The term of office for Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez is half way finished and in their state of the Navajo Nation address they highlighted issues the nation is facing.
“We have positioned our nation to be prosperous in every aspect while securing that our voice is heard in Washington, D.C,” said Begaye. “The United States and the federal government are watching and listening to us.”
The closing of Navajo Generation Station has been the major concern for the tribe especially since 3,000 jobs will be affected as well as Navajo Nation losing $30 to $40 million.
“Should NGS close, we are asking the Department of Interior for guaranteed access to transmission lines for development purposes,” stated Nez. “We are exploring options to develop solar, wind and other renewable energy sources of which we will need access to the transmission lines on our land.”
Regarding economic development, they stated that Navajo Agricultural Products Industry would increase the number of employees along with farming acreage, adding 1,000 seasonal employees.
This is possible because NAPI is focusing on an Organic Production Plan in Block 9. It will focus on an organic rollout that will target large retail chains, specialty markets, private labels and food service companies, brokers and distributors.
It was also noted that Begaye had signed off on the $20 million to the Sihasin Fund Navajo Community Development Financial Institution Economic Development Expenditure Plan. The Navajo CDFI is to build tribal development through products and services, not limited to loans, loan guarantees and other financial services.