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Navajo Leaders Attend Hatathlie Swearing In

Navajo Leaders Attend Hatathlie Swearing In
January 19
12:13 2022

By John Christian Hopkins

Senator Hatathlie. Photo courtesy of the ‘Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer’ Facebook page.

On Monday – a day set aside to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – Theresa Hatathlie’s dream came true.

Hatathlie, a Navajo originally from Coalmine Mesa, was sworn in as the newest member of the Arizona State Senate, representing Legislative District 7.

Members of the 24th Navajo Nation Council were on hand for the ceremony.

“Senator Theresa Hatathlie is a respected public figure who advocates for our elders, young people, and the prevention of COVID-19 on the Navajo Nation,” Delegate Nathaniel Brown said.

The Coconino County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve the appointment last week during a special meeting in Flagstaff. She fills the vacancy left by Jamescita Peshlakai, who resigned in December to join the federal Bureau of Reclamation.

Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Brutinel provided the oath of office to Hatathlie, who was joined by her oldest brother Freddie Hatathlie, a retired Master Sergeant in the United States Army.

“Arizona’s tribes need leaders who will advocate and fight for them in the legislature. We believe State Senator Theresa Hatathlie will be a champion for our Tribal Nations as we move forward together into 2022,” Navajo Speaker Seth Damon said. “Our priorities for broadband, infrastructure, technological, and economic development need to be a top priority.”

Working with Arizona state leaders, the tribe needs to invest into tribal Navajo communities to uplift small businesses, responsibly allocate capital outlay funds and begin infrastructure projects during the pandemic, Damon added.

“She serves as the Vice President of the Diné College Board of Regents the last nine years and understands the importance of preserving the Navajo language and our traditional way of life,” Brown said. “The Navajo Nation appreciates the leadership of the Coconino County Board of Supervisors for making sure a Diné leader was appointed to this respected position. State Senator Hatathlie has a proven record of standing behind our women, the LGBTQ+ community, and she will be our champion in the Arizona State Legislature.”

Hatathlie serves as the Logistics Coordinator for the Navajo and Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund. The non-profit organization has raised $10 million over two years for Indigenous families across the four corners area.

Hatathlie will serve until January, 2023.

Arizona Senate District 7 spans across Apache, Coconino, Gila, Graham, Mohave, Navajo, and Pinal Counties. The Navajo Nation, White Mountain Apache, San Carlos Apache, Hualapai, Havasupai, Kaibab Paiute, San Juan Southern Paiute, Zuni Pueblo, and Hopi Tribe are within the legislative district boundaries.

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