ARTICLE I – NAME
The name of the organization: Navajo Nation Veterans Advisory Council also known as the NNVAC, or Council.
ARTICLE II – MISSION
Mission Statement: To evaluate, develop and promote new and existing programs and services for Navajo veterans and their families.
ARTICLE III – VISION
Vision Statement: That the Navajo Nation offers our veterans quality services and programs to ensure the enrichment and enhancement of life for our men and women who served, and their families.
ARTICLE IV – PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES
The purpose of the Navajo Nation Veterans Advisory Council is:
To provide recommendations to the Navajo Nation President, Vice President and Navajo Nation Veterans Administration (NNVA) Executive Director on policies and procedures of the NNVA, and to advocate on behalf of all Navajo Nation veterans (both male and female), qualified surviving spouses, and Gold Star Mothers with quality, transparent and consistent service.
The objectives of the Veterans Advisory Council are:
- A. Have a clear understanding and working knowledge of the purpose and mission of the NNVAC.
- B. Have a clear understanding and working knowledge of the purpose and mission of the NNVA.
- C. To promote public awareness and garner support for the veteran community and their families while identifying their issues within the Navajo Nation.
- D. Meet quarterly to develop policy recommendations and advice to the President, Vice President, and Executive Director regarding veterans’ issues.
- E. Address needs of Navajo Nation veterans with other Navajo commissions, boards, agencies, and organizations as appropriate.
- F. Participate in the legislative process at local, state, or national levels.
- G. Through the NNVA, maintain a Resource Guide to include community and social services points of contact available to the veterans’ community and their families.
- H. Conduct a Navajo Nation-wide communications effort to keep veterans and their families informed of benefits and services.
- I. To strengthen the common veteran’s cause and ensure that the community is aware of the veteran’s rights and needs.
- J. To preserve the honor due to all veterans.
- K. To help veterans and their families rapidly transition to civilian life in Navajo Nation.
- L. To work cooperatively with the Health, Education, and Human Services Committee, the Navajo Nation Council, and the Office of the President and Vice President, and the NNVA on policies, programs, and concerns relating to veterans’ interest, and to maintain a working relationship with all other agencies serving veterans within Navajo Nation.
- M. To recognize and honor citizens for distinguished service in addressing veterans needs and concerns.
ARTICLE V – MEMBERSHIP
Membership of the Council: The Navajo Nation Veterans Advisory Council shall consist of eleven (11) members: one (1) female and one (1) male selected by each Agency, as the designated voting members with the NNVA Executive Director acting as a non-voting member. Members being appointed to the NNVAC from their respective agencies shall have a supporting resolution from that agency indicating that they are the new representatives from that agency.
ARTICLE VI – OFFICERS
Officers: The Officers of the Navajo Nation Veterans Advisory Council shall consist of a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson, and a Recording Secretary.
Selection of Officers: The Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Secretary shall be elected at the first meeting of the Veterans Advisory Council within the new fiscal year, from among the membership, and shall hold office for one year or until their successors are elected. In the case of the absence or incapacity of both the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, the other members may elect an Acting Chairperson to serve during the period of absence or incapacity of the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson.
ARTICLE VII – DUTIES OF OFFICERS
Duties of Officers Responsibilities
A. Chairperson. The Chairperson shall:
- Preside at all meetings;
- Enforce the observance of the By-Laws;
- Strive for achievement of the purpose and objective of the Council;
- Represent the Veterans Advisory Council at accepted functions;
- He/she shall appoint standing committee Chairpersons and other committee Chairpersons as deemed necessary. If the Chairperson is unable to perform his/her regular duties he/she shall delegate the responsibilities of that office to the Vice-Chairperson;
- Seek input from the Executive Director regarding proposed agenda items for upcoming Navajo Nation Veterans Advisory Council meetings.
B. Vice-Chairperson. The Vice-Chairperson shall:
- Perform the duties of the Chairperson in the absence or incapacity of the Chairperson and in cases of resignation;
- Perform such duties as are imposed on the Chairperson until the Council shall appoint a new Chairperson.
C. Secretary. The Secretary shall:
- Keep the record of the Council;
- Act as Secretary of the meetings of the Council and record all votes;
- Keep a record of the proceedings of the Council in a journal of proceedings to be kept for such purpose;
- Perform all duties incident to his/her office.
D. Members. All members of the Navajo Nation Veterans Advisory Council shall:
- Serve to the best of their ability;
- Zealously represent with honor and respect, all Navajo Nation veterans, past, present, and future;
- Act ethically and morally in representing equal handedly all Navajo Nation Veterans;
- Maintain and observe the NNVAC Plan of Operation;
- Provide effective communications to the President and Vice-President of the Navajo Nation and the Executive Director of the Navajo Nation Veterans Administration.
ARTICLE VIII – REMOVAL/RESIGNATION
All members serve at the pleasure of the Office of the President and Vice President. The Navajo Nation President may remove a Council Member on his/her own motion or upon the recommendation of the NNVAC. The President of the Navajo Nation may remove a member when it is determined that it is in the best interest of the NNVAC to do so.
Removal: Individual members shall be removed by the President of the Navajo Nation, shall be recommended for removal by the NNVAC to the President, or removed by the Agency whom the member represents. The Chairperson of the Council shall report any recommendations or removals to the Office of the President and Vice-President for its consideration.
Resignation. Any Officer may resign at any time by giving written notice to the Chairperson of the Council, and such resignation shall be effective on the date specified in the notice. In the event the Chairperson resigns, he/she will give a written notice to the Vice-Chairperson and the Office of the President and Vice-President. This written notice may be in any written form that can be documented: typed/hand written letter, text, email.
Ex-officio: Ex-officio members have no voting privileges but are entitled to regular participation and such powers and rights may be extended to include Department of Justice personnel, and Executive Staff of the Office of the President and Vice-President
Vacancies: Should the position of Chairperson and/or Vice-Chairperson become vacant, the Council shall elect a successor from its membership at the next regular meeting, and such election shall be for the unexpired term of said office. When the office of Secretary becomes vacant, the Council shall appoint a successor, as aforesaid.
ARTICLE IX – VOTING
Each Council member shall have one vote, in attendance at any given meeting, on all matters that shall come before the Council. The Chairperson, as a regular member of the Council, may vote on any issue that comes before the Council. As a non-voting member, the Executive Director may vote in the event of a tie.
ARTICLE X – STAFF SUPPORT
The Staff Liaison of the Veterans Advisory Council shall be the Executive Director of the NNVA, then serving.
The NNVA shall provide the staff necessary to perform the administrative duties of the Council. Duties include:
- Maintaining a permanent file of the minutes of the Council, and
- Receipt, preparation and transmittal of any correspondence of the Council as well as maintenance of a permanent file of such correspondence, and
- Processing administrative paperwork for the processing and payment of meeting stipends and travel related expenses, and
- Other duties as may be requested by the Council, and subsequently to approval by the Executive Director.
ARTICLE XI – MEETINGS OF THE COUNCIL
Conduct of Meeting. All meetings of the Council shall be conducted in accordance with accepted Revised Robert’s Rules of Order.
Regular Meeting. Quarterly meetings of the Council shall be held at such times and places as determined by the Council.
Special Meeting. Special meetings of the Council may be called at the request of the Chairperson, or upon the written request of any Council member, at any time. The Council Secretary shall give notice by e-mail and phone to all Council members, of such special meeting to be held, no more than twenty-four (24) hours after receipt of the request, setting the time and place of the meeting and giving a statement of the purpose for the meeting.
Executive Session. The Council may go into executive session during a part of any meeting by majority vote. Any Council may request to go into executive session only when subjects of a very sensitive nature may arise.
Meeting and Meeting Process.
A. Notice of the Agenda. The agenda for each regular meeting shall be proposed by the Chairperson of the Council and the NNVA Executive Director.
B. Notice and proposed agenda for each meeting of the Council shall be e-mailed to each member at least ten (10) days prior to the date of the meeting. Agendas shall be posted on the NNVA website, available for public review.
C. Agenda items will include: roll call, review and approval of the agenda, reading and approval of previous meeting minutes, reports from: Officers, Agency Representatives, Executive Director of Veterans Administration.
D. Acting and Voting. All actions of the Council shall be recorded, whether determined by formal resolution or majority vote on a motion and second in a duly called meeting of the Council.
E. Minutes. A thorough record shall be kept of all actions of the Council, in minutes subject to approval by majority vote of the Council at its next regular meeting. Such minutes shall record the date, time and place of the meeting, and adjournment; the name of attendances of the NNVAC and other participants; the agenda adopted; and the moving and seconding of any actions, the exact content of the action and the tally of votes taken or the declaration of consensus by the Chairperson of the meeting. Minutes must reflect the names of individuals moving and seconding, but not voting on an action, and shall not reflect individual contribution to the discussion of an action’s information involving the person interest of individuals, or propriety information of the Veterans Advisory Council.
F. The Council Secretary shall ensure that the minutes are distributed to the Council members within three (3) working days. Minutes of all meetings, once approved by the Council, shall be kept in chronological order and available as public record.
G. Quorum. A majority of the members of the Council shall constitute a quorum to conduct business. A quorum, once established at a meeting, shall be deemed to continue until adjournment or loss of a quorum.
H. Compensation. The Council members shall receive meeting stipend and travel expense reimbursement pursuant Navajo Nation laws, policies, and procedures and budget.
I. Order of Business. At the regular or special meetings of the Council the following shall be the order of business:
- Roll / Call the meeting to order
- Pledge of Allegiance
- Moment of silence
- Review and approval of the meeting agenda
- Review and approval of previous meeting minutes
- Unfinished business
- New Business / Action item(s)
Public Attendance/Participation. All meetings of the Council shall be open to the public. Members of the public will be recognized as appropriate.
- Any individual wishing to make formal presentation at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Council shall notify the Chairperson or the Veterans Administration Executive Director in writing at least seven (7) working days prior to the time set for the meeting. Such notification shall contain the person’s name, address, organization represented, if any, and topic to be presented. Any individual shall be permitted to speak at any meeting for a period of five (5) minutes.
ARTICLE XII – CONDUCT OF MEMBERS
Members of the Navajo Nation Veterans Advisory Council are expected to uphold the high standards commensurate with veterans of the United States Armed Forces and the Navajo Nation Government. The following items are grounds for dismissal:
- Failure to attend three consecutive meetings;
- Misconduct defined as predatory behavior, abusive behavior, disrespectful actions, threats both verbally and written (by hand or electronically) in public or private or physical threats, general conduct unbecoming that of a veteran of the United States Armed Forces, theft, vandalism and other criminal acts or activities, discriminatory behavior, and sexual harassment;
- Any actions not listed that bring discredit upon the NNVAC.
ARTICLE XIII – REPORTS
The Council shall submit a monthly report to the NNVA Executive Director for forwarding to the Health, Education, and Human Services Committee and Executive Branch concerning its activities and recommendations.
ARTICLE XIV – AMENDMENTS
These By-Laws may be amended, repealed, or suspended at any meeting of the Council, in whole or in part, by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the voting members of the Council, not simply the voting members present.
ARTICLE XV – POLICY
The Veterans Advisory Council shall not adopt policies in conflict with the Navajo Nation Government laws and Navajo Nation Veterans Act.
Veterans Advisory Council shall not be used as an influence, directly or indirectly, in any political election or activity for personal gain. The Veterans Advisory Council shall not participate in or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office, including the publishing or distributing of statements. Nothing in this Section shall prohibit individual members of the Council from participating in political activities including, but not limited to, seeking or holding public office.
No member of the Veterans Advisory Council shall, without proper delegated authority, obligate or incur any liabilities in the name of the Navajo Nation Veterans Advisory Council.
The Veterans Advisory Council, as an entity, shall not attempt to influence legislation unless it pertains to veterans’ concerns.
ARTICLE XVI – APPROVAL
The foregoing By-Laws of the Veterans Advisory Council shall be true original publication of this organization and adopted at the meeting by a majority of the members on this date:
Date Adopted: August 5, 2020