Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez shared news of key cabinet appointments and a special graduation message to Navajo students across the country. (Photo by Rick Abasta)
WINDOW ROCK, ARIZONA — It is the “Awakening of a New Dawn.”
That statement is more than a campaign slogan. It is a change in consciousness for the Navajo people, as the Begaye-Nez Administration begins their term of service.
Earlier this afternoon, President Russell Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez visited the studios of KTNN AM 660 to announce cabinet appointments and the agreement signed during the Presidential Inauguration on May 12.
“Thank you for your prayers and support. We are very appreciative,” said President Begaye.
Vice President Nez introduced himself and said, “Thank you to everyone who joined and watched our inauguration. I want to congratulate the new Navajo Board of Elections Supervisors.”
In direct contrast to the previous administration, there will be no separation of duties and responsibilities between the president and vice president. Instead, President Begaye and Vice President Nez will work together to make decisions in the best interest of the Navajo people.
Taking turns to speak and share their message during the KTNN broadcast, the new leaders of the Navajo Nation displayed their teamwork approach.
President Begaye said key cabinet appointments for the administration include Roland Becenti as the executive director of Navajo Division of Transportation, Jackson Brossy as executive director of the Navajo Nation Washington Office, and Bidtah Becker as the executive director of Division of Natural Resources.
Vice President Nez announced the appointment of Terrelene Massey as executive director of the Division of Social Services, Ethel Branch as Attorney General and Wenona Benally as executive director for Navajo-Hopi Land Commission.
The administration will work on many different projects and will take a look at the agreement that was presented by the previous administration during the inauguration.
The agreement signed during the inauguration was done in the spirit of cooperation and transitioning to the “Awakening of a New Dawn” for the Navajo people.
President Begaye said, “We will review these projects and see if they are worthwhile initiatives to pursue. It’s important to understand they were the priorities of the previous administration.
“Our administration is advancing good, worthwhile projects,” President Begaye said.
In response to the Grand Canyon Escalade Project, President Begaye said, “We already spoke about our position on the Grand Canyon Escalade. We don’t support it.”
The media reported erroneous accounts that we supported the Escalade. We do not, he said.
Vice President Nez said the administration plans to continue broadcasting weekly to report on news from the Executive Branch.
“We visited students from Navajo Head Start. They speak Navajo very well and it was impressive. We appreciate the invitations to speak at your schools,” Vice President Nez said. “Congratulations to our promotees and graduates of 2015.
“Reach for the stars. Thank you to the parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts for encouraging our kids,” he said.
As the cabinet appointments indicate, this administration is bringing home our skilled and educated Navajos, the message they spoke of throughout their campaign.
“We want to open the door back up to you to build our Navajo Nation. God bless,” Vice President Nez said.
President Begaye said, “It’s the ‘Awakening of a New Dawn.’ We’ll move our Nation forward with K’e and Hozho’. We need your prayers. Thank you and God bless you all.”