New leaders of the Navajo Nation took office Tuesday.
A ceremony was held in Fort Defiance, AZ, where President Dr. Buu Nygren, Vice President Richelle Montoya, tribal council delegates, and other elected officials were sworn in.
Nygren, age 36, is the youngest person ever to take the presidency.
During his campaign, he focused on being a voice of the people to address many longstanding issues facing the Navajo Nation.
In his inauguration speech, Nygren expressed unity to work with the tribal council and reiterated many of his campaign promises.
“Let’s get basic services to the Navajo people. We need water, we need roads, we need broadband, we need better public safety. So, as your next Navajo Nation president, I will not hesitate. I will do whatever it takes to make sure our people have a chance, our people have an opportunity to make something of themselves.”
Nygren, who was raised by a single mother and his grandmother, says he appreciates strong women, including seeing a need for female leadership in the Navajo Nation’s top office.
Richelle Montoya made history Tuesday, becoming the first woman ever as vice president of the tribe. In her inauguration speech, Montoya thanked women of the Navajo Nation past, present, and future.
“We are here today, standing on the shoulders of our ancestors. Gentlemen, give me a few moments to take this moment in with my matriarchs. The women of the Navajo Nation, the grandmothers, the grandchildren, the mothers, the aunts.”
Montoya, who’s known for her work as a community leader and advocate for education, encouraged people to continue to speak the Navajo language.
She also expressed unity between the executive and legislative branches. Seventeen of the 24 Navajo delegates are new to the tribal council. Nine of the delegates are women.
The Navajo Nation is one of the largest tribes in the United States with the largest reservation located in the Four Corners region.
The Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska officially signed a deed to put its first parcel of land into trust.
The deed was signed this week by Tlingit and Haida President Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson at the Bureau of Indian Affairs office in Anchorage.
Last month, Peterson talked to National Native News about the achievement in the tribe’s land-back initiative after receiving the announcement in November, and then being able to thank President Joe Biden in person and top administration officials for the approval in Washington, D.C., at the White House Tribal Nations Summit.
“We got the announcement of getting our Fee to Trust and that was pretty historical for Tlingit and Haida. It’s only the second land in trust (in Alaska) since the Obama administration, and the first under Biden and it’s pretty historical and we are appreciative of that.”
The land is located in Juneau. Among things, it will help with federal services, programs, and foster economic development.
The parcel will be officially transferred over to the federal government to hold for the benefit of the tribe and its citizens once the deed is recorded.
On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Tom Cole (Chickasaw/R-OK) was appointed chair of the House Rules Committee by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
Rep. Cole has served a number of times on the committee, including as a Ranking Member and serving as vice chair.
He is the first Oklahoman and first Native American to chair the committee.
Every major piece of legislation must be passed through the committee before consideration on the House floor.
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