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News Release

Navajo Nation - Office of the President and Vice President

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer commend the Biden-Harris Administration and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ support and approval of $65 million for the Winslow Levee project along the Little Colorado River, which impacts several communities in the western portion of the Navajo Nation. The funding was announced by the White House on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 as part of a $14 billion investment in the country’s port and waterway infrastructure.

“For many years, past and present Navajo Nation leaders have advocated for the reconstruction of the Winslow Levee to control water levels and help prevent flooding in nearby Navajo communities. This past summer, our administration was on the ground delivering food, water, and other essential items to Navajo families that could not leave their homes due to monsoon rain that flooded their residences and washed out roads. This was a coalition of leaders from Navajo County, the City of Winslow, and others who were very instrumental in working with our federal partners to advocate for our people. We truly appreciate the support of local leaders, our congressional delegation, and the Biden-Harris Administration for approving the funds,” said President Nez.

In recent months, President Nez and Vice President Lizer sent letters to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, congressional leaders, and other federal agencies requesting support for the Winslow Levee project.

Vice President Lizer spoke about the long-term benefits and thanked congressional leaders for their support. “The Nez-Lizer Administration is grateful for the cooperation and coordination that culminated in today’s announcement. This project investment is long overdue. Now, we can catch up with the rest of America.”

The White House in announcing the project, referenced the recently passed Infrastructure and Jobs Act, “Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing that it will invest more than $14 billion of this funding in fiscal year 2022 for over 500 projects across 52 states and territories. These key projects will strengthen the nation’s supply chain, provide significant new economic opportunities nationwide, and bolster our defenses against climate change.”

Navajo County Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman and District II Rep. Alberto Peshlakai in expressing his appreciation, cited the Arizona congressional delegation. “T’áá íiyisíí ahéhee’, nitsaago! Navajo County is tremendously grateful for Congressman O’Halleran, Senator Kelly, and Senator Sinema’s role in helping us make history happen in Winslow. The critical funding announced today brings this project from concept to reality and will help ensure the vitality and resilience of the City of Winslow! As a member of the Navajo Nation, I am especially gratified that the $65.75 million that our congressional leaders have helped secure for us will provide a measure of justice for Navajo relocatees whom the federal government forcibly relocated into Winslow’s flood plain.”

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