Navajo officials remember female judge as role model

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WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation officials say Marie Roanhorse Neswood, the first woman to be confirmed decades ago as a tribal district court judge, has died. She was 85.

Officials said Neswood, who was originally from the Navajo community of Crystal in western New Mexico, died Sunday. They did not immediately have any details about the cause of death.

Navajo Council Speaker LoRenzo Bates said Wednesday that Neswood represented her community and the rest of the tribe with dignity and pride during her time on the court and as a member of the Tribal Council.

Neswood was a member of the judicial branch from 1976 to 1989.

She also worked for the Office of the Chief Prosecutor and the Navajo police department. She was elected to the council in 1991.

A funeral Mass was scheduled for Friday in St. Michaels, Arizona.

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