Navajo high court to hear case on language fluency

Estimated read time: Less than a minute

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

TUBA CITY, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments in a case challenging a presidential candidate's ability to speak Navajo.

The candidates are required under tribal law to speak Navajo fluently and understand it.

Dale Tsosie (SOH'-see) contends that Chris Deschene (des-CHEE'-nee) lied about being fluent when he entered the race to preside over the country's largest American Indian reservation.

Deschene says fluency is a matter of opinion and that his language skills are progressing.

The tribe's Office of Hearings and Appeals dismissed Tsosie's grievance, saying it was untimely filed. Tsosie appealed to the high court.

Arguments are set for Sept. 26 in Tuba City.

Deschene and former Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr. are set to face off in the tribe's general election in November. Tsosie placed tenth in the primary.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Related topics

The Associated Press


    Catch up on the top news and features from, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast