- By Levi Rickert
FORT DEFIANCE, Ariz. — Hundreds of Navajo citizens, elected officials, and non-Native dignitaries gathered on Tuesday to witness history as the youngest person ever to lead the Navajo Nation, Buu Nygren, took the oath of office. There was other history made during the day's events, as well.
Others firsts included the swearing in of Richelle Montoya, the vice woman to become the Navajo Nation vice president.
In her address to the audience, Montoya acknowledged the historic significance that she is the first woman ever to become vice president of the Navajo Nation, but also noted, "Before anything else, I am a mother, a daughter and a granddaughter."
Another first was the historic swearing in of nine females to the 25th Navajo Nation Council.
After the inauguration ceremony, which lasted four hours, festivities continued at the Navajo Naiton fairgrounds in Window Rock, Ariz.
At about 2:35 p.m. an Air Force plane from Kirklan Airforce Base in Albuquerque, N.M. flew over the crowd to celebrate the new leaders of the Navajo Nation.
Photo Gallery Credit: Native News Online Editor & Publisher Levi Rickert
- Arlando Teller, deputy assistant secretary for Tribal Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation Arlando Teller greets former Navajo Nation Chairman Peter McDonald. Arlando Teller, deputy assistant secretary for Tribal Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation Arlando Teller greets former Navajo Nation Chairman Peter McDonald.
- Campaign sign in Window Rock, Ariz. Campaign sign in Window Rock, Ariz.
- Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes talking to Navajo citizen. Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes talking to Navajo citizen.
- Navajo Nation Vice President Richelle Montoya. Navajo Nation Vice President Richelle Montoya.
- Former Navajo Nation Chairman Peter McDonald. Former Navajo Nation Chairman Peter McDonald.
- Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren greeting his supporters. Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren greeting his supporters.
- Hundreds gathered for the inauguration ceremony. Hundreds gathered for the inauguration ceremony.
- President Jonathan Nez and First Lady Phefelia Nez . President Jonathan Nez and First Lady Phefelia Nez .
- President Nygren delivering his inaugural address. President Nygren delivering his inaugural address.
- President Nygren greeting Navajo Council delegates. President Nygren greeting Navajo Council delegates.
- President Nygren arrives wearing traditional hat. President Nygren arrives wearing traditional hat.
More Stories Like This7-Year-Old Boy Dies from Dog Attack on Fort Hall Reservation
Navajo Nation Elects Its First Female Speaker
WATCH: Indigenous Chef Crystal Wahpepah on Native Bidaske
Indigenous Food Chef Crystal Wahpepah on This Week's Native Bidaské
WATCH: New Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren on Native Bidaské
Do you appreciate a Native perspective on the news?
For the past decade-plus, we’ve covered the important Indigenous stories that are often overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the toppling of colonizer statues during the racial equity protests, to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW), the attacks on tribal sovereignty at the Supreme Court and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools, we have been there to provide a Native perspective and elevate Native voices.
Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked. Please consider a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10 to help fund us throughout the year. Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news.
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.