The Government Shutdown went into effect at midnight on October 1, leaving some 800,000 non-essential government employees furloughed without pay until further notice. Of those furloughed are more than 2,000 who are in direct contact with Indian country leading many tribal leaders to voice their concerns.
Today Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly released a statement. “Nearly all of our offices remain open for the Navajo Nation government. Although many of our programs receive federal funds, our government is open and continues to serve the Navajo people, including all Navajo Nation Tribal Parks,” Shelly said. “However, we urge lawmakers in Washington to come to a solution because the Navajo Nation will eventually begin to experience effects if the shutdown continues.
“I assure the Navajo people that we are continually preparing ourselves for future situations that may arise from the federal government closure. As president, I have continually pushed for fiscal responsibility because we cannot always depend on the federal government to solve issues we can solve for ourselves.
“The federal government shutdown is an opportunity for the Navajo Nation to begin to exercise true sovereignty. Though we need our federal partners to assist us, we can continue to establish and practice governmental policies that strengthen the Navajo Nation.
“The Navajo Nation recognizes that many people have been planning vacations to experience America’s great outdoors. Although all U.S. National Parks are closed due to the federal government shutdown, I extend a special invitation to family vacationers and visitors to experience the beauty of the Navajo Nation in our tribal parks in Northern Arizona and the Four Corners region. Come experience the majestic scenery of Monument Valley, the vibrant colors of Antelope Canyon, or experience one of our casinos hotel resorts. We welcome all visitors to the Navajo Nation,” Shelly concluded.