Navajo Supreme Court To Hear Language Fluency Arguments

By Al Macias
Published: Friday, September 26, 2014 - 5:05am
Joe Shirley Jr. (left) and Chris Deschene (right)

The Navajo Supreme court will hear arguments Friday about whether a candidate for the office of tribal president should be disqualified.

Candidates for president must be able to speak Navajo fluently. At issue is whether Christopher Deschene meets that requirement. He admitted he needs to improve his Navajo language skills.

Opponents say Deschene lied to elections officials about his qualifications and that he should be disqualified.

If the court denies the complaint, Deschene and former Navajo leader Joe Shirley Jr. will face off in the Nov. 4 general election.