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Navajo man resigns from top position at Indian arts organization





John Torres-Nez, a member of the Navajo Nation, unexpectedly resigned as chief operating officer of the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts on Monday.

Torres-Nez took the top post at SWAIA, the group behind the annual Santa Fe Indian Market, in October 2012. He was widely praised for his efforts to work more closely with the artists who make the event a success.

“I have grown great relationships with the city at all levels and Indian Market has run better because of that,” Torres-Nez said in a letter that was posted on Facebook. “I am very proud of my work here and I am very saddened that my tenure must come to an end.”

Torres-Nez declined to explain the reasons for his resignation. But he recently criticized Gov. Susana Martinez (R) for cutting $60,000 to the group.

This year's Indian Market takes place August 18-24.

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