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UPPER FRUITLAND, NEW MEXICO -
Navajo President Ben Shelly
“We are working toward becoming a self sufficient tribal nation,”
Navajo President Ben Shelly stated, as one of six speakers at a ceremony to open the Navajo Nation's newest casino.
Opening to the Public Noon Monday
Northern Edge is scheduled to open today with a public grand opening at noon.
In a ten minute speech, President Shelly said the jobs created by the Northern Edge Casino are steps toward self sufficiency.
“Self sufficiency starts in the home,”
President Shelly said, adding that he applauded the employees for taking the initiative for taking a step to self sufficiency.
"Northern Edge has created 374 jobs," His statement was met with applause from the attendees.
He also said the casino was a business venture. "Many will label this a casino, but in reality, it's business," he said.
President Shelly said the casino is expected to pay about $12 million to the nearly 400 workers throughout the year.
“That money is going to buy much needed shoes for a toddler, a warm jacket,”
President Shelly added.
Northern Edge is 85,000 square, has 750 slot machines and nearly 20 tables for gambling.
“Come along and join us as we create more prosperity for our people,”
President Shelly stated.
The casino will operate 24 hours per day Friday through Sunday, and on holidays, and 8 am to 4 am, Monday through Thursday.
In the interior of the casino, a large mural represents a Navajo constellation and the entry floor features a "dry painting" that uses several natural materials including White Shell, representative of White Shell Woman.
Additionally, the casino ceiling is a representation of the Navajo tradition of weaving and of Spider Woman who taught Navajos how to weave. Custom chandeliers were created to incorporate the Navajo beliefs of the four sacred mountains, four sacred directions, and four sacred stones.
Northern Edge marks the third casino to open under the direction of the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise.
posted January 16, 2011 7:10 am est
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