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Published On: Fri, Jan 27th, 2012

President Shelly taken out of context, counters with a call for Unity

Weekly Edition | Jan. 27, 2012 | By: Alexander Chambers

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WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The political fire heats up on President Shelly for making what could be described as ‘misconstrued when taken out of context.’ Late, Wednesday, the Associated Press published a article where Council Delegate Joshua Lavar Butler tackles the remarks made by the President.

“Every time you address these state and federal leaders, you are speaking on behalf of the Navajo Nation,” Butler said at the start of the Tribal Council’s winter session Monday in Window Rock. “…We need to strengthen those relationships; they’re very delicate.”

What was said, the associated press said that President Shelly while  addressing Arizona lawmakers during Indian Nations and Tribes Legislative Day on Jan. 17

“I love that lady. She’s upfront. She’ll tell you the way it is. I love that lady for some reason. She just turns me on for some reason every time I meet with her.” said President Shelly addressing Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer.

Later, it was Brewer spokesman Matt Benson said the governor took Shelly’s remarks “in the good spirit with which they were intended.”

The article also said a day later, Shelly told New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez that it appeared she had gained weight. Zah, the President Communications Director said Shelly knows Martinez well enough with her to joke around and wasn’t trying to discourage her or give the public a negative perception about her appearance.

Meanwhile, Erny Zah, said “Shelly’s comments can be attributed to the difficulty in navigating Navajo and American societies, and to Navajo being Shelly’s first language.” adding  “There are examples of people taking catch phrases of American society and misplacing it,” he said. “That’s what this is. Then you can start to argue whether tribal leaders should be well-versed in English, to the point of interpersonal communications.”

Navajo Council Delegate Edmund Yazzie, according to some reports, recently had a verbal disagreement with Shelly in public over law enforcement, said Shelly should be careful with what he’s saying and consider his surroundings.

Days earlier, the President called for the Navajo leaders to set aside differences and work together during his State of the Navajo Nation address. “As leaders let’s honor and respect each other. We can debate issues and disagree. We’ll always face opposition, but we must work for the betterment of the people and the Nation,” he said as he closed his speech. Mr. Shelly also challenged the Legislative branch for a summit to discuss growth, and how they can make government more responsive in meeting the needs of the people.

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President Shelly taken out of context, counters with a call for Unity