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Navajo President Ben Shelly
WINDOW ROCK, ARIZONA - Navajo President Ben Shelly delivered the State of the Navajo Nation Address yesterday before the 22nd Navajo Nation Council in Window Rock.
President Shelly, who has been in office for seven months, reviewed the progress his administration is making to fulfill campaign promises. Within his speech, there was strong emphasis on bringing the Navajo government closer to the people through visits, town meetings and forums.
He also called for a Youth Summit "to hear their ideas, concerns, and solutions." The summit will take place at the beginning of the 65th Annual Navajo Nation Fair in Window Rock.
"The time has come where we reach out to our youth and begin to bridge this gap between the old and young. As leaders, we have a responsibility to listen, and through our wisdom, we can begin to mentor these future leaders to take our roles as we depart," said Shelly.
He emphasized the importance to practice 'Buy Navajo' when possible. He said his administration supports Navajo-friendly and Navajo-owned businesses.
"A potential business owner should have every opportunity to start up a business here on Navajo land just as easy as it is to start a business next door,"
Shelly discussed the difficult economic times the Navajo Nation is experiencing a $22 million deficit. And, with threatened federal reductions as proposed by President Obama and Congress in the upcoming year, he expressed concern about reduced services to the Navajo people. Currently, the Navajo Nation's annual $170 million budget.
He also discussed his administration's commitment to restructuring the executive branch. Since President Shelly took office, he created the Executive Branch Reorganization Taskforce to address cost containment among divisions within the Navajo executive branch.
posted July 19, 2011 2:20 pm edt
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