Navajo leaders advocate for health care, public safety, economic development, and others with White House leadership
Navajo Nation - Office of the President and Vice President
Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer and Second Lady Dottie Lizer were among several Navajo Nation leaders to welcome officials with the Trump-Pence Administration to the Navajo Nation Council Chamber in Window Rock, Ariz. on Tuesday, to discuss several issues including public safety, health care, economic development, infrastructure, and missing and murdered Indigenous relatives during a meeting hosted by the 24thNavajo Nation Council under Speaker Seth Damon.
Federal officials in attendance included White House Assistant to the President and White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Director Doug Hoelscher, Deputy Assistant to the President and Domestic Policy Council Deputy Director Jennie Lichter, Department of Justice Acting Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Katherine Sullivan, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Eric Hargan, Commission of the Administration for Native Americans Jeannie Hovland, Asst. Secretary of Indian Affairs Tara Katuk Mac Lean Sweeney, Indian Health Service Director Rear Admiral Michael D. Weahkee, Navajo Area IHS Director Roselyn Tso, Department of Veterans Affairs Paul R. Lawrence, Deputy Asst. Secretary of Indian Affairs Mark Cruz, Navajo Area BIA Director Bartholomew Stevens, and others.
"There was a time when the Navajo Nation would go to Washington D.C. to advocate for our people, but today federal leaders came to the Navajo Nation. Second Lady Dottie Lizer and I were very honored to welcome senior White House officials and other federal partners to the Navajo Nation to discuss the need for safe communities, bolstering our economic development and growth, and addressing the missing and murdered Indigenous relatives epidemic across the country,” said Vice President Lizer.
The 24th Navajo Nation Council and the Office of the Speaker coordinated Tuesday’s meetings, which included breakout sessions with the Council’s Standing Committees, Vice President Lizer, Second Lady Lizer, and several Division Directors that focused on specific issues including CARES Act funds, infrastructure, broadband, transportation, economic development, energy resources, education, health care, and others.
“Working with the White House and the Trump-Pence Administration, the Second Lady and I strongly believe that the Navajo Nation will persevere and become a part of the 'American Dream. We appreciate the Trump-Pence Administration and the 24th Navajo Nation Council for hosting the meetings to help move our Nation forward," Vice President Lizer added.
During a presentation held at the Council Chamber, Second Lady Lizer commended the administration's efforts and collaboration to address Missing and Murdered Indigenous American Indians and Alaska Natives through the signing of a proclamation that launched the Operation Lady Justice initiative, and supporting the Savanna's Act and Not Invisible Act. The administration has also taken the initiative to create a task force to protect Native American children through the Indian Health Service, she added.
During the roundtable discussion, the White House leadership also presented a Presidential Award for extraordinary efforts to combat trafficking in persons to the Navajo Nation. The award states, "Presented to the Navajo Nation for its leadership in combating human trafficking on tribal lands and for bringing greater awareness of the realities of human trafficking in Native communities."
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