Letters: The devil is afoot in these trying times

We are faced with so many “why” questions when tragedies strike or when things do not go our way. More recently, our unstable weather condition, our country’s political parties becoming unraveled on all sides, and people killing their loved ones and then killing themselves. It is going beyond human common sense. We are in a severe crisis and we are not aware of it. Fire is destroying thousands of homes and personal possessions on the west side of the country. As for the East Coast, hurricanes are tearing people’s lives apart beyond description.

The political atmosphere is as bad as being in the path of a hurricane and it is not getting better. Republicans, Democrats, and Green/Libertarians — human wisdom does not come close in fixing these awful problems. Every crooked finger is pointing at each other. How do we never learn from our past unpleasant history? A man used awful propaganda to gain leadership of a country and began to murder millions of people. He repeated these lies over and over again. Then the people began to “believe those lies as truths.” His corrupted mind almost destroyed the world.

So, where do these lies come from? Read John 8:44 … the devil is a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. He is a liar and the father of it. Society listens to the devil more than the word of God. No earthly resources can remedy the serious problems we are facing. Now, killing of all kinds are rapidly increasing. It’s like a kid playing a game on an Xbox. People are thinking, life is like playing a killing game and we’ll all be in heaven. This is the biggest lie of the devil. It’s the same lies the devil told Adam and Eve.

The result: We are experiencing all the tragedies the human race are living with and it is so sad there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. I am sure you all have your blame. The truth is not man’s truth but it’s all God’s truth. All the tragedies we are experiencing is a lesson to us as human beings to learn from it and to wake us up. But we are stubborn in our sinful nature; we do not have time to listen to God. Today, everyone is busy with cellphones. We do not have time to look at our surroundings.

God’s word says, there is none righteous, no not one. There is none who understands. There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned to themselves.

That is so true — whenever a country, nation, and people forget God. Again, who is going to fix our problems? For sure it’s not the conservative, progressives, brilliant thinkers, ritualism, or all the money that the world could offer will not help what we are experiencing with no relief unless we all repent and get on our knees, offering our complete confession in prayers. The good Lord is warning us, but we are not listening.

I am praying for you all.

Milt Shirleson
Window Rock, Ariz.

Center investigating Stew Fest allegations

The Native American Cultural Center, Office of Indigenous Student Success, and the Office of Native American Initiatives would first like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of many Northern Arizona University students, faculty, and staff who made Stew Fest a successful event in its eighth year.

Stew Fest has become tradition at NAU and is intended to bring our diverse community together to eat and enjoy live music. Stew Fest would not be possible without the help of many NAU students, faculty, and staff who volunteer each year to assist the NACC in preparing for hundreds of visitors who attend the event to eat stews and homemade frybread that represent Native American communities in the Southwest.

Each year, Stew Fest provides NAU students an opportunity to socialize around a home-cooked meal, and allows the NACC to invite community members to visit our Center and learn about support services and the research and work of our Native students. The NACC staff was recently notified of allegations that are said to have occurred during the annual Stew Fest held on Oct. 5, 2018, at an event that is intended to celebrate and highlight our Native community.

We are especially saddened to hear that inappropriate comments by NACC visitors during Stew Fest were directed toward Miss Indian NAU 2018, who did take the time to educate the three individuals who made the comments. A pillar goal of NAU is to be the leading university serving Native Americans. The NACC takes this goal to heart in everything that we do and strives to educate our community about the historical and contemporary issues impacting Native and indigenous communities.

NAU and the NACC have a zero tolerance policy for racism, discrimination, or intimidation under the Safe Working and Learning Environment Policy (rev 2/2016) to ensure the safety of students, staff, faculty, administrators, and to visitors and guests of the Mountain Campus (https://in.nau.edu/wp- content/uploads/sites/96/2018/08/Safe-working-and-learning-ek.pdf). We recognize that the alleged comments made toward Native students and staff are harmful and damaging and have no place in the inclusive environment that the NACC continually aims to foster.

The NACC hopes to move forward in a productive manner to address these allegations, without allowing the regrettable situation to overshadow the intended purpose of Stew Fest and the hard work of many Native NAU students, faculty, and staff who make the event possible every year.

In light of this, we are asking any volunteers or guests who may have witnessed these events to please come forward to discuss the situation with our administration. You may call me, NACC executive director, Ora Marek-Martinez, at 928-523-8532 or email me directly at Ora.Marek- Martinez@nau.edu. You may also contact the director of Indigenous Student Success, Sharon Doctor at 928-523-8086 or you may email her directly at Sharon.Doctor@nau.edu.

We have arranged for counseling services to be at the NACC on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Dr. Angela Enno will be offering her services for no charge. You may also request an appointment with Dr. Enno at ISSNatives@nau.edu or by calling 928-523-8086 or by contacting Counseling Services at 928-523- 2261.

Ora Marek-Martinez
Executive Director,
Native American Cultural Center
Assistant Professor,
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, Ariz.

All chipped in to make veterans’ event grand

At the recent monthly To’Nanees’Dizi Chapter Veterans Organization meeting, a discussion agenda item centered on events for the Veterans Day commemoration coordinated by Western Agency Veterans Administration, Tuba City. Words of appreciation were expressed to those with personal connections to veterans and to a few volunteers who had taken time from their busy schedule to work on events to honor veterans. Those in attendance – veterans, relatives, spouses, and widows – were encouraged to provide donations to the scheduled events that included a luncheon/potluck dinner.

The request for donations along with time and other resources from veterans and their relatives, spouses and widows to this community event were welcomed but seemed at odds with some veterans and their relatives as some felt there should be wider community participation and contribution. In addition to volunteers and family members of veterans, the sponsors who did respond with donations, time and resources included Bashas’, KFC, McDonald’s, NAPI, South Navajo Baptist Church, Navajo Fire Department, Navajo Police Department, Red Feather Development Group, To’Nanees’Dizi Local Government/Council delegate, Tuba City Boarding School, Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation, and Twin Arrows, with the latter two organizations having made substantial contributions. The Trail Riders coming from Four Sacred Directions with a small parade expressed vividly a poignant welcome home message to all veterans.

This event allayed concerns where many felt that the community should play a greater role in donation of time and resources to veteran’s events, to thank and honor those who have sacrificed and are sacrificing greatly for our nation’s call to duty. While this humble symbolic gesture of appreciation to honor all veterans was well received by the event organizers, the fact that many veterans continue to encounter continual delays and/or unreasonable obstacles with benefits delivery was consistently expressed by veterans. A point emphasized was that while not all veterans are the same, as many continue to bury painful horrid memories, all veterans and active military members are deserving of respect and gratitude.

Given that annual veteran events are momentary, a continuing gratitude and respect year-round for all veterans for their service would underscore the honor deserving of all veterans, irrespective of tribal affiliation, disability, race, color, national origin, age, or gender. Some veterans felt there is a need for time for the general public to set aside a few moments, to take a break from our busy lives, a need for quiet time, for deeper reflection on how greatly veterans have sacrificed for the liberty enjoyed daily in our lives and to learn from their valor and sacrifice.

Despite challenges, the next honorary event being organized is the To’Nanees’Dizi December Winter Solstice event, the giant Christmas Tree Lighting for the children, youth, elderly and community. This event once again is being organized by the local Veterans Administration Office located in south Tuba, and the spouses, widows, and relatives of all veterans and active duty military members, community volunteers and sponsors, with assistance from CVOs.

A grateful nation, state, a grateful community thanks and honors all veterans and active military members for their service, sacrifice, duty, and obligation to our nation. The veterans, with event organizers, volunteers, and with community donations as a symbolic honorable gesture, once again despite challenges convincingly sent home the deeper poignant message that liberty and freedom are not free, but have evolved and are protected at great cost and sacrifice.

Harold G. Begay
To’Nanees’ Dizi, Ariz.


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Categories: Letters