Navajo Leaders Welcome First Lady Jill Biden to the Navajo Nation

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden

WINDOW ROCK, AZ – Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, First Lady Phefelia Nez, Vice President Myron Lizer, Second Lady Dottie Lizer, along with members of the 24th Navajo Nation Council and Navajo Nation Chief Justice JoAnn B. Jayne, welcomed the First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, to the capital of the Navajo Nation for the start of a two-day visit. This marks the third visit of Dr. Biden to the Navajo Nation over the last several years and her first official visit as the First Lady.

A welcome ceremony was held at Navajo Veterans Memorial Park in Window Rock, AZ where First Lady Biden addressed the Navajo people and leaders. In her public address, First Lady Biden stated that the Biden-Harris Administration will always stand beside and work with American Indian tribes, including the Navajo Nation.

“Honoring the treaty trust obligations and responsibilities between tribes and the federal government will be recognized,” said First Lady Biden. “With beauty, harmony, and Hozhó in front of us, behind us, above us, below us, and around us, we can build and strengthen Mother Earth and our Nation. We stand with the Navajo Nation today, tomorrow, and always.”

Navajo Nation First Lady Dr. Jill Biden
L-R: Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez; Navajo Nation First Lady Phefelia Nez; First Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden; Navajo Nation Second Lady Dottie Lizer; and Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer

“On behalf of the Navajo people and my wife Phefelia Nez and our family, we thank First Lady Biden for making the Navajo Nation a priority in the first months of the Biden-Harris Administration,” said President Nez. “I met with President Biden and Vice President Harris last October, and at that time, nominee Biden promised to listen to Native American people and understood the importance of the government-to-government relationship and, in November, the Navajo people came out and delivered the State of Arizona on election day, even in the midst of this terrible pandemic. We are very pleased that the Biden-Harris Administration is keeping their promise by having a seat at the table for the Navajo Nation and other tribes.”

President Nez also praised health care workers and first responders who continue to sacrifice time with their families and put themselves at risk to treat COVID-19 patients and to save lives by administering the vaccines. Nez noted that well over half of the adult population residing on the Navajo Nation have been fully vaccinated.

“On behalf of the Navajo Nation Office of the First Lady and Second Lady, we are honored to have First Lady Biden meet inspirational and courageous Navajo women leaders who are passionate and dedicated to restoring unity, healing, and well-being of Navajo children, women, elders, and families,” said First Lady Nez. “Together, as mothers and leaders, we are committed to calling attention to focus areas that impact our Navajo families, including early childhood development and education, culture preservation, health and wellness, single parenting, foster parenting, reducing trauma of children and women, behavioral and mental health issues, violence against women and children, and many others. With increased awareness, resources, and network building, we are confident that many issues will be addressed with the Biden-Harris Administration.”