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Vice President Jonathan Nez Runs In Antelope Canyon Half Marathon

Vice President Jonathan Nez Runs In Antelope Canyon Half Marathon
February 22
14:50 2016

Page residents may have noticed “event crossing” signs in and around town this past weekend.  That’s because runners from all

Vice President Nez Gives A Speech

Vice President Nez Gives A Speech

over came to the area to run in the Antelope Canyon Half Marathon.

The event, which involved a 100 mile run, 55k run, and 50 mile run, took runners through different parts of Page and the Navajo Nation, allowing runners to take in breathtaking views of the area.

Runner check-in was held on Friday evening near Big Lake Trading Post, where runners covered a Hogan with mud, enjoyed a hoop dance and flute presentation, and had the pleasure of hearing a “fireside chat” style speech from Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez.

In his speech, Nez discussed some of the epidemics on the Navajo Nation, including obesity, diabetes and addiction.

Nez claimed he used to be obese and hated running, but believed that he should hold higher standards of himself and started running to get in shape.

In an interview with Lake Powell Communications, Nez discussed some of the issues he aims to tackle on the Navajo Nation.

“We have four pillars.  The first pillar is veterans.  The second pillar is elders and youth.  The third is infrastructure, waterline, electricity and telecommunication, and the fourth is job creation,” said Nez.  “We told our veterans, this isn’t the end, this is just the beginning.”

Nez also expressed that many tasks can only be accomplished through partnership between the Navajo people and surrounding border towns.

Nez was eager to talk about the importance of Navajo youth relearning the Navajo Language.

“I say relearn because it’s inherent within us, we just have to bring it out,” explained Nez.

“It helped win a war, Codetalkers” said Nez.  The Navajo Language is an important part of Navajo and American history.

Nez proceeded to talk about the Codetalker whose house he, President Russell Begaye, and hundreds of other Navajos helped renovate in Tuba City.

“We went over there, had a lot of organizations come in and helped renovate that home,” said Nez.

He also discussed breaking the chain of dependency on the federal government and becoming more self-reliant.

According to Nez, eighty to ninety percent of income earned on the Navajo Nation immediately flows off to surrounding border towns.  Nez wants to build facilities on the Navajo Nation to keep the money there.

As for the marathon, Nez said the administration has created “travel parks” which encourage active walking and hiking to help maintain healthy lifestyles on the Navajo Nation.  That is why the marathon is important to him and the Navajo people.

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