Published January 25, 2016
WINDOW ROCK, ARIZONA — Navajo radio personality George Werito has walked on. Mr. Werito was fluent in the Navajo language, an attribute that was appreciated by Navajo elders and others fluent in the language.
Werito was both a radio personality and station manager for 960 KNDN-AM based in Farmington, New Mexico. The station, which broadcasts entirely in the Navajo Language, serves upwards of 100,000 listeners a week.
The radio broadcaster was a close personal friend of Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye.
“He was one of my closest friends and I consulted with him on critical issues,” he said. “I will miss him greatly.
President Begaye said Werito was a rare individual who was gifted to communicate in a manner that brought respect from children to elders.
“In George Werito, the Navajo Nation has lost a leader and great radio personality who was unparalleled in his ability to communicate complex issues in a very articulate way in the Navajo language,” said President Begaye.
Werito’s show aired on weekdays starting at 6 a.m and was the favorite of many Navajo elders.
“I know the elders will miss his broadcasts,” he said. “He was influential because he spoke their language.”
Vice President Jonathan Nez said Werito’s voice played a big part in the popularity of KNDN across the Navajo Nation but specifically the Eastern and Northern regions.
He remembers Werito prominently broadcasting the Shiprock Marathon.
“The way I got to know him was during the Shiprock Marathon,” he said. “He announced the race along the entire 26.2 mile route.”
President Begaye and Vice President Nez extend their prayers and condolences to the Werito family at this time and ask the Navajo Nation to extend their hearts and prayers as well.
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