Navajo Nation President Nez and VP Lizer Discuss Priorities With Utah Lt. Governor Henderson

Nez Lizer Gov. Henderson
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez (right) addresses Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson (middle) during a meeting in Tse Bonito, NM near the capital of the Navajo Nation.

WINDOW ROCK, AZ – Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, First Lady Phefelia Nez, Vice President Myron Lizer, and Division Directors welcomed Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson to the Navajo Nation to continue working together to address infrastructure development and other critical issues for the Navajo people in the State of Utah. The meeting marked the Lt. Governor’s second official visit to the capital of the Navajo Nation, in addition to previous visits to the communities of Navajo Mountain and Monument Valley. 

“We appreciate Lt. Gov. Henderson’s consistent support for the Navajo people,” said President Nez. “Since taking office last year, she’s visited our Nation on several occasions and met with residents, local leaders, and our administration. We are fully committed to getting water into more homes for Navajo families, including those who reside in the Westwater Subdivision near the city of Blanding. It’s long overdue and we are thankful to have the partnership and support of Lt. Gov. Henderson and Gov. Cox as we move forward to the preliminary studies and requirements to get water and electricity to the Navajo families in the Westwater Subdivision.”

Last year, President Nez and Vice President Lizer welcomed Lt. Gov. Henderson to visit families that reside in the Westwater Subdivision to hear their concerns and challenges with living without running water and electricity. Currently, the Nez-Lizer Administration is working with the Lt. Governor, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, and the city of Blanding to finalize engineering studies to provide access to water and electricity for residents. 

“During every trip to Window Rock, I’m inspired by the way the people of Navajo Nation care for one another,” said Utah Lt. Governor Deidre Henderson. “Through friendship and collaboration, I’m confident that soon the people of Westwater will have electricity and water. We’re grateful for the Navajo Nation, President Jonathan Nez, Vice President Myron Lizer and the Navajo Nation Council. The State of Utah and the Cox-Henderson administration remain deeply committed to our continued partnership and friendship. To those who feel forgotten, I’m here to listen, remember and speak up. Your priorities are now my priorities.”

In March of last year, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox and the State Legislature also approved $500,000 in the state’s FY2022 budget to help the efforts for water and electricity for the Westwater Subdivision. The Office of the President and Vice President is also looking at options to allocate funding through the Nation to assist. 

President Nez and Vice President Lizer were also joined by Division Directors who spoke about specific initiatives in the State of Utah including mutual aid agreements related to public safety efforts, expanding the scope of a current Intergovernmental Agreement with San Juan County, UT to provide maintenance and repairs for roadways, COVID-19 mitigation, and expanding tourism opportunities.

“We are very appreciative of Madam Lt. Gov.’s leadership, including our Navajo citizens residing in the state of Utah,” said Vice President Lizer. “Today’s discussion was directed toward infrastructure development to provide basic necessities to ensure that our Navajo citizens receive running water, electricity and sanitation station. We look forward to continuing the partnership and friendship that is established with Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, Lt. Gov. Henderson and their cabinet members to elevate the Navajo way of life in Utah.”