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FARMINGTON – The Naa'bik'íyáti' Committee has given the go-ahead for the Navajo Nation to submit an application for a Promise Zone designation.

Delegates voted 14-0 on Thursday to pass the legislation that authorizes submitting the application to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to a press release from the Office of the Speaker. The Promise Zone is a federal initiative started in 2013 to provide assistance in addressing issues that impact areas of high poverty.

In areas that receive the designation, the federal government partners with local leaders to address job creation, increase economic security, expand educational opportunities, increase access to affordable housing, improve public safety and address other priorities identified by the community. If the Navajo Nation is selected, the designation would last for 10 years.

Delegate Walter Phelps sponsored the bill and presented it to delegates during a meeting in Window Rock, Ariz.

“The significance of a Navajo Nation Promise Zone designation is substantial. It will serve as a means to improve the socio-economic quality of our nation over a period of 10 years,” Phelps said in the release.

The tribe has been working with Navajo Technical University to compile and complete the application. The deadline for submitting an application is Feb. 23.

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