This past Saturday Navajo President Ben Shelly spoke to a crowd gathered at the Arizona Centennial Indian Village. Navajo officials were there promoting tourism during the opening ceremonies at the Arizona Best Fest, where the Centennial Indian Village was set up to help spread the rich cultural history of Arizona tribes. Arizona officially turns 100-years old today. On February 14, 1912, Arizona became the 48th and last contiguous state in the Union, after thousands of years of existing as the sacred home to indigenous peoples.
The Navajo Post reports that President Shelly spoke to a crowd of 200 at the village. “We are continuing to educate people about who the Navajo people are through sharing our culture. Tourism offers the opportunity for visitors to visit our homeland,” he said. “Arizona has a rich history because Native American tribes have been here before statehood. Before Arizona became a state, it was a territory. We have elders who are close to 100 years old and to me, that is an amazing history.”
President Shelly was joined by the Navajo Nation Division of Natural Resources, Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation, Navajo Nation Museum and Navajo Nation Tourism. Together they built a female and male hogan and displayed a Chilchinbito rug. There were demonstrations of corn grinding, hair tying and weaving as well.
For more on this story, visit the Navajo Post here.