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Family Dollar doesn’t mix with liquor

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Navajo Nation leaders oppose license application

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. —  Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer issued a letter to the Arizona State Liquor Board and the Apache County Board of Supervisors June 23, in which they expressed strong opposition to the Family Dollar store’s notice of application to sell alcohol in their store located  on fee land in the community of St. Michaels, Ariz.

Fee land is reservation land no longer in trust or subject to restriction. It can refer to reservation land owned by non-Natives.

In the letter, Nez and Lizer mentioned the difficulties Navajo People have had with alcohol and said, “This application poses a direct threat to the health and safety of the residents of St. Michael’s Chapter and the entire Navajo Nation …We cannot stand by and allow this liquor license application to go unchallenged.”

The Apache County Board of Supervisors has the authority to recommend the approval or denial of the liquor license application to the Arizona State Liquor Board. The Board of Supervisors has scheduled a hearing July 28 beginning at 8:30 am at the Apache County Clerk’s Office in St. Johns, Ariz.

“It is our obligation as Navajo leaders to protect our entire nation, and particularly the most vulnerable of our people. We will continue to fight any liquor license application on or near the Navajo Nation. We ask that Apache County and the State of Arizona respect the Nation’s sovereign authority and recognize that Family Dollar’s proposed retail sales of packaged liquor would violate Navajo Nation laws and regulations. On behalf of the Nation and our Navajo People, we request that the Apache County Board of Supervisors recommend denial of Family Dollar’s application and that the Arizona State Liquor Board deny the application,” they added.

In April, Nez and Lizer also wrote to the Coconino County Board of Supervisors requesting support to oppose another application for a liquor license by the Family Dollar store located in Tuba City, Ariz.

“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,” Nez said.

People living within a one-mile radius of the St. Michaels store who wish to add their voices to those of Nez and Lizer can visit https://azliquor.gov/assets/documents/board/FY2019/ProtestInstructions.pdf