MICHAELS, Ariz. — A national discount chain store on the Navajo Nation has filed an application to sell alcoholic beverages, despite opposition from the Tribe’s leadership.
Family Dollar in St. Michael’s, Ariz. has applied for the license. The local governing body, Apache County supervisors, would be able to recommend to the Arizona Liquor Board to either grant or deny the liquor license.
On Tuesday, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez issued a letter to the Arizona State Liquor Board and the Apache County Board of Supervisors that strongly opposed Family Dollar’s notice of application to sell alcohol.
“This application poses a direct threat to the health and safety of the residents of St. Michael’s Chapter and the entire Navajo Nation,” Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer wrote. “Our Navajo People have a long, ongoing battle with alcohol and the devastation that alcoholism causes to our families and communities. Consumption of alcohol has contributed to increased incidence of domestic violence and other criminal activity, motor vehicle fatalities, and deaths caused by exposure to extreme weather conditions. We cannot stand by and allow this liquor license application to go unchallenged.”
Nez and Lizer said they would encourage Navajo citizens to boycott of Family Dollar stores if Family Dollar continues to pursue liquor licenses in the Navajo nation communities.
“Our Navajo people are the primary customers that contribute to all of the revenue of these businesses. If Family Dollar continues to pursue liquor licenses in our communities, we strongly encourage our Navajo people to boycott these stores — they are taking advantage of our consumers. We demand that Family Dollar withdraw their applications for liquor licenses,” President Nez said.