PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT PAY TRIBUTE TO REV. BILLY GRAHAM
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – President Russell Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez are saddened to hear of the loss of Rev. Billy Graham, 99, who passed away this morning (Feb. 21) in his home in Montreat, North Carolina.
“Billy Graham has been a voice of faith for many years," President Begaye said. "He has regularly reached out to Indian tribes and Indian tribes have embraced him as a religious leader. Navajo Christia...n leaders will greatly miss him, but his voice and messages will live on forever."
Graham spoke about Christianity across the country and helped make the religion more accessible. For years, his sermons were broadcast on the radio and many Navajos tuned in.
“My family and I are sad to hear of the loss of Billy Graham," Vice President Nez said. "He was a strong voice of faith among Navajo Christians and his loss is felt here in our nation. Our prayers are with his family and loved ones.”
Graham was highly influential as a Christian leader. He had meetings with every United States President in the second half of the 20th century to today offering spiritual and political advice.
At a 1975 conference held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Graham said to Native American Christian leaders, “You are a sleeping giant, the original American. You are now awakening. Just around the corner, you may become a spiritual superpower in this country that could change not only America but the world."
Vice President Nez said that he believes the Navajo Nation “has awakened” and is beginning to help take its place in helping the world with the Navajo Nation Christian Response Team serving as a prime example.
“For years, outside missionaries came to tribal lands to teach the Gospel,” Vice President Nez said. “Now we are the missionaries preaching the Good News to others."
Today, as a part of the Nation-to-Nation Exhibition, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) unveiled the original Treaty of 1868, which released the Navajo people from federal captivity, allowing them to return to their traditional homeland. During the unveiling ceremony, President Russell Begaye talked about the treaty’s historic and contemporary significance to the Navajo people. The document formalized the tribe as a sovereign nation and solidified its relationship with the federal government.
President Russell Begaye on Trump’s infrastructure bill: “We need to beef it up and apply the funding where it’s needed—and it’s needed on tribal reservations like ours.”
President Begaye and Vice President Nez’s statements at the Treaty unveiling.
Unveiling of The Treaty of 1868 today at the National Museum of the Native American in Washington D.C.
NAVAJO, HAVASUPAI RESIST URANIUM MINING
SUPAI, Ariz. – Vice President Jonathan Nez joined Arizona State Rep. Eric Descheenie and six other runners on a run to the village of Supai on Feb. 14 to collect handwritten letters from the students of Havasupai Elementary School. The letters are addressed to U.S. President Donald Trump In response to speculation that he plans to lift a 20-year ban on uranium mining in the greater Grand Canyon region, which was established by the Obama...
“2018 is an important year for the Navajo,” President Begaye said. “It’s a time to honor our ancestors, the hardships they endured and the decisions they made that affected all of us today. We thank New Mexico lawmakers for recognizing the great Navajo Nation.”
FORT MCDOWELL INAUGURATES LEADERSHIP
On the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 13, President Russell Begaye attended the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation inauguration of their newly elected vice president, council member and secretary.
In this year’s general election, the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation elected Paul Russell as its vice president, Ruben Balderas as a council member and Verlene Enos as the Nation’s secretary.
During a meeting Monday between U.S. Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, and Navajo Nation leadership, President Russell Begaye urged the congressman to withdraw H.R. 4532, which would congressionally ratify the unlawful Trump revocation and replacement of the Bears Ears National Monument.
During two recent Navajo Veterans Agency meetings, President Russell Begaye updated veterans on his administration’s work to improve health care delivery and veteran’s assistance services and to create a National Veterans Cemetery on the Navajo Nation.
NAVAJO NATION LAUNCHES FIRST EVER YOUTH ADVISORY COUNCIL
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – The three branch chiefs came together on Feb. 11 to approve the appointments of the first ever Navajo Nation Youth Advisory Council (NNYAC). The Health, Education and Human Services Committee received and accepted a report Monday with all the NNYAC members, so the two-year period for the position has officially commenced.
“You are all leaders,” President Russell Begaye said during a reception after ...
“This expands economic development in ways that will be meaningful and immediate to the Navajo Nation,” President Russell Begaye said. “It allows us to use the Síhasin Fund, which was set aside to relieve historic hardships, for infrastructure and utility development.”
All three branch chiefs came together Friday, Feb. 9, to sign a proclamation marking the 150th anniversary of the treaty and to encourage the Navajo people to reflect on their shared past, present and future. The June 1, 1868, treaty ended the Long Walk and the suffering at Bosque Redondo, but it also opened the doors for the Navajo to return to their ancestral homeland and established the tribe as a resilient and sovereign nation.
"With this law, we are updating the Nation’s protections over our people to include criminal activity taking place on the Internet," President Begaye said.