honors those who have served in the armed forces. In this weeks' newsletter we commemorate the life of Sergeant Jeff King who is believed to be the only Navajo laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.


Weekly Updates

The late Sergeant Jeff King, who served as a U.S. Army scout in the late 1800s, is the first Diné to be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. This photo was provided by his family and was published in the Navajo Times in 1964.

The Navajo Nation Washington Office Commemorates Memorial Day and Sergeant Jeff King

Memorial Day brings us together as one community to pause and commemorate the courageous men and women who have selflessly served our nation and are no longer with us. This day holds immense importance as we pay tribute to their memories so they continue to live in our hearts, minds, and actions. 

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Navajo Nation Launches Operation Rainbow Bridge

The Navajo Nation is joining forces with local, state, and federal leaders in a coalition called Operation Rainbow Bridge to take proactive measures to stop our Diné from being taken to fraudulent sober-living homes.

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Expanding Self Determination in the Farm Bill

The negotiations and talk on renewing the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the Farm Bill, have been far less dramatic than the Debt ceiling talks. The Farm Bill is set to expire in September 2023 and continues to reveal a clear priority as to what Indian Country needs and that is self-determination.

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Photo source: NNWO.

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Hosted Paramount’s 1923 and Yellowstone Panel and Screening on U.S. Indian Boarding Schools

On May 17, 2023, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hosted a panel discussion with cast and crew of Paramount’s “Yellowstone” and “1923”. The event was organized by the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs with Co-Chairs of the Congressional Native American Caucus, U.S. Representative Tom Cole and U.S. Representative Sharice Davids.

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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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Supplemental Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Steam Electric Power Generating Point Source Category

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) is proposing a regulation to revise the technology-based effluent limitations guidelines and standards (ELGs) for the steam electric power generating point source category applicable to flue gas desulfurization (FGD) wastewater, bottom ash (BA) transport water, and combustion residual leachate (CRL) at existing sources.

Comment deadline: May 30, 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

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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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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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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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