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Pres. Nez approves funding for Shiprock hotel, restaurant, other projects

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WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez was joined by Council Delegate Otto Tso on Aug. 8 as he signed into law three resolutions appropriating funding for several communities for senior center projects, veterans centers, water and electricity projects, to construct a new hotel and restaurant, and to fund the Navajo Nation’s upcoming general election. The resolutions were passed by the 24th Navajo Nation Council during the summer session in July.

The approved funding includes the following:

$11.4 million for the Shiprock hotel and restaurant

$1.6 million for the Ganado Chapter senior and veterans center project

$1.2 million for the Tuba City senior center project

$2.2 million for the Tselani/Cottonwood Chapter senior center project

$2.1 million for the Becenti Chapter veterans center project

$7.2 million for the Gadiiahi/To’koi Chapter community building project

$2 million for the Nazlini Chapter senior center project

$2.5 million for the Westwater community for infrastructure development

$1.6 million for the 2022 Navajo Nation elections

$203,000 for the Tsaile/Wheatfields cemetery project.

“I appreciate the Navajo Nation Council’s support of these resolutions to fund community needs for elders, veterans, and families in the Westwater Subdivision in Utah who have lived without electricity and running water for far too long. Thank you to the members of Council for advocating for your communities and working together with Division Directors, chapter leaders, and others to get these projects across the finish line. With the signing of these resolutions, we will deliver much needed services to many of our Diné people,” Nez said.

In addition to funds for senior centers and veterans centers, the $2.5 million for the Westwater Subdivision will be combined with $3 million that was previously approved through the American Rescue Plan Act to deliver electricity and running water to Navajo families for the very first time. The Westwater Subdivision is a 120-acre piece of land owned by the Navajo Nation near Blanding, Utah.

“Vice President Lizer and I visited the Westwater community on several occasions and we spoke with the families that are in need of running water and electricity,” Nez said. “It’s long overdue and we are fully committed to finally connecting these homes to the electric grid and running water and we have to do it together by working with the state of Utah, City of Blanding, and utility partners.”

Nez was also joined by a group of American Indian students from Arizona State University for the signing of the resolutions. The students were visiting the capital of the Navajo Nation, as part of ASU’s Tribal Nations Tour, which is comprised of students from various tribal nations who visit schools to talk to elementary and high school students about the importance of higher education and academic careers.

“It was wonderful to be joined by the students who are giving back to their communities. It was a good experience for them to see their government in action with the signing of these resolutions. We shared our words of encouragement with them and I hope that it allowed them to learn and to become more interested in running for public office later in life,” Nez said.

Staff Reports