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24th Navajo Nation Council - Office of the Speaker

The 24th Navajo Nation Council honored the memory and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the tribal and federal holiday. Around the country, parades and marches were held in the name of Dr. King for his lifelong work and unrelenting fight for civil rights.

Speaker Seth Damon commended Dr. King for remembering the plight of Native Americans and the genocide perpetrated against Indigenous Peoples of this land by the founders of this country. “The fight for civil rights in America is a dark stain on the fabric of American history. On this day, we honor the life and death of Dr. Martin Luther King. He was not only a champion and leader for Blacks, but Native Americans everywhere,” Speaker Damon said.

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Throughout the numerous speeches Dr. King delivered during his campaign for civil rights and social justice, he also spoke on behalf of Native Americans:

“Our nation was born in genocide when it embraced the doctrine that the original American, the Indian, was an inferior race. Even before there were large numbers of Negroes on our shores, the scar of racial hatred had already disfigured colonial society. From the sixteenth century forward, blood flowed in battles of racial supremacy. We are perhaps the only nation which tried as a matter of national policy to wipe out its indigenous population. Moreover, we elevated that tragic experience into a noble crusade. Indeed, even today we have not permitted ourselves to reject or to feel remorse for this shameful episode. Our literature, our films, our drama, our folklore all exalt it.”

Speaker Damon and the 24th Navajo Nation Council encourage Navajo families to remember the legacy of civil rights and solidarity that Dr. King has left for minorities of all races and creeds. “We all have inalienable rights as citizens of this country. The current fight for civil rights for the LGBTQ community and amnesty for illegal immigrants show that much work remains to be done, he said. “Treat each other with kindness and remember that the fight for civil rights must be never ending,” Speaker Damon said.

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