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Area Briefs: Parrish joins AZ education team


Shaandiin Parrish

Former Miss Navajo Nation Shaandiin Parrish is the new marketing director for AZ529, Arizona’s Education Savings Plan, Arizona Treasurer Kimberly Yee announced Tuesday.

Parrish had previously worked as Yee’s public information officer in 2019 before taking on an executive role in the Navajo Nation government.

Parrish served as the two-year Miss Navajo Nation from September 2019 to September 2021.

As Miss Navajo Nation, she helped the treasurer’s office coordinate AZ529 webinars and translated its brochure into the Navajo language.

Parrish is pursuing a master’s degree in management at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

As marketing director, Parrish hopes to make the AZ529 plan an opportunity for Arizona families by creating accessible marketing materials and consumer outreach strategies.

Yee said, “Shaandiin has a proven track record of effectively messaging the importance of saving for future education. Our goal is to spread the word about the AZ529 Plan and make it as accessible as possible to everyone in the state.”

Parrish said, “I am thrilled to return to statewide service and even more excited to be a part of the AZ529 Plan team. I cannot wait to start and reach every corner of the Grand Canyon State.”

In the last 22 years, AZ529 has helped families accumulate more than $2 billion for educational expenses.


Shiprock farmers sell produce in Pinon

On Sept. 17, five truckloads of family farm produce from Shiprock was delivered and sold at Pinon, Arizona, through a partnership between the Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund and a farmers’ cooperative.

Duane “Chili” Yazzie, a member of the cooperative, helped organize the farmers market that featured melons, squash, corn, steamed corn, dried steamed corn, dried sweet corn, and ground blue corn flour.

This was the cooperative’s second visit to Piñon and, according to Yazzie, the effort is based on sharing and less about commerce.

Yazzie said, “We’ve been fortunate to collaborate with the Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund who sponsored our mileage today. With this collaboration, we’ve been able to keep our costs down and provide our produce at very fair prices.”

Ethel Branch, interim director of the Navajo and Hopi Families relief fund, said, “A partnership like this helps strengthen food security within our communities by making fresh, affordable organic produce available to our people.

“This also strengthens resilience in the practice of traditional farming,” she said, “which is critical in addressing food sovereignty within our Nation.”

Many local buyers purchased nearly all of the cooperative’s fresh produce.

Naadąą’ Ch’iyáán demo, discussion workshop

PIÑON, Ariz. — A Naadąą’ Ch’iyáán Workshop will be held Saturday, Sept. 25, at 10 a.m., at the Tsé Adahnídiilwo’í community fields (three miles east of Piñon, west of Burnt Corn Road).

Presenters will be Louise Benally of Big Mountain, Sally Tsosie of Big Mountain, and Irene Yazzie of Piñon.

Demonstrations will include steamed corn, kneel down bread, blue corn mush marble and Navajo pancake, followed by dinner.

The workshop will be held outdoors (wear proper clothing and bring water bottle. Water will be available).

Participants must continue with COVID precautions (wearing mask and washing hands frequently/sanitizing).

Information: Roberto Nutlouis, 928-679-0714.


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