WASHINGTON, D.C. – Speaker Otto Tso and members of the 24th Navajo Nation Council represented the Navajo Nation at the Tribal Interior Budget Council (TIBC) in Washington, D.C. The quarterly meeting was held with the U.S. Department of the Interior and other appointed tribal representatives from the 12 Indian Affairs regions.
“The 24th Navajo Nation Council continues to hear the concerns of our constituents across the Navajo Nation and we communicate their needs at the federal level,” said Speaker Tso. “Our Navajo people depend on the federal programs, and leadership will continue to pursue the people’s fair share of funding for essential services.”
Hon. Kee Allen Begay, Jr. serves as Co-Chair on the Transportation Subcommittee while Hon. Eugenia Charles-Newton serves as Co-Chair on the Public Safety & Justice Subcommittee. Other notable delegates also serve as voting members on the Budget, Education, Data Management, and Land, Water, & Natural Resources Subcommittees.
Hon. Begay addressed the Bureau of Indian Affairs Division of Transportation’s lack of funding for the operations and maintenance of roads on the Navajo Nation. A request for additional funding was made to pave major commute routes in order to provide basic needs and essential services for the Navajo people.
“As a tribe with the largest land mass, the allocations made by the Tribal Interior Budget Council need to be re-examined in order to support the Navajo people,” said Hon. Kee Allen Begay, Jr. “It is my commitment to see our communities flourish, and as representatives for the Navajo Region, we must explore every avenue to provide additional funding for our people.”
As Public Safety & Justice Subcommittee Co-Chair, Hon. Charles-Newton addressed funding discrepancies for public safety services across Indian Country. Hon. Charles-Newton also focused on securing funding for law enforcement, criminal cases, and advancing tribal relations with the federal government.
Formerly known as the Indian Affairs Tribal Budget Advisory Council, TIBC facilitates tribal governments and federal officials’ collaboration in developing annual budget requests for Indian programs in the U.S. Department of the Interior.