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News Release

The Navajo Nation - Office of the President and Vice President

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Vice President Myron Lizer, members of the 24th Navajo Nation Council, and Chief Justice JoAnn Jayne had the honor of welcoming Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert to the capital of the Navajo Nation on Monday, to discuss issues important to the Navajo people and the State of Utah. First Lady Phefelia Nez and Second Lady Dottie Lizer were also in attendance to welcome the Governor and his officials.

Monday’s meeting also marked the first time that division directors under the Nez-Lizer Administration and the 24th Navajo Nation Council had the opportunity to meet with Governor Herbert on the Navajo Nation, to discuss road issues, public safety, telecommunications infrastructure, missing and murdered Indigenous relatives, direct services for veterans, Bears Ears, tourism, Buy Navajo Buy Local, water rights, and more. 

“We are very thankful to Governor Herbert and his office for reaching out and coming to the Navajo Nation to continue building our government-to-government partnership,” said President Nez. “I believe today’s discussions are a step forward in the right direction to resolving and advancing issues.”

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In a discussion between President Nez and Gov. Herbert, the two talked about how the Navajo Nation and the State of Utah can work together to resolve the ongoing litigation over the Bears Ears National Monument.

Governor Herbert indicates that Congressman John Curtis (R-UT) of Utah is willing to work with the state and the Navajo Nation to pursue a solution that addresses the concerns over land management, access to lands, and the preservation of sacred sites and artifacts in the Bears Ears area. President Nez conveyed the importance of protecting sacred sites and artifacts from looting, vandalism, and other forms of desecration. Gov. Herbert and President Nez stated that they will work together in good faith to begin developing a path forward to bring forth a viable proposal. 

During the discussion, President Nez thanked Governor Herbert for supporting the Navajo Utah Water Rights Settlement Act to bring clean water to homes in Navajo communities in Utah. He also requested Governor Herbert’s support to push the settlement in the House and Senate. 

Later this week, Vice President Myron Lizer will join other tribal leaders at the 14th Annual Utah Governor’s Native American Summit to further discuss matters on behalf of the Navajo Nation. 

During Monday’s meeting, Vice President Lizer talked extensively about the Nez-Lizer Administration’s “Buy Navajo, Buy Local” initiative to promote Navajo business owners and entrepreneurs. The discussion focused on potential partnerships with the State of Utah to promote tourism on the Navajo Nation, which would help to increase revenues for the local economy.

The Nez-Lizer Administration thanks Governor Herbert, Special Counsel to the Governor Larry Echohawk, and the rest of his administration for visiting the Navajo Nation and for their willingness to work together.