Originally published Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 09:53a.m.

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer paid tribute to the contributions and hard work of nurses through a proclamation recognizing May 6 – 10 as Navajo Nation Nurses Appreciation Week across the Navajo Nation.

“We owe special recognition to the many nurses who work tirelessly to help our youth, adults, and elders to improve and maintain their physical and mental health. To our nurses across the Navajo Nation and beyond we give this special recognition,” Nez said.

The proclamation also acknowledges the health care and assistance provided to Navajo elders whether it be in hospitals, nursing homes, or in private residences.

“We have many of Navajo and non-Navajo nurses who help our people in IHS facilities on and off the Navajo Nation and often we overlook their hard work and sacrifices, so this is a special way for the Navajo Nation to honor and thank them for all that they provide,” stated Vice President Myron Lizer.

National Nurses Week is also recognized across the country this week, as designated by the American Nurses Association on an annual basis.

“Our Nation is fortunate to have many of our own Diné people who continue to pursue nursing degrees and professions and many of them come home and help our communities,” Nez said. “We also give thanks to other caregivers such as Community Health Representatives that also provide critical services. When our Nation received heavy snowfall a few months ago, we relied heavily on the CHR’s to check on our elders and disabled at their homes.”

They president and vice president also issued a proclamation recognizing May 7 as Navajo Nation Teacher Appreciation Day, and May 6 – 10 as Navajo Nation Teacher Appreciation Week, in honor of all school and home teachers across the Navajo Nation.

“We owe eternal gratitude to our first teachers, our parents. We owe special recognition to our school teachers who work tirelessly to give our children a view of our world, both modern and traditional. To our parents and our school and home teachers, we give this special recognition,” Nez said.

The proclamation further recognized the contributions of teachers by instilling the teachings of Chief Manuelito, who emphasized the importance of education as a means to creating a better future for Diné people and communities; and for helping to revitalize and preserve traditional, cultural teachings and the Diné language in the classroom.

“Too often, our Nation’s teachers are overlooked and, in some cases, forgotten, so this day and this week mean a lot for them and also for their families. Teachers make many sacrifices that go unnoticed, so with this proclamation, we are asking students, parents, and others to show their appreciation to our Nation’s teachers even if it’s a simple ‘thank you,’” Lizer said.

Nez and Lizer said throughout the academic year, Navajo teachers carry a tremendous responsibility to care for and teach students and that teachers witness the incredible potential of youth in the classrooms and equip them with skills and knowledge to become contributing members of the Navajo Nation.

“The Nez-Lizer administration continues to support our educators who hold our Navajo students to high standards that prepare them for success in college and future careers,” Nez said. “On behalf of the administration, we commend the dedicated teachers, families and school leaders who work tirelessly in the classrooms and for their outstanding contributions to the growth and development of the Navajo Nation.”

Information provided by the Office of the President and Vice President

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