Navajo Nation - Office of the President and Vice President
Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer and members of the 24th Navajo Nation Council were joined by Office of the President and Vice President Chief of Staff Paulson Chaco, Navajo Nation Washington Office Executive Director Santee Lewis, and Navajo-Hopi Land Commission Office Executive Director Robert Black to welcome Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Nominee for Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, Bryan Newland, and Bureau of Indian Affairs Deputy Bureau Director for Field Operations Bart Stevens to Crownpoint, New Mexico, on round-table discussion Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Newland previously accompanied U.S. First Lady Dr. Jill Biden to the Navajo Nation in April, shortly after being appointed.
During the round-table discussion held at T'iis Ts'ozi Bi'Ołta’ school, Vice President Lizer addressed several critical issues including fee and trust land issues, Chaco Canyon National Historical Park, infrastructure, natural resources, public safety, boarding schools, and others.
"Today's meeting is another step forward to addressing our Nation's needs at the federal level. With the newly-appointed Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Bryan Newland, we had the opportunity to update him on matters that are important for our Navajo people and our communities. Working together with the Navajo Nation Council, we present a strong and united voice at the federal level. It is important that careful coordination continues with our federal partners to help secure more resources and policy changes to help our people," said Vice President Lizer.
Members of the 24th Navajo Nation Council in attendance included Council Delegate Mark Freeland, Raymond Smith, Jr., Otto Tso, Amber Kanazbah Crotty, Eugenia Charles-Newton, and Rickie Nez, who highlighted the need for the federal government to fill full its federal trust responsibilities and to support the Navajo Nation.
Regarding public safety, Navajo leaders advocated for additional police officers, the need for justice centers in Window Rock and Shiprock District, and the implementation of the Savannah's Act and Not Invisible Act to address Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples. Following the leadership meeting, Asst. Secretary Newland heard from allotment owners to hear their concerns over the proposed buffer zone for the Chaco Canyon National Historical Park.
Vice President Lizer also expressed his appreciation to the Navajo allotment owners for providing information and their stances regarding the site's protection and oil and gas interests. In early July, President Nez and members of the Council also met with U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján to work toward solutions that address the concerns of the allotment owners and to protect the Chaco Canyon area.
"On behalf of the Nez-Lizer Administration, we commend Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Bryan Newland for being a part of the conversation to develop solutions. We have to continue working together with federal partners and other partners to support Navajo communities," added Vice President Lizer.