WINDOW ROCK, AZ – The 25th Navajo Nation Council convened this week for the opening day of the winter Council session and elected Council Delegate Crystalyne Curley to serve a two-year term as the new Speaker and head of the Legislative Branch. This marks the very first time a Navajo woman has been selected to serve in the role of the Speaker.
“I extend my appreciation to my colleagues of the 25th Navajo Nation Council for having the confidence in me to lead the Legislative Branch and to serve as the Speaker of the Council,” said Speaker Curley. “We have many challenging issues to address and I look forward to working collectively with my colleagues and the other branches of government to make progress for our people and communities across the Nation. Through dedication, hard work, and prayer, the 25th Navajo Nation Council will remain committed to positive changes and accountability as we move forward together.”
The newly elected Speaker is originally from the community of Fish Point, AZ, located within the Tsélání/Cottonwood Chapter and she is fluent in the English and Navajo languages.
During the presentation of her platform, Speaker Curley said that she strives to be a voice for Navajo people living in remote areas without basic infrastructure and amenities, which she attributed to growing up in a rural community. Curley previously served as a policy analyst with Diné College and the Navajo Government Development Office. In addition, she served as a Legislative District Assistant and Sr. Public Information Officer for the Office of the Speaker and Office of the President and Vice President before being elected to the Council this past November, representing the communities of Tachee/Blue Gap, Many Farms, Nazlini, Tselani/Cottonwood, and Low Mountain. From 2011-2012, she served as Miss Navajo Nation.
During the session, four members of the Council were nominated and given 15 minutes to present their respective platform. Among others nominated were Council Delegates Eugenia Charles-Newton, Carl R. Slater, and Otto Tso. Following a run-off election, Speaker Curley received 13 votes and Delegate Tso received 11 votes.
Pursuant to its authority under Navajo Nation law, the Council confirmed the Honorable Crystalyne Curley to serve as Speaker of the 25th Navajo Nation Council for a two-year term with all powers and duties delegated by Navajo Nation law. Speaker Curley was joined by her spouse, daughter, and mother as Navajo Nation Chief Justice JoAnn Jayne administered the oath of office.