It is that time of year once again where we share the spirit of life and we celebrate the prosperity of a new year with family and friends. The holiday season is a blessed occasion.
We shall rejoice in our accomplishments and set new objectives for the coming year.
The holidays are times to spend with family and loved ones. It is a time to reflect — to remember times past, friends we may have forgotten, or family members who may have passed. It is a time to reconnect with our lives and the love of family — to rekindle our commitment to them.
The Navajo Nation certainly has much to be proud of. We want to personally thank the employees of the Navajo Nation for their hard work in making great strides in advancing our economy and enhancing program services to the people of the Navajo Nation. Your accomplishments over the past two years are a success for the Navajo Nation.
The Navajo Nation has seen certain advances in the continued development of its economy and its infrastructure. We have seen the installation and use of advanced Internet technology at our Navajo Nation Chapters and at many Navajo area schools. Through the strength of mutually beneficial partnerships, the Navajo Nation has been the recipient of much praise with regard to the expansion of such project in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Southwest Navajo Nation Virtual Alliance, the state governments we work with, and various federal agencies.
Our Navajo Nation offices, divisions and programs are becoming more streamlined and are advancing in both knowledge and competency. The Executive Branch has accomplished much with the embracing of the Branch Chief’s two guiding principles: The preservation of Navajo culture, tradition, and language; and the preservation, protection, and enhancement of Navajo sovereignty. We have asked the Navajo Nation employees to always take these two principles to heart as they carry out the Navajo people can be achieved with great satisfaction and understanding.
Our administration continues to move forward within the scope of the Five Strategic Directions: Walking into the 21st Century, Securing Financial Independence, Integrating Technology for the Future, Achieving Government Reform, and Promoting Mutually Respectful Partnership. These guidelines will help to ensure another successful year.
With the help of federal legislators, the Navajo Nation anticipates that by the end of the year, we will witness the passage of federal legislation that will (1) make it easier for entrepreneurs to establish businesses on the Navajo Nation. These changes will help the Navajo Nation economy; (2) finally honor the Navajo Nation Code Talkers by awarding them the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor for their bravery and courage during the trying times of the Second World War.
These two particular federal actions are milestone in the history of the Navajo Nation, and we are proud to have been a part of the efforts, along with the Navajo Nation Council, to witness the fulfillment of these projects.
Over the past year we have seen the selection of the Navajo Nation Youth Council — an accomplishment that we are proud of, and which means we are teaching our young leaders the ideologies of government and its commitment to the people of the Navajo Nation. We continue to encourage our Navajo Youth — We strongly believe that the Diné youth are LEADERS OF TODAY!
In April 2000, the Navajo Nation was very honored to receive President William Jefferson Clinton in Shiprock, New Mexico. Along with key members of Congress and the Clinton Administration, President Clinton brought to the Navajo Nation a national forum introducing several initiatives that would enhance telecommunications services to Indian reservations. The Clinton Administration’s objective was to bridge the technological digital divide that affects many rural communities including Indian reservations — promoting the notion that certain rural communities are not benefiting from the advancing new economy encouraged by the use of modern technological products and services like the Internet.
Once again, we want to extend special recognition and appreciation to Ms. Myra Jodie from Steamboat, Arizona for helping to elicit such attention to the Navajo Nation; for helping us to realize and understand the importance and benefits of the use of technology, and most importantly, for shedding light on the fact that there is a lack of technological infrastructure on the Navajo Nation. Ms. Jodie, thank you for sharing your story with us all.
In October 2000, we celebrated the life and accomplishments of the late Dr. Annie Dodge Wauneka as she was inducted in to the National Women’s Hall of Fame. This recognition is a great compliment to the Navajo Nation and to the family of Dr. Wauneka. It is an honor so rarely bestowed on any one individual. Dr. Wauneka’s efforts, her concerns, and her life have been fruitful indeed. The Begaye/ McKenzie administration is proud to be involved in the effort to name the new Fort Defiance Indian Health Services Medical facility after the legendary mother of the Navajo Nation, Dr. Annie Dodge Wauneka.
We would like to commend the efforts of the Navajo Nation Council in representing their people. We thank you for your service and dedication. The Begaye/ McKenzie administration extends its sincerest Holiday wishes to each of the Navajo Nation Council Standing Committees. We look forward to continue working with you throughout the New Year. Thank you to the Standing Committees and their leadership.
We wish to express our gratitude as well to the Navajo Nation Council, Speaker Edward T. Begay, and Chief Justice Robert Yazzie. Thank you for your continued support and guidance.
Our blessings go out to those who are away from home — our children in the US Armed Forces, our children who are away in school, and those who, for various other reasons, are not able to spend this Holiday season at home. We extend to you our greatest blessings and hope you return home safely.
We continue to pray for those in need. We pray that the New Year may bring blessings abundant to their lives.
From Vice President Taylor McKenzie and myself to the people of the Navajo Nation, we wish you a happy holiday season — Merry Christmas and a joyous, happy New Year. May all of your dreams be fulfilled, and may you continue to be healthy and productive. Our sincerest blessings go out to you and yours.
Finally, please remember, if you choose to celebrate... Please DESIGNATE. Select a designated driver, and be safe and cautious in your travels.