Native News Network Staff in Native Briefs. Discussion »
WINDOW ROCK, ARIZONA After 39 years between Inaugural Parade appearances, the Navajo Nation Band has been chosen to march in President Barack Obama's second Inaugural Parade in the nation's capitol on January 21.
The Band is seeking sponsorship for travel and lodging expenses
The last time it the Navajo Nation Band appeared in an inaugural parade was for President Richard Nixon on January 20, 1973. The only other prior time the band has marched in an inaugural parade was for President John F. Kennedy in January 20, 1961. Back then the band was known as the Navajo Tribal Band.
On January 20, following the Swearing-in Ceremony of President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden and an inaugural luncheon, the parade will commence down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House.
“I am very proud of the Navajo Nation Band on their selection to the Inaugural Parade. Our Navajo people hold many talents and to play their musical instruments, before the President of the United States, is an honor and privilege,”
Navajo President Ben Shelly stated.
Between April and November this year, the Navajo Nation Band has participated in three large events, The Red Earth Festival in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, America's Freedom Festival in Provo, Utah and the Sun Bowl Parade in El Paso, Texas.
Band members voluntary join and are required to provide their own instruments and uniforms. However, funding is provided for reimbursement.
“The dedication of the Navajo Nation Band members is outstanding. They have a lot discipline to practice on their own, provide their own instruments and travel. Their presence in parades is always noticed and enjoyed. We are glad the people of the United States will get to see the talents of the Navajo Nation,”
President Shelly stated.
The Navajo Nation Band has 70 active members this year but 85 participants, include a drum major, musicians, banner carriers, honor guard, flag and support team, will be traveling via coach bus to the inaugural parade. Tentative departure is set for January 18 and a return on January 24.
“We have several rehearsals set up before we leave on our journey to Washington DC. The members will be practicing more than ever so they can be ready to go and perform their best. Expectations are high. Mostly because it may the closest any one of us will get to see the President of the United States,”
Valerie T Harrison, administrative coordinator for the Navajo Nation Band stated.
The Navajo Nation Band is seeking sponsorship for travel and lodging expenses. Expense assistance may contact the Executive Director of Navajo Human Resources Division here in Window Rock, Ariz. as soon as possible at 928.871.6377 or email at email@example.com.
posted December 28, 2012 6:00 am est