Navajo Leader Theresa Hatathlie Appointed As Arizona State Senator

WINDOW ROCK, AZ – Theresa Hatathlie has been appointed as Arizona State Senator for Legislative District 7 (LD7) by the Coconino County Board of Supervisors by a unanimous vote. She was formally sworn into public office on Monday, Jan. 10. Former Senator Jamescita Peshlakai (D-LD7) resigned from her position in late December to take a position with the U.S. Department of Interior.

“Our incoming Senator Theresa Hatathlie is a respected public servant who has stood behind our college students and held school districts responsible for the education of our young people,” said Navajo Council Speaker Seth Damon. “She is the Vice President of the Diné College Board of Regents and has served in this leadership position over nine years. We applaud the Coconino County Board of Supervisors for their leadership in making sure a Diné leader was appointed to this position. Theresa Hatathlie is a proven community advocate who continues to serve as a local coordinator helping hundreds of Navajo families that need direct COVID-19 relief. Through their work, non-profit organizations support our hospitals, first responders, police departments, and tribal health care facilities.”

Hatathlie is from Coal Mine Mesa, AZ, and is the Logistics Coordinator for the Navajo and Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund, which has raised millions over the last two years for Indigenous families. She previously served as the Human Resources Director for the Tuba City Unified School District and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Northern Arizona University.

“This selection of Theresa Hatathlie as our new Arizona Senator is good news for our people,” said Navajo Council Delegate Thomas Walker. “Senator Jamescita Peshlakai has been an outstanding advocate for our infrastructure projects during this pandemic and she got hard work done. [Hatathlie] is qualified, capable, and prepared to bring decades of her experience to the Arizona State Capitol. It is our belief she will work hard and push forward the priorities that Senator Peshlakai carried during this pandemic.”

The remainder of the term for former Senator Jamescita Peshlakai will be served by Senator Theresa Hatathlie until January 2022. Arizona Legislative District 7 spans across Apache, Coconino, Gila, Graham, Mohave, Navajo, and Pinal Counties.

“Thank you for your gift of time, kindness, and energetic assistance for my nomination and selection as a new Arizona State Senator,” said Senator Hatathlie. “This phenomenal success would not be possible without the overwhelming support of my community and family. I am humbled and give thanks to the Holy People, my forefathers, and my family, for I am the product of their prayers, teachings, and strength. I hereby devote the best of my abilities to work to resolve the challenges facing our people. Thank you Senator Jamescita Peshlakai for your exemplary leadership, breaking that glass ceiling, and for creating a space for Diné women leaders in the Arizona Legislature.”

The Arizona Legislative Session began in Phoenix, AZ, on Monday. The White Mountain Apache, San Carlos Apache, Hualapai, Havasupai, Kaibab Paiute, San Juan Southern Paiute, Zuni Pueblo, Hopi, and the Navajo Navajo are within the district legislative boundaries.