Ya’at’eeh, shi k’ei dóó shi dine’é (Hello, my people). Shi ei Kinyaa’anii nishłí (I am of the Towering House People). Tó ahaadlíinii bashishchiin (I am born for the people of Where the Water Meets). Táchii’nii dashí chei (My maternal grandfather is of the Red Streak People). Tł’izí dal chi’í dashí nail (My paternal grandfather is of the Red Goat People). My name is Rebecca M. Benally, and I am running for County Commissioner for San Juan County, District 3 (the precincts are Aneth, Bluff, Mexican Hat-covering Douglas Mesa, Montezuma Creek, and Red Mesa in Utah). I will integrate Diné traditional and culturally appropriate leadership skills. Once in office, I will advocate and have a voice for all citizens of San Juan County.
As a leader of the people, I will start at the grassroots level. The grassroots level, or as I like to sometimes call, the “hogan/home level,” is where the heart of people’s concerns, issues, and needs are located. In working with people at the grassroots level, and strategic planning, we can make constructive improvements within our county. An action plan needs to be developed with input from the people/hogan level.
I will prioritize issues and the needs of residents, while problem-solving current issues. I will advocate for residents of San Juan County. I plan to assist in bringing a stronger sense of unity among all people in San Juan County. I will continue to support the youth, elders, veterans, educational equity, and community leaders, to work in collaboration. I will dedicate 100% of my time towards working and advocating for the people of San Juan County.
Positive change is essential in moving towards improvement. I would like to see a collaborative effort in forming a strategic community plan among communities in District 3. For those hard working residents of San Juan County, and who contribute to enhancing our society, those efforts should be highlighted, as well.
The importance of education is vital in understanding current laws, resolutions, and governmental procedures, especially as a leader. It is important to have a strong educational background in Navajo culture, especially in this 21st century a college degree is necessary to make appropriate decisions for everyone. I hold a bachelor’s degree from Fort Lewis College. My master’s degree is in Educational Leadership from Brigham Young University. Currently, I have a Doctorate of Education, All But Dissertation.
My motivation and educational experience has allowed me the opportunity to work in several capacities. I worked in the educational field for over 20 years as a teacher, school principal, and at the college administration level. As part of my personal effort to advocate for education, my civic duties included serving on the San Juan County Mental Health Board, San Juan Blue Ribbon Committee, Navajo Nation Board of Education, Navajo Nation Advisory Council for People with Disabilities, American Indian Higher Education Consortium, National Congress of American Indians, National Associations of Elementary School Principals, National Indian Education Association, and Tribal College Committee. My family and I have made it a family effort to encourage and instill within our Native American families to incorporate strong literacy skills in their homes, so we developed the Benally Family Literacy is Empowering project. In this effort, we have delivered over 4,000 books to families in the four corners area.
I would like to thank all those who continue to support and have faith in what I stand for as a leader. I would also like to send a gentle reminder to register to vote!
Rebecca M. Benally