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News Release

New Mexico Indian Affairs Department

The Indian Affairs Department congratulates Senator John Pinto on receiving an honorary degree of Doctor of Public Service from the Navajo Technical University. Senator Pinto has dedicated his life to serving the people of New Mexico, the Navajo Nation and the United States of America.

Senator John Pinto has served as a member of the New Mexico Senate since 1977, making him one of the longest-serving Native American legislators in United States history. He has also been a member of the interim legislative Indian Affairs committee since it was first created in 1989 and has been the chair of the Senate Indian and Cultural Affairs committee since 1987. Senator Pinto who served in the Marine Corps in World War II as a Navajo Code Talker has also been awarded a Congressional Silver Medal of Honor for his service.

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The conferment of an honorary doctoral degree on Senator Pinto was held at the commencement ceremony of the 2019 graduating class from Navajo Technical University May 17. Originally chartered in 1979, Navajo Technical University was later expanded into the largest tribal college in the United States.

“I’m honored to be in Crownpoint as Navajo Technical University confers an honorary doctoral degree upon Senator Pinto,” Secretary Trujillo said. “Throughout his life, he has exemplified the honorable traditions of the Navajo people and stands as an example of what a public servant ought to be. Congratulations to Dr. John Pinto and the 2019 graduating class of Navajo Technical University.”