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Sihasin funds open door for Crownpoint youth center

CROWNPOINT

Ever since Kristen Pablo was a youth worker she had always hoped and prayed for a new youth center in Crownpoint.

Now as an adult she works at the youth center as a project specialist overlooking summer and after-school program planning and implementation.

“I’ve been with the program for 14 years and even when I was a youth worker this has been a dream,” said Pablo.

On June 15, President Jonathan Nez, Vice President Myron Lizer and Council delegates Mark Freeland, Edmund Yazzie and Pernell Halona gathered for the signing of resolution allocating $2.5 million of Sihasin funds toward a new building.

The funds will pay for design, planning and construction. Navajo Housing Authority has also awarded a grant to the Office of Diné Youth for $7.4 million contingent upon these funds.

Before Freeland became a Council delegate, serving Crowpoint, Becenti, Lake Valley, Nahodishgish, Standing Rock, Whiterock, Huerfano, Nageezi chapters, he was a staffer for former President Russell Begaye and he made this project a priority.

“We became real close with the 23rd Council but we lost quorum, it deflated our process,” said Freeland. “So this was one of my main goals to push this legislation.”

Freeland said the new youth center is a “big deal,” because it serves the entire 31 chapters of Eastern Agency.


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About The Author

Arlyssa Becenti

Arlyssa Becenti reports on Navajo Nation Council, Business, Fort Defiance Agency, New Mexico State politics and Art/fashion. Her clans are Nát'oh dine'é Táchii'nii, Bit'ahnii, Kin łichii'nii, Kiyaa'áanii. She’s originally from Fort Defiance and has a degree in English Literature from Arizona State University. Before working for the Navajo Times she was a reporter for the Gallup Independent. She can be reached at abecenti@navajotimes.com.