24th Navajo Nation Council
Last week, the 24th Navajo Nation Council hosted its quarterly recognition ceremony honoring student leader Kendrick Begay Jr., community advocate Glenda Tsosie-Wheeler, Arizona Superintendent of the Year Quincy Natay, and Navajo language students from Page High School. The Winter Session concluded on Friday, January 28, 2022, at the Navajo Nation Council Chambers.
“Every quarter the Navajo Nation Council convenes in the people's house to discuss and pass legislation that will have an impact on our future. This session, we came together to recognize some outstanding Navajo citizens who are making a difference in the classroom, our schools, and the communities they serve. We offer our heartfelt congratulations to their hard work and for making the Navajo Nation proud,” said Speaker Seth Damon.
Kendrick Begay Jr. is in his junior year at Sanders Valley High School and was recognized by Council Delegate Raymond Smith Jr. for placing third place in a statewide Arizona essay contest as the only Native American student. He was honored for his leadership during a Martin Luther King Jr. celebration breakfast hosted by Arizona State University.
“Kendrick is an outstanding student and a respectable young man who cares deeply about his community and family. The essay he wrote was focused on what leadership meant to him as a youth and he did well as the only Native American in the whole state to be selected. We commend his mother Shavone Begay and everyone who supports him for being outstanding role models. Our community of Sanders, Arizona, is proud,” said Vice Chairman Raymond Smith Jr. (Klagetoh, Wide Ruins, Houck, Lupton, Nahat'á Dziil).
Glenda Tsosie-Wheeler is a dedicated community leader who has been volunteering the last two years as a frontline worker fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Council Delegate Vince James offered recognition of her hard work volunteering to bring food donations, isolation care packages, and personal protective equipment (PPE) to rural areas of northern Arizona.
“Glenda is respected in the communities I represent for her leadership and service to our elderly and most vulnerable families. Her hard work with the Navajo and Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund has made a huge impact and saved lives. This amazing young woman is a true example of our Diné matriarchs who have taken care of our people since time immemorial,” said Council Delegate Vince James (Jeddito, Cornfields, Ganado, Kinłichii', Steamboat).
Last year, the Arizona School Administrators named Quincy Natay as the 2021 Arizona Superintendent of the Year. Serving the Chinle Unified School District since 2013, Council Delegate Kee Allen Begay Jr. recognized his decades long record of service to students across the Navajo Nation.
“Superintendent Natay is in his 9th year leading the Chinle School District with an outstanding record of increasing the academic achievement of students and involving the community with schools. As the 2022 Arizona candidate for National Superintendent of the Year, he is one of the four national finalists nominated for this prestigious award. The Navajo people commend his leadership for being a champion for our young people and their education,” said Council Delegate Kee Allen Begay Jr. (Tachee/Blue Gap, Many Farms, Nazlini, Tselani/Cottonwood, Low Mountain).
Through the advocacy and support of Page School Board President, Ms. Desiree Fowler, several Page High School students were recognized for their proficiency in the Diné language by Health, Education, and Human Services Committee (HEHSC) Chairman Daniel Tso and Council Delegate Paul Begay.
“These young leaders make us proud to be Diné and we appreciate them for sharing four blessing way songs during the Winter Session. Through their prayers, the Council was able to work together to make historic legislative decisions for the Navajo people. These student leaders respect our way of life and understand the importance of sustaining our sacred language. The Navajo Nation Council appreciates Board President Desiree Fowler and their teacher, Mr. Carlos Begay, for standing behind our young people,” added Council Delegate Paul Begay (Coppermine, K'ai'bii'tó, LeChee, Tonalea/Red Lake, Bodaway/Gap).