The Nation, Shirley said, faces a myriad of challenges.
“One man cannot do it alone.”
Nor can two, himself and the Vice President, he continued, even with the support of the Navajo Nation Council.
“We need others. We need our friends and supporters.”
These include leaders in county, state and United States government as well as members of the private sector.
“In the scheme of the world, we are all in it together.”
Shirley stated that the challenges facing the Navajo Nation face all of mankind.
“We cannot afford not to work together. I reach out to implore you [representatives from all tribes and governments] to stand with the Navajo Nation to take on these challenges. Mankind is not the enemy.”
The enemy, Shirley said, is common problems facing all people, including hunger, thirst, poverty, greed and apathy.
“These enemies know no color or creed. It is better to stand together and make war.”
Shirley promised to do his utmost best to accomplish the goals of his platform. The number one priority, he explained, was education. Further, his plan is to work with other entities to create more jobs on the reservation. This will include “making the Navajo Nation business-friendly,” Shirley said.
“I and the Vice President know this mandate is a tall order but I believe we are equal to the task. We have 1, 460 days to carry this out. There are no ifs and buts about it -- the job must be done. Nothing can stand in the way of friends and family standing together.”
Following the presidential address, Dayish rose to express his own appreciation to his family, the dignitaries and honorable guests as well as members of the Navajo Nation who took the time to be in Window Rock on the 14th of January.
“We stand on the brink of this century with the resources to advance, to become a progressive Nation. Today I’m going to challenge the people of our Nation not to hide behind the comfort of anonymity.”
He challenged all to come forward to share their ideas and energy into a period of change. He, too, recognized that all countries and nations of the world are affected by the decisions and actions of each.
Dayish expressed his and Shirley’s commitment to giving power back to the people. The Navajo Nation deserves jobs and available services. He swore to add the Nation to Arizona’s emphasis on providing the best possible public education.
“We cannot avoid our destiny,” Dayish said.
That destiny includes moving into the 21st century as a viable Nation with access to all the benefits available to other Americans. Further, Dayish expressed that the Navajo Nation must be run exclusively in the interest of the Navajo people.
“Window Rock decisions must be environmentally sound. Our resources must be protected for future generations,” he declared.
Describing the Navajo people as the Nation’s most precious resource, Dayish requested from that people a call of action “so that you get a return on your Diné citizenship.”
Other points of the Shirley-Dayish platform include improvements in government, law enforcement, Navajo Nation workforce, urban Navajos, Veterans and Hopi Partitioned Land and Bennett Freeze areas.
Navajo Nation veterans and Code Talkers were also honored.
Former Tribal Chairman Peter MacDonald and wife Wanda beamed with pride from a front row seat in the VIP section as their daughter, Hope, raised her hand to take her own oath of service to the Navajo people. Hope MacDonald is a newly elected Delegate of Tuba City Chapter.
Entertainment included the Blue Diamond Band, The Navajo Nation Band and High Spirit Flutes. The Posting of Colors was performed by the Central Navajo Veterans Organization. Kathrynn C. Arviso performed the National Anthem in Navajo, and Window Rock Elementary School’s First Grade Navajo Immersion class gave the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Vice President’s father, Frank Dayish, Sr., provided the invocation.
Singer Blackhorse Mitchell won the heart of the crowd with his performances of “Where Were You When I Was Single” and “The American Bar.”
In her welcoming address, Miss Navajo Nation, Shaunda Tsosie, thanked nation leaders; both past and present, for the sacrifices each faced or faces in office.
“You have served your people well. Each of you has my highest respect,” Tsosie said.
The celebration went on into the night with a community dinner of barbeque, beans and potato salad, a song and dance, gourd dancing and the Inaugural Ball.