WINDOW ROCK, Ariz.- Yáʼátʼééh Késhmish dóó Baa Hózhǫ́ǫgo Nee Nínáadoohąh!
Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly and First Lady Martha Shelly recently issued a statement of holiday cheer for the Christmas holidays.
"Christmas is a time for family, friends and goodwill toward all," Shelly said. "We wish the Navajo people an enjoyable holiday season and a blessed time with family. Please remember to check up on your elders and ensure they are not in need of firewood, food or water."
Navajo Nation Executive Branch employees have been given 16 hours administrative leave for Dec. 26 and Jan. 2, 2015. This includes temporary employees. In addition, early payroll release will scheduled for Dec 23.
Christmas day and New Years day is a tribal holiday.
"Please take this time to spend with your families during Christmas and to celebrate the New Year with Hozho'," Shelly said.
He also encouraged Navajo people to take every precaution to be safe during the holidays and discouraged texting while driving and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Thank you for your faithful service to the Nation and the Navajo people, Shelly said to the more than 8,000 tribal employees working for the government. Emergency personnel and other first responders will continue to maintain services as needed, he said.
The First Lady was thankful for a successful year filled with many accomplishments, including the free eye exams and eyeglasses distribution for Navajo children and elders through the One Sight Project courtesy of Walking Shield, Inc. and the re-establishment of the Navajo Nation Women's Commission.
"Ahe'hee to our lady commissioners for bringing the issues many facing Navajo women to light," Martha said. "May your Christmas with your families be a happy time."
The Toys for Tots distribution has begun across the Navajo Nation, bringing toys to the less fortunate. The First Lady has participated in the event all four years of the administration. She encourages the Navajo Nation to join in the effort, including participation in the food and jacket drives taking place at various tribal communities.
"We wish you a happy holiday season filled with joy, peace and goodwill," she said.