State of Navajo Nation Address Emphasized Building Communities

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye, right, and Vice President Jonathan Nez deliver the State of the Navajo Nation Address.

Published January 23, 2018

WINDOW ROCK – Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez on Monday delivered the State of the Navajo Nation Address during the opening day of the Navajo Nation Council’s Winter 2018 Session.

“The winter months are a time to pass along cultural stories from our elders to our youth,” President Begaye said. “In looking forward, the Navajo Nation needs to assess its resources and analyze strategies to protect our rights while building our communities.”

In the address before Council, President Begaye spoke about the current federal budget gridlock and how it affects critical programs on the Nation. He pledged to continue advocating for federal dollars, especially for programs like Head Start and Special Diabetes for Indians. Additionally, President Begaye highlighted his recent approval of $2.45 million from the Navajo in stipends for officials serving on district grazing committees and farm boards, as well as the Eastern Navajo Land Board.

Vice President Nez used the address to kick off the 150th anniversary of the Treaty of 1868. In June, the treaty will be on display at the Navajo Nation Museum, and Vice President Nez invited everyone to view it.

“This is not a year of celebration, but a time of solemn recognition, a commemoration of the hardships our ancestors endured and the resiliency they brought back to our homeland,” he said. “Our goal in commemorating the 150th anniversary is to remind our people that we have the strength and determination to never give up. We need to look at our hardships as stepping stones for a better tomorrow.”

The Council approved the address with a 11-9 vote. It did not allow time for questions.

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