Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Tue, Aug. 04

Navajo Nation awarded unprecedented $3 <br>million to establish Boys and Girls Clubs

WASHINGTON, D.C.—On October 19, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that the Navajo Nation would receive an award of $3 million to establish ten Boys and Girls Clubs centers on the Navajo Nation as part of HUD’s Drug Elimination Grants for Indian Tribes and Tribally Designated Housing Authorities.

The grant is an unprecedented award—one of the single-largest grants of its kind awarded to a Native American entity, according to officials of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

President of the Navajo Nation Kelsey A. Begaye was in Washington, D.C. to personally receive notification of the award. President Begaye met with officials of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America to discuss youth programs and the details of the grant award.

“The grant award signified the Navajo Nation’s common need for funding in order to provide services to Navajo communities,” said President Begaye on the significance of the award.

“The Navajo Nation has a large land base, a large population and therefore a large need to service it communities,” he said. “We believe this award is significant in terms of it benefiting the communities. I think the award is substantial and constructive.”

Said Begaye, “With this award, the Begaye/McKenzie team again can mark an accomplishment in helping to provide services to the youth of the Navajo Nation. With that in mind, the pursuit of this grant award was based on the various needs of the Navajo youth. Our concern from the beginning was that the youth issues were begin set aside. With this, we can proudly say we have accomplished another feat in providing these programs and services. It’s an exciting time for the Navajo Nation.”

The Begaye/McKenzie administration has committed to identifying a coordinator for the Navajo Boys and Girls Clubs program. When selected, the coordinator will have the responsibility of implementing the Navajo Boys and Girls Club, and to oversee the establishment of the ten Navajo Nation centers.

In conjunction with the proposal submitted to HUD, the Navajo Nation’s efforts will help to establish partnerships with area businesses and other governmental entities. It is the hope of the Begaye/McKenzie administration that the Boys and Girls Clubs Centers will provide environments and activities that would reinforce principles beneficial to Navajo youth.

President Begaye stated that in November, various Navajo Nation officials, including Council Delegates and Chapter officials from Navajo communities, as well as Division Directors from Community Development and Human Resources will meet to discuss the selection of Boys and Girls Clubs coordinator and the ten locations for proposed sites. President Begaye said that five Navajo agencies have already been pre-selected to host a Boys and Girls Clubs Center, and that the remaining five locations will be determined at the November meeting.

The grant award will be effective on December 1, 2000 with expected funding through 2002. The grant award covers operating expenses, supplies, renovation and personnel. The Navajo Nation will be eligible to re-apply for the grant in two years, possibly extending the award to four years and beyond.

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