Published August 29, 2017
NAHATA DZIIL on NAVAJO NATION– On Thursday, Aug. 24, President Russell Begaye traveled to the Nahata Dziil Chapter to sign a contract that will effectively start the construction of the Nahata Dziil shopping center.
“We have been working on this for a long time and it has been a long track to get here as we hit some obstacles,” President Begaye said. “In signing this contract, construction of the shopping center will begin.”
Also in attendance were 23rd Navajo Nation Council Delegate Raymond Smith, Jr. (Houck, Klagetoh, Nahata Dziil, Tsé Si áni, Wide Ruins), Nahata Dziil Chapter President Darrell Tso and Vice President Wayne Lynch as well as community members and chapter staff.
President Begaye commended the hard work of Delegate Smith and likened the new shopping center to other critical developments happening across the Navajo Nation like the recently dedicated solar farm in Kayenta.
“Delegate Smith has been working hard on this project. Every chance he got he would ask about where the project was in the process. It’s good to have someone who does that for you,” he said.
Delegate Smith said the community of Nahata Dziil has been waiting for construction to start on the shopping center. He acknowledged the assistance of chapter leaders, officials and commissioners for keeping the process moving forward.
“It’s been a daunting task. Like anything else we do on the Nation, it took dedication, perseverance and lobbying to put everything into place. The only way we are able to do this was by sticking together,” Delegate Smith said.
The Begaye-Nez administration has prioritized economic development and the fostering of small business development along with capitalizing on advanced manufacturing opportunities. The bottom line in bringing economic development is creating local economies that support the local communities through job creation, Navajo preference employment, and the recirculation of Navajo dollars on the reservation.
The president noted that the construction contract for the Nahata Dziil shopping has been awarded to a Navajo-owned construction company.
“If there can be businesses all over the U.S., why can’t we put a business along our corridor of Interstate 40?” Delegate Smith asked. “We need to shop here and build our community.”
The community around Sanders was blighted with the negative impression left by the Old Red Barn liquor store, which was closed by the Begaye-Nez administration. The development of the shopping center is a step toward rebuilding confidence and positive self-identity within the community.
“Today, I am excited to sign off on this contract to start the construction of the Nahata Dziil shopping center,” President Begaye said. “Soon we will celebrate the grand opening of this great endeavor.”
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