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Nygren, Curley advocate for the Navajo Nation at the Department of the Interior

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WASHINGTON D.C. — Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren and Speaker Crystalyne Curley advocated on behalf of the Navajo Nation at the U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee meeting hosted by Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland in Washington, D.C. May 16.

In 2021, Haaland announced the formation of the Department’s first-ever Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee, to ensure tribal leaders have direct and consistent contact and communication with the current and future Department officials to facilitate discussions on intergovernmental responsibilities, exchange views, share information and provide advice and recommendations regarding Departmental programs and funding. In April, Haaland appointed Nygren to serve as a STAC primary member and Curley as the alternate, to represent the Navajo Area Region.

“It was a privilege to sit with tribal leaders from all over the country to discuss ways the Department of Interior can better serve Indian Country. Interior has not always represented the best interests of the Navajo Nation, so it is crucial that we have a seat at the table so we can hold them accountable. I look forward to continuing to work with them to come up with recommendations so we can improve how responsive Interior is to our needs,” Nygren said.

The May 16 discussion focused on the federal government’s fiscal year 2024 budget priorities, co-stewardship and treaty rights, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, performance measures for the Department, and rights-of-way issues in tribal communities.

“It’s very important that our Navajo people have united voices advocating for them at the federal level, among many tribal nations. We continue to build on the advocacy and progress of our past leaders as we plan for the future of our Nation. The 25th Navajo Nation Council is committed to working with Secretary Haaland to address issues and work toward solutions that help our communities,” Curley said.