I’ve heard some remarks that Navajo women should not be leaders, but I know that we live in a time where every Navajo person is needed to fight for the survival of our Nation. Navajo women do have a place in politics, in the world of business, in education, in law and the judicial system, and it is time for Navajo women to take their place of leadership.
-LeNora Fulton, 1998 Address, 1998 Navajo Nation Presidential Candidate,
2nd Navajo woman to run for President of the Navajo Nation.
In a year in which trans people are continuing to step up around the country and run for political office, this shouldn’t surprise me that one of my Native American trans fam is deciding it is time for her to step up and lead her people.
The Navajo Nation covers the corners of the states of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico, and at 27,673 square miles of territory (nearly the size of the state of West Virginia) and over 350,000 people as of 2016, it is the largest reservation in the United States.
Since 1991, the Navajo People have elected a president for their nation, and the date to officially file and run is May 17 with a closing date of May 30. One of the people who is attempting to get on the ballot for the August 28 primary election is Trudie Jackson, a longtime advocate from Arizona who is Native American and trans.
Ya’tah – my name is Trudie Jackson and my clans are: Bitterwater and Folded Arms, then the Mexican and Yucca-Strung-Out-In-A-Line from Teec Nos Pos, AZ on the beautiful Navajo Nation. I am a product of Indian Boarding School and Indian Student Placement Program.
Upon relocating to Phoenix, AZ in 1984 to pursue my high school education at the Phoenix Indian School, I decided to stay in Phoenix which lead to 34 years. Ultimately, my experience as an urban Navajo taught me many life lessons of learning to survive in urban spaces. I have learned so much and challenged myself to walk into spaces, which at times, meant being the only American Indian to advocate and be the voice for my community as a proud Dine’.
Over the course of years, I have stood on the sidelines and made my observations of the political climate on the Navajo Nation by elected tribal leaders of what they propose as their platform to lift the Navajo Nation as an effective leader that leads for the betterment of the Navajo Nation.
I can not continue to stand on the sideline and allow the ongoing unethical practices by elected tribal officials to ‘take from the people’ and fill their pockets and/or luxury lifestyles. If I continue to stand on the sideline, I am just adding more fuel and allowing it to continue without interjection. Enough is enough!
With that said, I have decided to enter the race for the 2018 Navajo Nation Presidential Election. I want my people to judge me on my leadership skills and qualities. I would like to bring home the knowledge that I have learned and gained whiled residing off the Navajo reservation and help lift My People to create a better place, which we can all call, “home.”
I ask for your support, as a candidate for the 2018 Navajo Nation Presidential Election to help me get on the ballot with any amount of contribution. Your generous donation is greatly appreciated. Ahe’hee, Trudie
If Trudie is successful in getting on the ballot and getting through the primary election, we would have to wait until November 6 to see if Trudie makes history and becomes the first female president of the Navajo Nation.
Two other Navajo women have attempted what Trudie is trying to accomplish. Here’s hoping she succeeds and makes that history.