Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission
The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission (“Commission”) is pleased to announce the release of the following report from the Redistricting Partners on New Mexico Redistricting Evaluation (“Report”). The Commission was appointed to address all redistricting efforts for the Navajo Nation in New Mexico, Arizona and Utah by resolution NABIJN-15-21.
Redistricting Partners has collected 500 surveys across the New Mexico. The focus group consisted of individuals who are state residents and had a high voter participation in New Mexico’s elections. The information collected from the survey consisted of individual’s participation in redistricting and the efforts of New Mexico’s Citizens Redistricting Commission. The Report indicates New Mexico voters support the creation of an Independent Redistricting Commission that does not involve New Mexico Legislature.
The report also includes a focus analysis on Native American Communities. During the 2021 redistricting efforts the Navajo Nation’s main was goal was to keep the Native American Voting Age population (“NAVAP”) above the 63%. The 6 districts in the House and 3 Districts in the Senate are high Native American influence districts and with the 63% NAVAP ensured Native Americans will be able to elect a candidate of their choice in the 6 districts in the House and 3 Districts in the Senate.
In the 2021 redistricting, one of the factors that kept the NAVAP above 63% was the sliding deviation of negative 7% to positive 3%. The sliding deviation helped to address the undercount in the 2020 Census. With the proposed Independent Redistricting Commission, Native American communities would need to be at the forefront to continue to advocate on keeping or creating influence Native American districts.
The Commission’s Executive Director, Leonard Gorman states “Redistricting is directed by the 1965 Voting Rights Act. This Act protects the voting rights of Indigenous Peoples. It is important that the Navajo Nation is the table submitting maps that promote majority Native American districts.” The Commission will continue to advocate for Navajo Citizens in redistricting actives in New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. For more information on the release report visit https://www.fairdistrictsnm.org/.
"Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development … "
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, G.A. Res. 61/295, U.N. Doc A/RES/295 (Sept. 13, 2007), 46 I.L.M 1013 (2007).