Thursday, May 01, 2014

Hale delivers keynote address at the 2014 National AASHTO Civil Rights Subcommittee Training Symposium

Hale delivers keynote address at the 2014 National AASHTO Civil Rights Subcommittee Training Symposium

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Albert Hale, D-St. Michaels (District 7), recently delivered a keynote address on tribal transportation and economic development at the 2014 National AASHTO Civil Rights Subcommittee Training Symposium.

AASHTO, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, along with the Arizona Department of Transportation hosted the symposium which focused on collaboration with Department of Transportation stakeholders to advance civil rights programs and to provide an opportunity for officials to discuss specific topics regarding transportation.

“Good transportation infrastructure is critical to safer and stronger communities,” Hale said. “Native American transportation is in crisis, and if this crisis is ignored, it puts Native American communities at a disadvantage. We must amend state laws to ensure Indian Nations have voices at the table.”

Hale noted the importance of collaboration between state and federal transportation agencies and Native American transportation agencies.

“The collapse of Highway 89 is a great example of how Indian Nations and the state and federal governments came together to solve a transportation issue in record time,” Hale said. “This collaboration should be the norm when resolving many of the other issues facing Indian Nations, including unemployment, mental health, education and dropout rates, domestic violence, addiction, obesity and diabetes.”

In Feb. 2013 a landslide caused Highway 89, which runs through the Navajo Nation, to collapse. The damaged highway required immediate action that led to federal, state and tribal officials working together to create a bypass route while coming up with a long-term solution to the damaged Highway 89.

“I am happy to bring these issues to light in a constructive manner,” Hale said. “We know that effective collaboration is possible and can be successful. We can apply what we learned repairing Highway 89 to other concerns our communities are dealing with to ensure these areas thrive.”

For more information on the symposium, go to:

Rep. Hale is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. He was born in Ganado and raised in Klagetoh, Arizona. He is Ashiihi (Salt), born for Todichiini (Bitter Water). His maternal grandparents are Hanaghani (Walk About clan). His paternal grandparents are Kiyanii (Tall House clan). He is a 1969 graduate of Fort Wingate High School, a Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school located east of Gallup, New Mexico. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona (1973), and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law, Albuquerque, New Mexico (1977), and an honorary Juris Doctor degree from Phoenix School of Law (2012).  He is the former President of the Navajo Nation.


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