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Navajo-Hopi Observer | Flagstaff, Arizona

home : features : latest news September 15, 2014


6/25/2013 10:21:00 AM
Navajo President Shelly calls for more defined Fundamental Law
Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly discusses Fundamental Law at the 29th Annual Navajo Division of Social Services conference June 18 in Twin Arrows. Submitted photo
Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly discusses Fundamental Law at the 29th Annual Navajo Division of Social Services conference June 18 in Twin Arrows. Submitted photo
Navajo-Hopi Observer


TWIN ARROWS, Ariz. - Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly said Diné Fundamental Law must be more clearly incorporated into written statutes because the Navajo Division of Social Services continues to let repeat offenders go.

The Navajo Nation in 2002 adopted Diné Fundamental Law to recognize unwritten traditional Navajo laws and values in written statutes.

But Shelly said only medicine men know what Fundamental Law is.

"We need it written out because we have repeat offenders being let off because of Fundamental law," Shelly said during opening remarks at the 29th Annual Navajo Division of Social Services conference June 18.

Shelly added Fundamental Law should be more specific and urged conference attendees to start dialogue to find solutions that would help social workers keep offenders accountable for their actions and protect Navajo children.

"We need stronger laws," Shelly added.

Shelly thanked the Division of Social Services for its commitment to helping Navajo families.

"I know each of you have had hardships because of the situations you are asked to handle. I want each of you to know that I am thankful for your service to our Nation but most importantly, to our children," Shelly said.

The division has been making internal policy changes throughout the past year in efforts to better serve Navajo people. Shelly said he supports the division's efforts to make changes.

"I strongly support the restructuring of the divisions and programs. We can no longer operate as we have been for years. We have to become more and more efficient while we find creative ways to deliver services," Shelly said.






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