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Former Navajo Nation president Zah receives lifetime achievement award

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On Tuesday at 3 p.m. MST, Peterson Zah, former Navajo Nation Chairman and first President of the Navajo Nation, will receive the 2021 Grand Canyon Trust Lifetime Achievement Award.

Meant to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to conservation of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado Plateau, past recipients of this award include former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt (2003), former Arizona Congressman and Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall (2004) and writer Terry Tempest Williams (2010). Since its establishment in 2003, this Lifetime Achievement Award has been given only six other times; Zah will be the seventh recipient.

“Peterson has truly been a giant in this region, and well beyond. We are so honored to recognize Peterson, his achievements, and his profoundly positive impacts on this world,” said Grand Canyon Trust Executive Director Ethan Aumack.

Over the course of a long career, Zah led national tribal efforts in Congress to strengthen federal environmental laws. In his time as president and chairman, Zah renegotiated mineral, coal, oil and gas leases with major energy companies to better benefit the Navajo people. He also created permanent trust funds, now valued at several billion dollars, dedicated to culture, language, education, health, governance, infrastructure, and land restoration.

“Peterson Zah's extraordinary leadership made clear that within the ambiguity of modernism and tradition, righteousness and tremendous influence could come from homegrown legitimacy and purpose,” said Grand Canyon Trust Board Chair Jim Enote.

The award will be presented during a small private ceremony, but members of the public can join the ceremony virtually on Zoom through the Grand Canyon Trust website or by phone at (602) 753-0140 using webinar ID: 831 9707 1336.

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