The Western Diné Alliance is an organization fixed on promoting economic development and stepping up to challenges and stagnation of development projects in the Western Navajo Nation. With Navajo Generating Station closing in 2019 and the loss of over 1,000 jobs, Navajos in the Western Agency are in a real predicament.
The Alliance is working to end the infighting and contentiousness surrounding job creation and economic development for the preservation of Navajo families and culture, as they are the most sacred asset. “We are working for a better future for Western Navajo,” explained Alliance member and Bodaway/Gap community leader, Perry Slim, Sr.
The Alliance wants to fill a void of community support to Navajo leadership to move forward on projects as well as holding leadership accountable at both the local and central government levels for its inaction. “We formed this organization to support job creation and economic opportunity and hold our government officials accountable for creating an economic and political environment that attracts investors and industry,” Slim, Sr. continued.
As half of all Navajos are forced to live off the Nation to adequately support their families, the Alliance trusts that creating more jobs is the only way to sustain families and preserve the culture. The Alliance supports reforming the business site leasing process and other regulations which increase ‘red-tape’ discouraging investors and banks to finance job creation projects.
“Along with streamlining the business site leasing process, the Nation can attract industry by a simplified and standardized tax code,” Slim, Sr. explained. “Along with solar and wind projects, we need for Navajo coal to continue to be a reliable source energy and revenue and we will support those types of efforts.”
The Alliance’s current goal is to broaden its support base to ensure that every community and chapter is represented and can contribute to the diversification of the economy by highlighting its unique features and characteristics. They are currently seeking individual and organizational partners to help them advance economic development.
“We will soon be having a ‘kickoff-event’ to demonstrate support and to put some realistic goals and objectives for the Western Diné Alliance to pursue in the coming year. We are welcoming all interested parties to reach out to us and get involved by attending meetings, writing letters, and voicing your opinion to our Navajo communities and leadership.”
For more information about the Western Diné Alliance and how you can get involved, visit www.westerndinealliance.org or call Perry Slim, Sr. at (928) 212-0994.