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Former Navajo Nation President Kelsey Begaye Has Passed Away


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The Navajo Nation is mourning the loss of its fifth president, Kelsey Begaye, who passed away Friday in Flagstaff. Begaye was born in Kaibeto and is a 1969 graduate of Monument Valley High School and attended the College of Ganado. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1969 and served for four years as a radio operator in South Vietnam. Begaye worked for the Navajo Nation from 1976 until 1990, working as a counselor, supervisor, program director and more for the Department of Behavioral Health Services. He was elected to the Navajo Nation Tribal Council in 1991 and elected speaker in 1996. He served as Navajo Nation President from 1999 until 2003. Begaye was also an ordained minister and served as president of the Kaibeto Chapter. He died of natural causes and was 70 years old.