Close Navajo Nation Border COVID-19
Dear Navajo Nation President, Navajo Nation Council, elected officials.
This is a petition from your constituents in regards to Navajo Nation border.
March 11, 2020, Navajo Nation declared Public Health State of Emergency for COVID-19 coronavirus for the Navajo Nation in response to the growing spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, also known as “Diko NtsaaígííNáhást’éíts’áadah” in the Navajo language which was a proactive measure to help ensure the Navajo Nation’s preparedness and the health and well-being of the Navajo people; and
March 13, 2020, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez announce temporary reduction in non-essential government, services, closure of schools, and public parks, additional proactive measures to prevent the potential spread of the COVID19 coronavirus on the Navajo Nation. The temporary reduction of the number of on-duty Executive Branch employees for the next three weeks, which does not include public safety personnel; and
On March 20, 2020, the Navajo Nation Health Command Operations Center issued a Public Health Emergency “Stay at Home Order” requiring all residents of the Navajo Nation to remain home and isolate and all non-essential businesses to close to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus and the previous shelter-in-place order for the community of Chilchinbeto in now expanded to the entire Navajo Nation; and
On April 2, 2020, the Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer office were informed by the Navajo Department of Health and Navajo Area Indian Health Service, in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center, that the number of positive tests for COVID-19 had reached a total of 241 for the Navajo Nation; and
The COVID-19 coronavirus, also known as “Diko Ntsaaígíí Náhást’ éíts’ áadah” is classified as deadly virus and has shown a high mortality rate (49%+ in critical cases) among elders with preexisting conditions and other at-risk populations is currently spreading across Navajo Nation life wildfire and hence the COVID-19 is a “silent” deadly virus. If one person is infected (unknowingly), there is a 50/50 change those infected will NOT show any symptoms at all resulting in the infected person to travel and do business while at the same time spreading the disease to those at high risk and those same high risk individuals will spread the virus to others causing an “outbreak” even if the individual are following the social distancing, meetings of no more than 10 people, and other health safety procedures; and
The obvious continuous traveling of individuals/groups to and from the Navajo Reservation is cause for immediate threat to the Navajo Nation limited resources and very importantly the safety and health of the its tribal citizens; and
Our elders and our medicine people, the teachers of the traditional laws, values and principles must always be respected and honored (protected) and the COVID-19 coronavirus, which threatens its tribal citizens and its tribal sovereignty;
The Navajo Nation elected officials including the President, Vice-President, Council Delegates, Chapter Officials have sworn to the best of (their) ability preserve, protect and defend the laws and government of the Navajo Nation and advance the interests of the Navajo people;
The Navajo Nation and its tribal citizens are facing chaos (hóóchx̨o’/anáhóót’i’) caused by COVID-19 coronavirus and in order for the Navajo Citizens and Tribal Government to persevere and thrive, where harmony (hózh̨̨ó) must be restored, Navajo Nation must take extraordinary measures;
The Navajo Nation is a Sovereign Nation and has the right as sovereign including the power to exclude nonmembers from Navajo Nation Lands within the Navajo Nation; the power to place conditions on the entry upon, etc;
Resources have been limited to address the situation, additional assistance from the County, State and Federal Government such as National Guard is a probability to protect the safety of citizens, and to lessen or avert the threat of more severe and long-lasting impacts to the community caused by the COVID-19 virus;
Whereas, by signing this petition, I recognize that the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) on Navajo Nation starts at the border specifically entry and should be dealt with now rather than after as the virus has spread into our communities in an uncontrollable manner;
I therefore ask the Navajo Nation President, Navajo Nation Council, and Navajo Chapter Officials to put the Navajo Nation in a border lock-down right away as the COVID-19 problem grows and spread which has put an exacerbating burden on Navajo citizens health, as we have already witness in the United States and other countries; and
Additionally, asking the Navajo Nation President, and Navajo Nation Council to request additional assistance from the County, State and Federal Government such as requesting the “National Guard” to protect the safety of citizens, and to lessen or avert the threat of more severe and long-lasting impacts to the community caused by the COVID-19 virus by instituting a “border lock-down”
I knowledge this shutdown of Navajo Nation border will prevent or control the spread of COVID-19 virus at the same time enforcing the Public Health Order Navajo Department of Health, Navajo Office of Environmental Health & Protection Program, “Public Health Emergency Stay at Home (Shelter in Place) Order and all other such orders issued by the Navajo Nation.
This effort requires all of us to work together if we want to return to our normal lives as soon as possible while avoiding possibly millions in death tolls worldwide and huge economics impacts.
Navajo Nation President, Navajo Nation Council, Chapter Official, thank you for listening. You have my full support.
Note: The first person "I" formulation when used throughout this petition, represent the individual signee.