WINDOW ROCK – On Apr. 30, President Russell Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez signed the Navajo Nation Youth Advisory Council legislation (legislation #0019-17) into law. This legislation changed the youth council status from an ad-hoc status to an advisory committee for all three branches of government.
“We congratulate our youth for their persistence to ensure this piece of legislation is brought to our table to be signed into law. I am excited to be a part of this historic moment in Navajo Nation history,” said President Begaye. “We know that our youth is the future and with this piece of legislation they will provide input at all levels of government and policy.”
Youth is a critical priority for the Begaye-Nez administration, through the creation of the initial three branch agreement this youth council was formed.
“We congratulate you for pushing this legislation to be signed within a year. Our youth and elders pillar is steadily moving forward. We also look forward to seeing more youth participation in our Navajo Nation government to ensure positive change is made,” said Vice President Nez.
Before the historic signing, President Begaye and Vice President Nez imparted knowledge to the youth council members. They stressed the importance of establishing priorities for the youth council and following through with their projects.
The Navajo Nation Youth Advisory Council shall consist of 12 members. Two members shall be appointed from each of the five agencies and two appointed at large. The Youth Advisory Council members shall be 14 to 24 years of age.
“Thank you to our supporters, mentors and advocates for helping us to become tall corn stalks. The fruition of the tádídíín will be used to impact our Navajo Nation Government for years to come. The issues that affect us, as youth is universal. We are setting the example and we have a lot of work to accomplish in the coming years,” said Navajo Nation Ad Hoc Youth Advisory Council President Jacquelyn Johnson.
“I know that this will be a stepping stone for the youth of the Navajo Nation. Great ideas will come from this youth council, thank you for helping us,” said Navajo Nation Ad Hoc Youth Advisory Council Vice President Marlon Murphy.
“Thank you to everyone who helped to support us. We came a long way and thank you,” said Cali Chee, Central Agency Youth Representative.
“Thank you, President and Vice President, for bringing this initiative together and bring this cool group of people together. This took a lot of teamwork and coordination to complete this. I’m thankful and humble to be sitting beside you all. This is where the real work starts to ensure we are moving forward 50 years from now,” said Virlencia Begay, Fort Defiance Agency Youth Representative.
The President and Vice President would like to express their sincerest appreciation to Delegate Amber Crotty, Delegate Jonathan Hale, Yvonne Kee-Billison, James Davis, Theresa Gavin, and Acting Chief Justice Allen Sloan.
“Through caring adults, this youth council will continue to move forward. I am truly thankful for the opportunity to complete this assignment on behalf of the administration,” said Yvonne Kee-Billison, Executive Staff Assistant.
We will define a new tomorrow for our people, equipped with our new young leaders, teachings by the elders and love from others.
“Together we can change government to be more receptive to the youth and young people of the Navajo Nation,” said President Begaye.