/ Modified jan 7, 2021 5:20 p.m.

Electors, tribal leaders react to seizure of Capitol building

The heads of the Tohono O'odham and Navajo Nation condemned the violence in Washington D.C.

Norris electoral vote Tohono O'odham Chairman Ned Norris Jr. casts his electoral vote in Arizona for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris December 14, 2020.
Courtesy of the Tohono O'odham Nation

Since supporters of President Donald Trump overtook and looted the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, tribal leaders who cast some of Arizona's electoral votes have spoken out.

Tohono O'odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris Junior and Vice Chairwoman Wavalene Saunders called the violence at the Capitol disgraceful.

"This assault was stoked by a president who has demonstrated his utter contempt for his responsibilities as an elected leader," according to a press release from the Tohono O'odham leaders. "[Trump's] incitement of yesterday’s riots serves as a final stain on his legacy of failed leadership."

They emphasized the country's diversity and the role Indigenous peoples played in developing freedoms of speech and separation of powers.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer also asked citizens of their nation not to perpetuate the divisive behavior ripping across the country.

"Our country and the Navajo Nation are facing unprecedented challenges and uncertainties, but we are strong, and we are resilient — our grandparents, parents, and many others have proven this time and time again throughout our history," wrote Nez and Lizer in their press release.

The Navajo leaders called on all Americans to safeguard democracy in the midst of the country's health crisis.

Norris, Nez and Gila River Indian Community Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis were the three tribal heads who cast some of Arizona's electoral votes for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in December.

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