Kayenta Native Serves on the Cutting Edge of Naval Aviation Modernization

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Electa Berassa, Navy Office of Community Outreach

LEMOORE, Calif. – A 2004 Monument Valley High School graduate and Kayenta, Arizona, native is serving in the U.S. Navy with VFA 147 The Argonauts.

Petty Officer 1st Class Berthia Sullivan works as a yeoman and operates out of Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore, California.

A Navy yeoman is responsible for everything personnel-related with pay and benefits.

“I have learned a lot about my Navajo culture,” said Sullivan. “I come from a long history of Native American veterans. From a young age my grandmother instilled in us a lot of our culture to make sure we are successful. She sacrificed a lot to get me here, and I don’t ever want to let her down.”

NAS Lemoore is the home of the F-35C Lightning II, which is slated to play a critical role in carrier strike groups’ integrated warfighting packages, according to Navy officials.

F/A-18 Super Hornets, with the ability to carry large payloads of advanced weapons, will continue to provide lethality and flexibility to complement the capabilities of the F-35C Lightning II. This combination of naval aviation assets will provide a mix of strike assets to deliver responsiveness and firepower across the range of military operations, according to Navy officials.

The F-35C will serve as the first stealth platform to operate forward from the sea, extending combat power in all threat environments and reducing the Navy’s reliance on supporting aircraft, tankers and jammers while enabling joint interoperability with newer systems.

The strike fighter wing, headquartered at NAS Lemoore, ensures that each squadron is fully combat-ready to conduct carrier-based, all-weather, attack, fighter and support missions for the Pacific Fleet.

Sullivan has military ties with family members who have previously served and is honored to carry on the family tradition.

“My grandfather was a WWII Army vet,” said Sullivan. “He helped set the standard before I was even born, and he talked about what it was like to leave the reservation and travel. That fueled my decision to join and get me where I am today.”

Sullivan is also proud of earning the Navy Marine Corp Achievement Medal in December for making sure everyone was taken care of regarding pay, personnel and benefits.

With the CSFWP consisting of more than 20 squadrons, highly specialized jobs range from training new aviators to maintaining airframes and engines, to handling and flying aircraft.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Sullivan and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

“Serving in the Navy means making sure there is a future for my girls, and they are as free as I was growing up,” Sullivan added. “I am making sure they get the same opportunities, if not more.”

Finalists Present Design Concepts, Share Their Vision for the National Native American Veterans Memorial

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian hosted the finalists, James Dinh, Daniel SaSuWeh Jones (Ponca) and Enoch Kelly Haney (Seminole), Harvey Pratt (Cheyenne/Arapaho), Stefanie Rocknak, and Leroy Transfield (M?ori: Ngai Tahu/Ngati Toa), who will advance to the second stage of the National Native American Veterans Memorial design competition.

The five finalists—chosen from a pool of 120 completed submissions—shared their vision for the memorial and presented their initial design concepts at “Meet Your Designers,” a public event held at the museum this afternoon. Each had 15 minutes to introduce themselves, explain why they entered the competition and describe their concept-designs. At the event Kevin Gover, director of the museum, spoke of the gravity of the responsibility to design a national memorial to Native American veterans. Native Americans have served in every American conflict since the Revolution and have served at a higher rate per capita than any other group throughout the 20th century. Gover, with an Advisory Committee consulted Native American veterans throughout the United States to learn what is important to them in a memorial. “Most important is their pride in what they have done and their commitment to the wellbeing of the United States,” said Gover. “To realize that these men and women served well a country that had not kept its commitments to their communities over its history. They are perfectly aware of it, and yet they chose to serve. And to me that reflects a very deep kind of patriotism. A belief in the promises of a country that had not kept its promises to them up to that time. I can think of no finer example of being Americans than the way these men and women chose to serve over those years.”  The event was webcast and is archived at http://nmai.si.edu/explore/multimedia/webcasts/

Links to view the finalist’s design are below:

  • James Dinh
  • Daniel SaSuWeh Jones (Ponca) and Enoch Kelly Haney (Seminole)
  • Harvey Pratt (Cheyenne/Arapaho)
  • Stefanie Rocknak
  • Leroy Transfield (M?ori: Ngai Tahu/Ngati Toa)The memorial is slated to open in 2020 on the grounds of the museum.
  • This project is made possible by the generous support of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Bank of America, Northrop Grumman, the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker LLP, General Motors, Lee Ann and Marshall Hunt, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and the Sullivan Insurance Agency of Oklahoma.
  • The finalists will have until May 1 to evolve and refine their design concepts to a level that fully explains the spatial, material and symbolic attributes of the design and how it responds to the vision and design principles for the National Native American Veterans Memorial. The final design concepts for Stage II will be exhibited at both the Washington, D.C., and New York museums May 19 through June 3. The museum’s blue-ribbon jury of Native and non-Native artists, designers and scholars will judge the final design concepts and announce a winner July 4.

About the National Native American Veterans Memorial

The museum was commissioned by Congress to build a National Native American Veterans Memorial that gives “all Americans the opportunity to learn of the proud and courageous tradition of service by Native Americans in the Armed Forces of the United States.” Working with the National Congress of American Indians and other Native American organizations, the museum is in its third year of planning for the memorial. To help guide this process, the museum formed an advisory committee composed of tribal leaders and Native veterans from across the country who have assisted with outreach to Native American communities and veterans. From 2015 until the summer of 2017, the advisory committee and the museum conducted 35 community consultations to seek input and support for the memorial. These events brought together tribal leaders, Native veterans and community members from across the nation and resulted in a shared vision and set of design principles for the National Native American Veterans Memorial. For more information about the memorial, visit www.AmericanIndian.si.edu/NNAVM.

About the National Museum of the American Indian

The National Museum of the American Indian is committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of the Native cultures of the Western Hemisphere—past, present and future—through partnership with Native people and others. Located on the National Mall at Fourth Street and Independence Avenue S.W., the museum is open each day from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). It is accessible from L’Enfant Plaza Metrorail station via the Maryland Avenue/Smithsonian Museums exit. Follow the museum via social media on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. To learn more about the museum’s mission, visit AmericanIndian.si.edu.

Kayenta Township Call to Public Meeting: Enacting the Navajo Nation Firearms Act

The Kayenta Township is announcing a call to public meeting at the Kayenta Townhall on Thursday, May 4th, 2017 at 10am.

The purpose of this meeting is to gain community input on the proposed Navajo Nation Legislation #0114-17 of amending Title 17 of the Navajo Nation Code and Enacting the Navajo Nation Firearms Act.

Everyone is strongly encouraged to attend.

You can view the proposed Navajo Nation Legislation #0114-17 here: http://kayentatownship-nsn.gov/Home/PDF/prop_firearms_leg.pdf

Native Americans facing excessive force in North Dakota pipeline protests – UN expert

GENEVA (15 November 2016) – A United Nations human rights expert has accused US security forces of using excessive force against protesters trying to stop an oil pipeline project which runs through land sacred to indigenous people.

582b7923c36188990b8b465eLaw enforcement officials, private security firms and the North Dakota National Guard have used unjustified force to deal with opponents of the Dakota Access pipeline, according to Maina Kiai, the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

Some of the 400 people held during the demonstrations had suffered “inhuman and degrading conditions in detention,” Mr. Kiai added.

Protesters say they have faced rubber bullets, teargas, mace, compression grenades and bean-bag rounds while expressing concerns over environmental impact and trying to protect burial grounds and other sacred sites of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

“Tensions have escalated in the past two weeks, with local security forces employing an increasingly militarized response to protests and forcibly moving encampments located near the construction site,” the rights expert said.

“This is a troubling response to people who are taking action to protect natural resources and ancestral territory in the face of profit-seeking activity,” he noted. “The excessive use of State security apparatus to suppress protest against corporate activities that are alleged to violate human rights is wrong and contrary to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.”

“People feel that their concerns are being ignored, and it is their right to stage peaceful assemblies so that these concerns can be heard. The authorities have an obligation to actively protect that right. The rights of cultural heritage defenders have to be respected and protected,” he added.

The Special Rapporteur acknowledged reports that some protests had turned violent, but emphasized that the response had to be strictly proportionate and not affect peaceful protesters.

“The right to freedom of peaceful assembly is an individual right, and it cannot be taken away indiscriminately or en masse due to the violent actions of a few,” he said. “The use of violence by some protesters should not be used as a justification to nullify the peaceful assembly rights of everyone else.”

The Special Rapporteur said he was concerned at the scale of arrests and the conditions in which people were being held: “Marking people with numbers and detaining them in overcrowded cages, on the bare concrete floor, without being provided with medical care, amounts to inhuman and degrading treatment.”

Mr. Kiai also said an announcement on 8 November by pipeline operator Energy Transfer LLC Corporation, stating that the final phase of construction would start in two weeks, “willfully” ignored an earlier public statement by federal agencies. “I call on the Pipeline Company to pause all construction activity within 20 miles east and west of Lake Oahe,” he said.

Construction of the pipeline has continued despite a call in September by the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, and other experts for it to be halted.

The 1,172-mile (1,890km) pipeline, designed to carry crude oil to a refinery near Chicago, is being built by Energy Transfer and the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Protesters say several sacred sites of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe have already been bulldozed, and construction work is nearing the Missouri River, which is held sacred. In addition, protesters believe the project poses a significant threat to the quality of the drinking water.

Mr. Kiai’s call has been endorsed by the Special Rapporteur on indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz; the Special Rapporteur on cultural rights, Karima Bennoune; the Special Rapporteur on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, John Knox; the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Michel Forst; the Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, Léo Heller; and the current Chair of the UN Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, Pavel Sulyandziga.

(*) Read the expert’s statement: http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=20570&LangID=E

Mr. Maina Kiai (Kenya) took up his functions as the first Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in May 2011. He is appointed in his personal capacity as an independent expert by the UN Human Rights Council. As a Special Rapporteur, Mr. Kiai is part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/SP/Pages/Welcomepage.aspx

UN Human Rights, country page – United States: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/LACRegion/Pages/USIndex.aspx

For further information and media requests, please contact Ms. Christine Evans (+41 22 917 9197 / cevans@ohchr.org) or write to indigenous@ohchr.org.

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, OHCHR Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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Kayenta Township is now accepting applications for Department Manager

Department Manger 02

To apply submit the following: 1. Kayenta Township Employment application; 2. Resume; 3. Copy of Degree / Certification; and 4. Three (3) letters of Recommendation. Navajo Preference will be taken into consideration. Visit Kayenta Township at www.kayentatownship-nsn.gov for an application, how to apply and full job description.

Assistant Secretary Washburn Announces New Initiative to Hire More American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans to Work for Indian Affairs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the heels of President Obama’s historic visit yesterday to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North and South Dakota, Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced the implementation of a new initiative to hire more American Indian and Alaska Native veterans to work for Indian Affairs.

In building a 21st century workforce, we recognize the importance of attracting and retaining veterans in this organization,” said Assistant Secretary Washburn. “Individuals who have served in the Armed Forces have a proven track record for integrity, discipline and leadership, and are highly qualified candidates in a variety of occupations throughout Indian Affairs.”

To achieve the goal of hiring more American Indian and Alaska Native veterans throughout Indian Affairs offices and bureaus, Washburn announced plans to increase the number of Indian veterans hired from the current rate of 9 percent to 12.5 percent.

Indian Affairs bureaus, regional offices and agencies provide a wide range of direct services to American Indian and Alaska Natives and already utilize an Indian Preference policy in hiring. Nearly 100 percent of the positions in the Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Indian Education are staffed with American Indian and Alaska Native employees through Indian Preference. Indian Affairs officials are interested in hiring veterans prior to their discharge from the Armed Forces and are actively seeking members of the National Guard and reserves who are looking for careers that serve Indian Country.

Steps that will be taken to achieve the new initiative include:

  1. Increasing participation in job fairs targeting veterans;

  2. Establishing a presence on the Fedshirevets.gov website to highlight success stories of veterans already working in Indian Affairs;

  3. Utilizing social media such as Facebook and Twitter to promote accomplishments of veterans in Indian Affairs and alert prospects of the availability of open positions;

  4. Leveraging resources with other DOI agencies that have been successful in recruiting veterans to develop new strategies for attracting veterans to employment opportunities within Indian Affairs;

  5. Working with local veterans groups, especially Native American veterans groups, in the field to publish employment opportunities with Indian Affairs;

  6. Using the USAJobs.gov website to highlight positions of interest to veterans that will utilize their skills gained in military service; and

  7. Developing a Senior Executive Service (SES) performance element targeting increases in veteran hires in positions within Indian Affairs offices and bureaus.

For more information about the DOI Indian Affairs’ hire the American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans Initiative, please visit our website at http://www.bia.gov/jobs/Veterans/ or call:

Nancy Nelson, Human Resources Specialist, Indian Affairs Office of Human Capital Management, at (202) 208-6175.

The Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs assists and supports the Secretary of the Interior in fulfilling the United States’ trust responsibility to the federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes, villages and individual trust beneficiaries. The Office of Human Capital Management (OHCM) oversees human resources management, policy and operations for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Indian Educationand the Assistant Secretary  Indian Affairs. The Office of Human Capital Management reports to the Deputy Assistant Secretary Indian Affairs – Management within the Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs.

Navajo President Ben Shelly Honors Fallen Code Talker

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly commemorates the recent passing of Navajo Code Talker Lee H. Begay, 87, who passed away Monday in Flagstaff, Ariz.

President Shelly ordered the Navajo Nation flag to be flown at half-staff in honor of Code Talker Begay beginning Thursday, Nov. 14 through Nov. 18.

“Code Talker Begay’s honorable service to our country is a reminder of how much our warriors have contributed to the security of the United States and the great Navajo Nation. With the service of our Code Talkers in World War II, especially in the South Pacific and in Europe, we were able to shorten this horrible war and provide for the security of our land. The Navajo Nation is eternally thankful for his service and heroic deeds for our country. I call upon all Navajo people to join first lady Martha Shelly, Vice President Rex Lee Jim and myself in prayers for the family of Code Talker Begay during this difficult time.”

Services for Code Talker Begay are scheduled to take place today in Low Mountain, Arizona.

Navajo President Shelly Signs Veterans’ Trust Fund Amendments

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly signed legislation Friday afternoon that provides funding for as many as 75 new homes for Navajo veterans on the Navajo Nation.

“Today, we recognize the needs of our warriors, our veterans on the Navajo Nation,” said President Shelly before he signed legislation CS-48-13.

The legislation, co-sponsored by Navajo Council Speaker Johnny Naize and Council Delegate Alton Shepard, amends the allocations to the Navajo Veterans Trust Fund. The bill allocates four percent of Navajo revenue to be equally split between the Navajo Veterans Trust Fund and the Department of Navajo Veterans’ Affairs.

The money going to the Department of Navajo Veterans’ Affairs would be for housing. The DNVA office would split their allocated money equally with the five agencies on the Navajo Nation and each agency would be responsible to use the money to build as many as 15 homes for Navajo veterans.

“We have to take care of our veterans. They risked their lives for our freedom and to defend our people,” President Shelly said.

The revenue distribution would need to be reauthorized in 2017. Until then, the trust fund and the DNVA would split as much as $7 million depending upon revenue forecasts. Revenues from taxes, oil and gas mining and minerals, timber, land rentals and other revenue producing activity would be shared with the trust fund and the DNVA office.

Speaker Naize, Council Delegates Shepard, Jonathan Hale, and Danny Simpson were all present during the signing ceremony.

“I appreciate the signing of this legislation,” Speaker Naize said after President Shelly signed the legislation.

“To our veterans, I want to thank each and every one of you for the sacrifices you made for our country and our people. You helped make this Navajo way of life possible,” President Shelly said.