Navajo Nation Council approves $500,000 for USU center in Mon. Val.

The 25th Navajo Nation Council voted 17-0 to approve $500,000 from the Navajo Nation’s Síhasin Fund to help Utah State University (USU) construct a new higher education facility in Monument Valley, Utah. 
According to the legislation sponsor, Council Delegate Herman Daniels, Jr. (Shonto, Naa’tsis’Áán, Oljato, Ts’ah Bii Kin), the facility will benefit residents in the communities of Monument Valley, Oljato, and Kayenta. The overall cost of the facility is estimated to be $14 million. 
“I thank my colleagues of the 25th Navajo Nation Council for supporting this initiative that will benefit many Navajo people who want to pursue higher education and build their technical skills,” said Delegate Daniels. 
According to a letter from Utah State University President Elizabeth Cantwell, the 13,000 square-foot facility will incorporate traditional classrooms and distance learning connections. Students will have access to a vast array of certificates and degrees ranging from technical certificates to doctorate degrees, as well as academic guidance and support, counseling services, and career mentoring. 
In addition, the proposed project will benefit local high school students by providing concurrent enrollment courses and programs offered to high school students and expand USU’s support for small businesses through its Small Business Development Center. 
If the legislation is signed into law, the funding will be made available to the Office of Navajo Nation Scholarship and Financial Assistance (ONNSFA) upon notification that the construction phase has begun. Utah State University will also be required to submit reports on an annual basis until all approved funding from the Navajo Nation is exhausted. 
Once the resolution is certified by the Speaker of the Council and delivered to the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President, the President will have ten calendar days to consider the resolution.

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