Meeting will address Ashlynne Mike fundraisers

The Daily Times staff
San Juan Chapter President Rick Nez talks during an interview on Monday at the chapter house in Lower Fruitland.

FARMINGTON — The San Juan Chapter will have a special meeting Tuesday evening to consider a pair of resolutions that call for protecting the use of Ashlynne Mike's name.

One of the resolutions would recommend ceasing fundraising activities, such as online accounts, that do not have the consent of Gary Mike, who is Ashlynne's father.

Ashlynne and her younger brother were kidnapped on May 2 in Lower Fruitland, where the Mike family lives, according to police. Ashlynne's body was found on May 3 near the Shiprock pinnacle. Tom Begaye Jr. has been charged with kidnapping and murder in connection with Ashlynne's death.

Another resolution would recommend Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez cease holding any traditional Navajo or church ceremonies without the knowledge or consent of Gary Mike.

The Office of the President and Vice President is not planning a ceremony in the near future, the president said in a statement released late Monday evening.

But the president stressed that people across the Navajo Nation have been affected by Ashlynne’s death, and he encouraged them to pray together.

"Navajo Nation employees have been impacted. … We are encouraging our employees to come together and pray together and talk to each other," he said in the statement. "We are also encouraging our employees to seek traditional help if need be."

San Juan Chapter President Rick Nez said chapter officials are concerned with how people are using Ashlynne's name, and they support the family's efforts to question such activities.

"(Gary Mike) wants it to get out because people are taking advantage of the situation. They need to be respectful," Nez said.

Nez said Tuesday's meeting will be open to the public, but only the chapter's registered members can vote on the resolutions.

He said there are also plans to send copies of the resolutions to the president’s office in Window Rock, Ariz., and to other chapters in an effort to encourage those officials to also issue supporting resolutions.

The special meeting will take place at 5 p.m. at the San Juan Chapter house.