Navajo Nation president praises Obama's State of the Union

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly praised President Barack Obama for the "bold directives" laid out in the 2012 State of the Union on Tuesday night.

Shelly said the Navajo Nation shares Obama's goals. In particular, he welcomed initiatives to reduce federal bureaucracy, improve the economy and increase energy development.

"This evening the President of the United States issued bold directives to his Administration. I applaud his efforts at reducing bureaucratic red tape and addressing inefficiencies within the federal government," Shelly said after the speech. "The Navajo people appreciates the President’s message of unity."

“Native American Nations know all too well the bleak economic environment we’ve faced. With unemployment numbers on the Navajo Nation consistently in the double digits I am encouraged to hear the plan to continue paving the way for American companies to invest in America," Shelly added. "Rural areas, like the Navajo Nation, across this great country, are challenged in attracting and maintaining a manufacturing base. With so many jobs outsourced, our job of creating sustainable economies becomes nearly impossible. The Blue Print for an America Built to Last gives us a method to keep American jobs in America and to give First Americans the chance at those jobs."

“The President's plan to develop partnerships between community colleges and businesses to provide necessary training, I welcome that," Shelly said. "I hope that this plan will include the 27 tribal colleges, two of which are here on the Navajo Nation, so that we can provide training to mobilize the Navajo workforce."

"Lastly, I support President Obama’s statement of clean energy development while utilizing and developing our existing natural resources in the most efficient and environmentally friendly way possible," Shelly concluded. "The Navajo Nation has been blessed with an abundance of natural resources and we call on the President to work with the Navajo Nation at building an America and a Navajo Nation Built to Last.”

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