Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez at ribbon cutting ceremony.
Published April 26, 2019
FT. DEFIANCE, Ariz.– Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez congratulated the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority as the Navajo Nation achieved another milestone with the completion of the NTUA Headquarters Complex located north of the Tséhootsooí Medical Center in Ft. Defiance, Ariz. Hundreds of community members, tribal and state leadership and NTUA staff gathered on Friday, to celebrate the grand opening of the new facility.
The 80,000 square-feet complex features administrative offices, a customer call center, cafeteria and kitchen, fitness center, and a conference center.
“I am truly thankful to the staff, board members, and administration at NTUA for overcoming many challenges over the past 20 years to make this dream a reality,” said President Nez. “During the tour, many of the employees expressed their excitement for the new state-of-the-art facility. The staff deserves a new modern facility to help the citizens of the Navajo Nation.”
Since 1959, NTUA has grown into the largest multi-enterprise owned and operated by an American Indian tribe. As a non-profit enterprise, NTUA provides electric, water, wastewater, natural gas, solar energy, and communication services.
According to NTUA General Manager Walter H. Haase, the complex brought many economic benefits to the Navajo Nation. In two years, the construction generated over one million in taxes to the Nation. Additionally, more than 130 workers worked on the project, in which over 96-percent was Navajo workforce. The project generated $22.5 million in economic activity in two years.
“The enterprise has grown tremendously over the past 50 years. My father, John H. Nez, has worked for NTUA for over 25 years and I have seen the growth and success of the enterprise. For many years, the staff and leadership practiced the Navajo teaching and discipline of T’áá hwó’ ajít’éego, self-reliance, to make many opportunities a reality. This complex will only contribute to their moral, motivation, and productivity,” said President Nez.
During the event, Haase also reviewed the successful initiatives of the enterprise, including Kayenta Solar Facility I and II and the “Light Up Navajo” project. The “Light Up Navajo” initiative is a pilot effort, in partnership with the American Public Power Association, to begin electrifying approximately 15,000 Navajo households that still do not have power. This spring, volunteer crews from over 20 public power utilities across the country will be building electric lines.
“Many great opportunities are forthcoming, and the Nez-Lizer Administration encourages everyone to participate and volunteer to move the Navajo Nation forward. Great things will begin to happen if we work together,” said Vice President Lizer.
Also, in attendance was Council Delegate Wilson Stewart and Nelson S. Begaye, NTUA Management Board Chairman Sidney Bob Dietz II, NTUA legal advisor Walter Wolf, and many others.
The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority Headquarters Complex will be open immediately to serve the public.