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Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Gov. Michele Lujan Grisham, and NTU President Dr. Elmer J. Guy take a photo as Governor Lujan Grisham is presented with a NTU Pendleton blanket.

CROWNPOINT, N.M. — On December 23, 2019, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham visited Navajo Technical University during a tour of select Eastern Navajo Agency communities to learn more about the concerns of the Navajo Nation and northwest New Mexico.

NTU President Dr. Elmer J. Guy welcomed the Governor to NTU’s main campus where she heard plans from Navajo Nation officials and discussed her plans to support proposals beneficial to American Indian communities throughout the state. Governor Grisham also discussed backing educational initiatives that favor higher education in the state, including tribal college and universities (TCUs).

“I was very happy that Governor Lujan Grisham came out to our campus. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a Governor in our homelands. It was great to hear how she is going to support the Navajo Nation and our university,” President Dr. Elmer J. Guy said. “One of the things we would like to see her support is the development of our culture curriculum center that will enable us to create instructional materials in the Navajo and Zuni languages.”

The university is also in the beginning stages of increasing the capacity of high speed Internet to the region in a collaborative effort with Facebook and other business partners. Dr. Guy explained how NTU’s effort to run fiber optic lines from Thoreau to Crownpoint, NM  would enable more online courses and improve efforts involving NTU’s advanced manufacturing and engineering labs.

“I’m very grateful to the Navajo Nation, the President, the Navajo Nation Council, and to everyone who has invited me,” Lujan said in her remarks to those who had gathered to greet her at the NTU Hospitality Center. “I hope this is the beginning of many days where we think about the ways we can improve the quality of life for everyone here at Navajo. In doing that we are going to figure out strategies for rural communities all across the state.”

Governor Grisham was invited to the Eastern Agency of the Navajo Nation by President Jonathan Nez.  He wanted her to explore areas of business, education, and community development that can have a long-term impact for the Navajo people. As part of her visit the governor visited NTU’s Innovation Center at Church Rock, NM to discuss economic development before continuing on to NTU’s Crownpoint campus to discuss education.

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Levi Rickert
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Levi Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. He can be reached at [email protected]