NAZLINI, AZ – Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez was joined by tribal leaders and community members during the groundbreaking ceremony of the Nazlini Senior Center in Nazlini, AZ.
In August, President Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer approved resolution CJY-30-22, which included $2 million in supplemental funding from the Síhasin Fund for the construction of the Nazlini Senior Center. The project experienced unforeseen circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the increase of material, labor and construction costs.
“The groundbreaking ceremony brings renewed hope and vision for the Nazlini community and most importantly, for our precious elders,” said President Nez. “Today, we celebrate a milestone for the community of Nazlini. The new senior center will not only provide essential services, but it will also be a place of healing, restoration, and unity. Our grandparents and elders hold our cultural and traditional teachings, and our language, and we must care and protect them so our Nation can be healthier and stronger for future generations. I congratulate the community of Nazlini for working together to develop improvements for their elders. This initiative took many years of hard work and we celebrate their achievement today.”
The former senior center was ordered to close due to structural deficiencies and not meeting safety and capacity standards. The new 3,915 sq. ft. senior center will provide a cafeteria, kitchen, office space for staff, wellness/fitness room, and a paved parking lot with ADA handicapped accessibility.
The project was previously funded through the Síhasin Fund at a cost of approximately $1.9 million. An additional $75,000 was contributed by the Nazlini Chapter for the project. The senior center will continue to provide congregate and home delivered meals, recreation, socialization, transportation, and other supportive services to Nazlini and other surrounding community elders.
“We thank the leaders of the Office of the President and Vice President and the 24th Navajo Nation Council for their continuous support for our community’s growth and development,” said Chapter President Bigwater. “This project took many years but persistence and faith pushed us through the finish line.”
“Not only does this project symbolize hope, but it exemplifies the resiliency of our Navajo people,” added President Nez. “During a worldwide pandemic and public health emergency, we have local leaders who continue to move our communities forward and inspire hope for future generations. Thank you to the past leaders for their support and approval of the project in 2018. We look forward to many more projects in Nazlini and together we are making progress.”
Those in attendance included Navajo Nation Council Delegate Kee Allen Begay, Jr., Nazlini Chapter President Lee Vincent Bigwater, Secretary/Treasurer JoAnn Dedman, Nazlini Senior Center Supervisor Fannie Mann, Nazlini Chapter Manager Melissa S. Winney, Nazlini Chapter Project Manager Gabriel Freeland, and former Miss Navajo Nation Crystalyne Curley.