Navajo Nation

mypubliclands / Creative Commons

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye is speaking out against an expected recommendation by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to shrink the newly designated Bears Ears National Monument in southeast Utah.

Austin Cope / KSJD

Monday, August 14th was Navajo Code Talkers Day. It honored the men who served in the South Pacific during World War II, developing a code based on their native language to send communications during the battle. It is the only language-based code in history to never have been broken.  World War II Code Talker Samuel Sandoval visited the Sunflower Theatre here in Cortez on Monday. After a screening of a documentary about his life, he spoke to an overflow crowd in the theatre about his experiences in the war and after he came home to become a drug counselor in the Navajo Nation.

US Geological Survey

A 28-year-old New Mexico man has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing and killing an 11-year-old girl after kidnapping her and her brother on the Navajo Nation in May of last year. In a release, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Mexico says Tom Begaye Jr. entered the plea Tuesday in Albuquerque under an agreement that requires him to serve a mandatory life term without the possibility of release. Begaye abducted Ashlynne Mike and her 9-year-old brother on May 2nd, 2016, and drove them to a remote spot a few miles from the Shiprock formation.

Even as the Navajo Nation struggles with economic issues around the decline of coal-mining and coal-fired power plants, its Tribal Utility Authority has launched a 200-acre, $60 million solar farm north of Kayenta, Arizona. The Farmington Daily-Times reports the 27-megawatt Kayenta Solar Project is the reservation’s first large-scale solar facility. It began operating in June. The energy generated is sent into a nearby transmission line owned by the Western Area Power Administration. The Daily-Times says the Salt River Project is currently the project’s only customer.

courtesy of Roberta Diswood / Just Move It

"Just Move It" is a community-centered fitness and exercise promotion program that holds events throughout the Navajo Nation, in surrounding communities, and in Indigenous communities throughout the United States. Just Move It coordinator Roberta Diswood joined KSJD's Austin Cope on Morning Edition to talk more about the movement, the program's history, and what to expect at the upcoming events in Cortez on Friday, July 21st at 6pm at Parque de Vida, in Towaoc on Monday, July 24th at 6pm at the Towaoc Wellness Center,  and in Shiprock on Thursday, August 3rd at 5:30pm.