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Indigenous leaders advocate for issues at tribal legislative day

The Arizona State Capitol Building
AP, file
The Arizona State Capitol Building

Last week the Arizona Legislature held its annual Indian Nations and Tribes Legislative Day.

It’s the 29th year for the event and gives Indigenous leaders in the state a chance to meet with lawmakers and officials.

Navajo Nation Speaker Crystalyne Curley and tribal legislators met with Gov. Katie Hobbs, Attorney General Kris Mayes and others.

They told state officials that Arizona’s expanded school voucher program, which is projected to cost the state more than $800 million next year, doesn’t benefit students on the reservation because of the low numbers of private and charter schools there.

Tribal leaders said public education on the Navajo Nation is in need of investment.

They also met with Gov. Hobbs about the fraudulent sober living homes in the Phoenix area that have impacted thousands of Native Americans.

Officials say the alleged schemes have also scammed Arizona's Medicaid program out of hundreds of millions of dollars.

So far, more than 70 people and groups have been indicted by Attorney General Kris Mayes' office for running the homes that often did not provide substance abuse and mental health care promised to clients and held some people against their will.