NAZLINI, AZ – Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez was joined by tribal leaders and community members at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Nazlini Senior Center in Nazlini, AZ.
In August, President Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer approved Resolution CJY-30-22, which provided additional funding of $2 million from the Síhasin Fund for the construction of the Nazlini Senior Center. The project experienced unforeseen circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic and increased material, labor and construction costs.
“The groundbreaking ceremony brings renewed hope and vision for the Nazlini community and, most importantly, for our precious alumni,” said President Nez. “Today we celebrate a milestone for the Nazlini community. The new senior center will not only provide essential services, but it will also be a place of healing, restoration and unity. Our grandparents and our elders hold our cultural and traditional teachings, as well as our language, and we must nurture and protect them so that our nation can be healthier and stronger for future generations. I commend the community of Nazlini for working together to develop improvements for their elders. This initiative took many years of hard work and today we celebrate their success.
The former senior center was ordered to close due to structural shortcomings and failure to meet safety and capacity standards. The new 3,915 square foot senior center will provide a cafeteria, kitchen, staff office space, wellness/fitness room, and paved parking with ADA handicap accessibility.
The project was previously funded by the Síhasin Fund at a cost of approximately $1.9 million. An additional $75,000 was donated by the Nazlini chapter for the project. The senior center will continue to provide congregate and home-delivered meals, recreation, socialization, transportation and other support services to Nazlini and other seniors in the surrounding community.
“We thank the leaders of the Office of the President and Vice President and the 24th Council of the Navajo Nation for their continued support in the growth and development of our community,” said Bigwater Chapter President. “This project took many years, but perseverance and faith carried us over the finish line.”
“Not only does this project symbolize hope, it exemplifies the resilience of our Navajo people,” added President Nez. “During a global pandemic and public health emergency, we have local leaders who continue to move our communities forward and inspire hope for future generations. Thank you to past leaders for their support and endorsement of the project in 2018 We look forward to many more projects at Nazlini and together we are moving forward.
Among those present were Navajo Nation Council Delegate Kee Allen Begay, Jr., Nazlini Chapter President Lee Vincent Bigwater, Secretary/Treasurer JoAnn Dedman, Senior Nazlini Center Supervisor Fannie Mann, Director of Nazlini Chapter Melissa S. Winney, Nazlini Chapter Project Manager Gabriel Freeland, and former Miss Navajo Nation Crystalyne Curley.