President of Navajo Nation to sign bill for veterans department

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye shows Navajo Code Talker Dan Akee around his recently renovated home in Tuba City, Arizona. Photo from Facebook

The Navajo Nation is promising to do more to help its veterans and warriors.

President Russell Begaye will sign Legislation No. 0006-16, the Navajo Nation Veterans Act, into law on Saturday, according to a media advisory. The bill creates the Navajo Nation Veterans Administration and establishes the Veterans Advisory Council, a eleven-member group that will help develop veterans policies.

“We are going to mark this monumental occasion with a celebratory signing because it’s what our veterans deserve,” Begaye said in a press release after the bill was approved by the Navajo Nation Council. “This is just the beginning of our administration’s commitment to fulfilling the objectives of our pillars. The top pillar being to serve our Navajo veterans.”

The council approved the bill on the second day of its winter session. Lawmakers said it was one of their top priorities.

“This legislation honors Navajo veterans and will provide services and funding from agencies to the Navajo Nation on behalf of veterans,” said Delegate Jonathan Hale, the sponsor of the measure.

The tribe is well known for its Code Talkers, the Marines who used the Navajo language to transmit unbreakable messages during World War II. Dan Akee, one of those soldiers, finally got to move in the home he built over 40 years ago after a crew of volunteers helped fix it up.

“I did not want to come into my home until it was completed,” Akee said in a press release last week.

Get the Story:
Begaye to OK tribe's veterans administration (The Farmington Daily-Times 2/12)