Navajo Nation Chief Justice JoAnn Jayne administered the oath of office to Speaker Seth Damon at the Council Chamber on Jan. 28, 2019.
Published January 29, 2019
WINDOW ROCK — Navajo Council Delegate Seth Damon (Bááháálí, Chichiltah, Manuelito, Tsé Lichíí’, Rock Springs, Tsayatoh) was selected as the Speaker for the 24th Navajo Nation Council on Monday, and will assume all duties and authorities delegated to the Speaker effective immediately per Title 2 of the Navajo Nation Code, Section 285. Speaker Damon will serve a two-year term.
According to the code, the Speaker “shall exercise all powers and authorities which are delegated to the Office by law or may from time to time be delegated to such Office by the Navajo Nation Council.” Speaker Damon would preside over the Navajo Nation Council and the Naabik’íyáti’ Committee, while directing and supervising all programs under the Legislative Branch.
Speaker Damon is from the community of Bááháálí, N.M., and previously served on the 23rd Navajo Nation Council and chaired the Budget and Finance Committee. His maternal clan is Bit’ahnii and is born for Naaneesht’ézhi Táchii’nii. His maternal grandfather is Áshįįhíí and his paternal grandfather is Tsénahabiłnii.
“To my colleagues on the 24th Navajo Nation Council, I extend my gratitude for your support and having the confidence in me to lead our Council for the next two years. We have a lot of work ahead of us and I look forward to working with each of you as we continue to work for our Navajo people,” said Speaker Damon.
He added that during his term as Speaker Pro Tem, he had initiated work on issues at the state and federal level. Speaker Damon called for work sessions between Navajo leadership to begin addressing immediate priorities such as the Navajo Generating Station, equality of impact aid benefits for Navajo students in public schools, and funding for veterans services and housing.
“We need to continue this strong momentum in addressing these issues that face our Navajo citizens, and I cannot stress enough that only through a unified effort, we will make extraordinary headway in developing solutions for our Navajo communities. I would like to thank President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer for attending the work sessions and continuing those important conversations with Council,” said Speaker Damon, adding “And as the youngest speaker ever selected, I look forward to working with the youngest Navajo Nation President ever elected.”
Also in attendance was the family of Speaker Damon, and he expressed heartfelt thanks to his grandparents Charles II and Patricia Damon, his mother Cheron Watchman, and his daughter Mikayla Shaye Damon. Charles Damon, II previously served three terms as a council delegate during the 20th, 21st, and 22nd Navajo Nation Council, representing the same communities as Speaker Damon.
“I would like to thank my family for always supporting me and always being there to guide me, especially my grandfather former delegate Charles Damon, II,” said Speaker Damon. “I also want to commend my colleagues Council Delegates Amber Kanazbah Crotty, Jamie Henio, and Edmund Yazzie for taking on the challenge of running for speaker. I feel honored to be serving with you all and I believe we can continue to push the priorities of Council forward together.”