Road Trip Through the Navajo Nation: For All Generations
Get to know the Navajo Nation through the people that live there. We traveled across the Navajo Nation to interview people who represent a variety of different communities who are striving for a better tomorrow. Learn about their most pressing current issues and plans for the future in this article series.
Photo Credit: Cowboy Lifestyle Network
Navajo Nation Council Delegate, Herman M. Daniels, Jr. grew up on the Navajo Reservation near Monument Valley, Utah. Daniels represents a district of four chapters in the Western Agency which spans into Arizona and Utah – Ts’ah Bii’ Kin, Navajo Mountain, Shonto, and Oljato. He is a member of the Resources and Development Committee of the 24th Navajo Nation Council and is currently on his fourth term as council delegate.
- Maternal Clan: Bit’ahnii
- Paternal Clan: Tł’izí lání / Kinłichii’nii
- Maternal Grandfather: Tó’ałheedlííníí
- Paternal Grandfather: Hashk’aa hadzohí
Road Access & Infrastructure
The health and safety of his constituents are important to Daniels as he strongly advocates for adequate road access and infrastructure. Before becoming a delegate, Daniels was a tour guide in Monument Valley so he understands firsthand the issues his communities face on a daily basis. Daniels helped establish the first roundabout in Monument Valley to slow drivers down in order to minimize accidents. In coordination with three other governors, the project cost approximately two million dollars which also included a bridge upgrade in Mexican Hat, Utah. The San Juan River flows through the town and the upgraded Mexican Hat Bridge allows people to access both banks of the river.
Navajo Mountain Road Project
Delegate Daniels is currently working on the Navajo Mountain Road Project which will pave a roadway to Navajo Mountain from Monument Valley. The proposed project will allow communities to have access to medical services, education, and other amenities. Currently, Navajo Mountain Community members drive a minimum of two hours to access these basic services. This project will also open new opportunities for tourism in southern Utah and Northern Arizona. Funding for the project will take effect approximately within the next five years when state and/or federal funding is received. Once funding is received, the project will take approximately two years to complete.
Pictured: Cowboy Lifestyle Network Founder, Patrick O’Donnell with Navajo Nation Delegate, Herman M. Daniels, Jr. – Photo Credit: Cowboy Lifestyle Network
Forrest Gump Point Project
Daniels is also working on another project north of Monument Valley at Forrest Gump Point located on US-163 Scenic, Mexican Hat, UT 84531. This location is where a scene of the movie, Forrest Gump was filmed. Due to this infamous landscape, many people visiting pull over on the side of the two-lane highway to take videos and pictures. In doing so, an unsafe environment has been created as a result of the busy road. Daniels plans to sit down with his community and leaders to discuss a course of action to make this area safer by providing a possible turnout point or rest area. This project will take place in approximately one year and will take an estimated one year to complete.
Council Delegate Herman Daniels, Jr. wants people to know that the Navajo Nation is open to travel for all generations to come experience including children, parents, and grandparents. Come witness the American West – Monument Valley. Tribal lands, the San Juan River, and the Old West are still here and accessible.
The Navajo Nation is truly an extraordinary and breathtaking nation within a nation. It is over 27,000 miles and covers over four states: New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, and Arizona. The Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation Department oversees all Navajo Tribal Parks in the largest sovereign nation in the United States. As a sovereign-autonomous tribal government, the Navajo Nation creates laws and governs its citizens – which means all non-Navajo travelers and visitors must comply with and abide by tribal regulations, policies, and laws. Their intent is the caretaking of Mother Earth, which Navajos respect at all times. Come experience the breathtaking views Navajo land has to offer.
CLN Community & Event Sponsor