Profile on Navajo Chief Justice Herb Yazzie

Here. Via Pechanga.

This is interesting:

Another issue that was addressed this past year, said Yazzie, was how the tribal courts conduct hearings.

Most hearings are conducted in a combination of the English and Navajo language since elderly Navajos are more comfortable in the Navajo language while English is the language used for the court’s written records.

This causes problems, however, for the fact that court reporters, those who type the transcript of the trial, are more prone to knowing English than Navajo and when the case comes up for review, there would often be large parts of the hearings left empty with the reporter only saying that the testimony was in Navajo.

“What happens is that the most important part of the hearing and the place where fundamental Navajo law will most likely be discussed is not being translated,” Yazzie said.

He also pointed out that the tribe does not have a court reporter program of its own and often the parties are required to provide their own.

As a result, the members of the Navajo Supreme Court would have to go to the recording of the hearing and find the sections where Navajo was spoken and listen themselves to what was said, a process that is very time consuming.

Because of this, Yazzie put in for a federal grant of $200,000, which was approved, that will allow for the training of Navajo court reporters for the first time.

This entry was posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, News, tribal courts and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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