Navajo Nation Mourns Passing of Council Delegate Steven Begay

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye stands next to Honorable Delegate Steven Begay (fourth from left) during the opening exhibition of the Navajo Treaty of 1868 at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 20.

Published October 6, 2018

WINDOW ROCK — Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez said the Navajo Nation lost a great leader in the passing of Honorable Delegate Steven Begay (Naschitti, Coyote Canyon, Mexican Springs, Tohatchi, Bahastl’a’a’) on Oct. 4.

On behalf of the great Navajo Nation, President Begaye and Vice President Nez send their deepest condolences to the family of Delegate Begay.

Originally from Nashchitti, Begay, 43, is Tł’ááshchí’í born for Áshįįhí. His maternal grandfathers are Tódích’íi’nii and his paternal grandfathers are Dólii Dine’é Táchii’nii.

Delegate Begay was a strong advocate who provided traditional guidance and perspective in his decision-making.

“Yesterday, we lost a great leader. Delegate Begay sponsored many important bills that improved the lives of our people,” President Begaye stated on Friday. “We give our condolences to his children, his family and the community that he served. We also send our condolences to the 23rd Navajo Nation Council.”

Speaker for the 23rdNavajo Nation Council LoRenzo Bates (Nenahnezad, Newcomb, San Juan, T’iis Tsoh Sikaad, Tse’Daa’Kaan, Upper Fruitland), expressed his heartfelt condolences to the family of Honorable Steven Begay, and stated he was very sad to learn of the passing of his colleague.

“On behalf of Council, I want to express our sincerest condolences to the family of Honorable Begay, and we send our prayers to them with great love and support during their time of need. Additionally, Council members are mourning the loss of our dearest friend and colleague, and we are still processing how we will move forward during this difficult time. We ask that the public please respect the privacy of the Begay family,” stated Speaker Bates.

Delegate Begay co-sponsored the 2017 legislation to purchase the Wolf Springs Ranch in Westcliffe, Colo. The proximity of the Wolf Springs Ranch to Tsisnaasjiní, one of the Navajo’s sacred mountains, was important to Delegate Begay.

“For the Navajo Nation to gain a foothold near our aboriginal homelands located in Colorado was a great victory,” President Begaye said. “Delegate Begay’s legacy lies within the work he provided to the Nation. He will be remembered for years to come because of it.”

Vice President Nez joins the Navajo Nation in mourning the loss of the young, vibrant lawmaker.

“We join the Navajo Nation in prayer for the family of Navajo Nation Council Delegate Steven Begay. We offer our heartfelt condolences to his family during this time,” Vice President Nez said. “Please be considerate of his family during this time of grief and respect their right to privacy. Let us pray to God in unity for strength and courage for his family during this somber time.”

President Begaye is calling on the Navajo Nation to hold the family, friends and colleagues of Honorable Delegate Steven Begay in prayer during this time of mourning and grief.

“We will continue to remember Delegate Begay for all the important work he’s done on behalf of the Navajo people and the Navajo Nation,” President Begaye said. “The Nation mourns his passing.”

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