Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Briefs. Discussion »
WINDOW ROCK, ARIZONA In the aftermath of last week's vote by the Navajo Nation Council to reject the Navajo-Hopi Little Colorado River Water Settlement, there is an effort underway to recall Navajo President Ben Shelly.
Navajo President Shelly in Tuba City
President Shelly had endorsed the water settlement. The Navajo Nation Council defeated the settlement by a vote of 15 to 6.
A petition to recall President Shelly was filed with the Navajo Election Administration earlier this week by the Recall Ben Shelly Committee, which is chaired by former Navajo President Milton Bluehouse, Sr.
President Shelly released the following statement in reaction to the filed recall petition:
"I believe the Navajo People want progress within their government to continue with guidance from the Office of the President and Vice President. "
"Every leader must make hard decisions and I have done so and will continue to do so. When I ran for president, I promised people that our government would be transparent and work to build infrastructure. To date, we have fought hard to change the culture of the government to include transparency and accountability. "
"Water is sacred and is the strength of our people and our communities. With water comes schools, hospitals and good paying jobs. I will continue to work to bring home our skilled Navajo workers and develop opportunities for all Navajo people to experience prosperity."
"Every Navajo citizen has the right to express their opinion and take action if they so choose. As Navajo Nation President, I believe in the processes afforded by our government."
"Nonetheless, the reasons for a recall petition are purely subjective and are not backed by factual evidence. Their reasons seem to be more of an effort to settle personal vendettas from select few who feel my leadership is too strong against their personal agenda."
posted July 12, 2012 10:57 am edt