Western Navajo Diné Justice Center grand opening celebration Feb. 15

Officials expect more than 1,000 community members to gather for event in Tuba City, President Obama possible attendee

In partnership with the Navajo Nation, officials from the To'Nanees'Dizi local government will celebrate the grand opening of the new Western Navajo Diné Justice Center on Feb. 15 at 10 a.m. in Tuba City.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) paid for the development of the Western Navajo Diné Justice Center, which was made possible with the efforts of many organizations and communities as well as local, state and federal governments. The Justice Center is currently the largest ARRA funded project on Native American land.

The Western Navajo Diné Justice Center will streamline the judicial system for the tribe, county, state and federal courts. The center is the first of its kind on the Navajo Nation. The Justice Center will encompass the Department of Corrections, the Department of Public Safety, and a Judicial Department all under one roof.

Gerald Keetso, president of the Council of Naat'aanii from the To'Nanees'Dizi local government, said in a letter dated Jan. 4 that the project is in the final phase.

"The long awaited vision is coming to fruition and has brought upon a celebration of great significance," Keetso said. "This collaborative achievement will enhance public safety and reinforce the need for a safer community at large."

Keetso went on to say that officials from the local government anticipate more than 1,000 people from the community plus local media to be present for the "extravagant" event. The Tuba City local government is covering the cost of putting on a luncheon and providing entertainment and security for this huge event.

Officials from the White House notified local officials from the To'Nanees'Dizi local government Jan. 10 that U.S. President Barack Obama may attend the grand opening of the Western Navajo Diné Justice Center. The White House Office of Appointments and Scheduling is still currently in the process of confirming his schedule. As of today, Obama's attendance is still unconfirmed.

Keetso said in his letter the To'Nanees'Dizi local government is still accepting financial donations and sponsorships for the event.

"All proceeds are directed at event expenditures and assist in producing a historic celebration," read Keetso's letter. "Your generous contributions will launch the beginning of a brighter future for both the To'Nanees'Dizi community and the Navajo Nation."

With the possible arrival of Obama, the community is required to enlist additional security through other tribal, county and public safety personnel. The overall security level for this event has been heightened.

All donors and sponsors will be recognized during the event. Keetso said all financial donations or sponsorships are greatly appreciated.

More information about making a donation or the grand opening event itself is available by contacting the To'Nanees'Dizi local government at (928) 283-3284 or by email at tubacityjusticegrandopening@gmail.com.

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