Friday, February 28, 2014

Hale delivers keynote address at the 2014 Tribal Telecom and Technology Summit

Hale delivers keynote address at the
2014 Tribal Telecom and Technology Summit


STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Albert Hale, D-St. Michaels (District 7), delivered a keynote address on tribal governance and culture in the 21st century at the 2014 Tribal Telecom and Technology Summit earlier this month.

“Sovereignty and self-governance of Native American nations were central themes at this year’s conference,” Hale said. “This provided an opportunity to review the historical events that have affected the ability of Native American Nations to develop and implement infrastructure improvements.”

This was the third annual summit, and it convened at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino in Phoenix for three days. Hale’s remarks included a historical overview of tribal land ownership and the changing relationship with the United States federal government, all of which affect current infrastructure development.

“As we plan for our technology needs, we must keep in mind the uniqueness of the communities the technology is serving,” Hale said. “Since the land in our nations is held in trust by the federal government, the process for infrastructure development is complicated. First tribal, then federal requirements must be met. This is a burdensome amount of bureaucracy, and it slows progress.”

Hale also said the technology itself must meet people’s needs. He shared a story about his own family to illustrate that point.

“My paternal aunt only speaks Navajo. Most voicemail instructions are given in English, so if she makes a call and no one answers, she leaves a message, but the only message is ‘That’s what I wanted to tell you.  That’s why I called you.’ She does not understand you have to leave your message after the beep. When we develop the infrastructure in our communities, we must ensure that those changes are understandable and accessible to everyone,” Hale said.

Hale added the he was grateful for the opportunity to discuss these issues at the summit.

“I would like to thank the summit’s advisory council for inviting me to share my thoughts and my experiences. Modernizing communication infrastructure is an essential part of preparing for the future,” Hale said.

For more information on the summit, go to: http://www.tribaltelecomconference.com/.

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Rep. Hale is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. He was born in Ganado and raised in Klagetoh, Arizona. He is Ashiihi (Salt), born for Todichiini (Bitter Water). His maternal grandparents are Hanaghani (Walk About clan). His paternal grandparents are Kiyanii (Tall House clan). He is a 1969 graduate of Fort Wingate High School, a Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school located east of Gallup, New Mexico. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona (1973), and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law, Albuquerque, New Mexico (1977), and an honorary Juris Doctor degree from Phoenix School of Law (2012).  He is the former President of the Navajo Nation.


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