Tag Archives: Chris Deschene

Navajo Nation Council passes emergency language requirement repeal

In this Oct. 3, 2014 file photo, Navajo presidential candidate Chris Deschene greets supporters in Window Rock, Ariz. (AP Photo/Felicia Fonseca, File)

Shortly after midnight last night, the Navajo Nation Council voted to scrap the longstanding requirement for the tribe’s president to be fluent in the Navajo Language. The eleventh-hour vote, approved 11-10 with one abstaining, clears a path for Chris Deschene to remain on the ballot. His qualifications had been challenged over his admittedly limited ability in speaking the Navajo language.

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Ruling against Navajo presidential candidate over language fluency

Chris Deschene (AP Photo)

A candidate for president on the nation's largest Indian reservation could be removed from the ballot just weeks before the general election after he refused to show whether he is fluent in Navajo as required by tribal law. In a hearing that underlined the importance of the language to the Navajo Nation, an administrative court officer said he had no choice but to rule against Chris Deschene.

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