Native News Network Staff in Native Challenges. Discussion »
SAINT MICHAELS, NAVAJO NATION The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission held a public hearing during their regular commissioner's meeting last Friday with a turnout of over 100 Navajo citizens who experienced questionable tactics against them by border town auto dealers. Most were older Navajo citizens.
Over 100 people signed in for the a Public Hearing at the Dilkon Chapter House.
Exactly 26 people formally signed up to testify on December 7, at the Dilkon Chapter in Dilkon, Navajo Nation (AZ). A couple more people were allowed by Commissioners to give testimony. The actual amount of testimonies received is to be determined.
As for the over 100 people who signed in, Navajo citizens shared addresses from Dilkon, Teec Nos Pos, Pinon, Ganado, Holbrook, Keams Canyon, Jeddito, Indian Wells, Window Rock, Many Farms, Flagstaff, Chinle, Winslow, Kayenta, Page, Tuba City, Leupp, Round Rock, Sanders, Blue Gap, Houck, Chambers, Smoke Signal, Vanderwagon, Wide Ruins, Prewitt, Shiprock, Shonto, Gallup, Forest Lake, Gamerco, Kirtland and even Kykotsmovi. Attorneys from DNA People's Legal Service also attended the event.
“A lot of the information shared in people's testimony is appalling how Navajos are being mistreated,”
said Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission Executive Director Leonard Gorman.
Prior to the hearing testimonies, Gorman explained to the Navajo audience the importance in filing a complaint with the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission if anyone felt they had been discriminated against. He also presented a survey urging Navajo people to fill it out anonymously. To take part in the survey, call the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission and a staff member will mail or email it to you.
Following Gorman's presentation, Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission Chairperson Steve Darden spoke and later NNHRC Attorney Calvin Lee presented a new informational guide on how and what to negotiate in purchasing a vehicle for getting a fair deal. It highlights sales tactics in presale, point of sale, and after leaving the dealer; a seven point check list before buying a vehicle; and a frequently asked questions section.
Gorman then presented a video about a car sales exchange. He translated it in Navajo much like a silent film with a Navajo language voice over.
Darden heard testimonies about yoyo and bait and switch tactics, he explained in a phone interview.
Commissioners and staff members encourage people to provide the paperwork, which includes the auto contract, based on the testimony.
“If people are willing to file a formal complaint against a specific dealership and bring forth witnesses, we'll follow with an investigation.”
He continued and said,
“We can't file if there's no formal complaint.”
The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission received a number of requests to host more public hearings from Navajo citizens who want to share their experience of predatory auto sales tactics from border town auto dealers. Public hearings are scheduled at 10:00 am at the Kayenta Chapter House in Kayenta, Navajo Nation on December 28 and at 10:00 am at the Crownpoint Chapter House in Crownpoint, Navajo Nation on January 4.
The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission advocates for the recognition of Navajo human rights and addresses discriminatory actions against the citizens of the Navajo Nation. For more information, call the NNHRC office at 928.871.7436 or visit the NNHRC Homepage
posted December 13, 2012 10:59 am est