Native American Culture
Stories From the Navajo Nation: Paul Begay
Welcome to the second edition of ‘Stories From the Navajo Nation’, where we dive deeper into the culture and way of life of Council Delegates from every agency on the largest Sovereign Nation in the United States. This interview was with Paul Begay, a Council Delegate from the Western Agency. We were lucky enough to catch up with him to ask a few questions about his work as a legislator for the Navajo people.
CLN: Where do you reside?
Paul: I live in Page, Arizona with my wife Cindy.
CLN: What’s your educational background?
Paul: I went to Tuba City boarding School for early education. Attended Richfield Jr High and graduated from Richfield High School. My college years were spent at Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah, and Dine College, Tsaile, Arizona.
CLN: What do you like to do in your free time?
Paul: I enjoy fishing a lot but being a Council Delegate is a very demanding job so I don’t fish as much anymore. Home projects also take priority overfishing.
CLN: What are causes do you support? What are you passionate about?
Paul: Each chapter that I oversee has projects that they really want to complete for their community. I would like to help make that a reality for them. I’m proud to have sponsored the Western Navajo Pipeline that was approved by the Navajo Nation Council and signed by President Nez and Vice-President Lizer. It’s a major accomplishment that will bring water to the Western Navajo region.
CLN: What are the major issues in the community you represent?
Paul: The #1 issue is lack of water. Water that can be used by our people, livestock, farming, to build homes, schools, hospitals, public safety buildings, roads, stores, etc. We need water to start and complete any project or infrastructure that we want to build.
CLN: What would you like to accomplish before the end of your term?
Paul: I would like to have completed at least two major projects for each of the five chapters that I represent. The pandemic is making these plans difficult but we are trying our best.
CLN: Are there any areas in your region that you want people to learn more about?
Paul: My region is located in the middle of various National Parks & Monuments and Tribal Parks. The world-renowned Antelope Slot Canyons are located within the LeChee Chapter. Forbes Magazine chose our Antelope Slot Canyons as the #1 “go-to” place in the whole world about four years ago! This spectacular site is surrounded by the Grand Canyon, Zions National Park, Arches National Park, Monument Valley, Petrified Forest, just to name a few.
CLN: Is the anything else you want the world to know about you?
Paul: I’ve been advocating for ethics in government.
About the Western Navajo Agency
The Western Navajo Agency (WNA) has 18 chapter governments and a total population of 36,737 (Census 2021). With a total of 2,359,122 acres and 1,160 grazing permittees, the western region encompasses Utah and Arizona. The chapters that Paul Begay represents are the following: Coppermine, K’aibii’to, LeChee, Tonalea/Red Lake, and Bodaway/Gap.
To learn more about the 24th Navajo Nation Council and the work of its lawmakers, please visit NavajoNationCouncil.org.
You must be logged in to post a comment.