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Navajo Nation leaders laud state Indian Affairs secretary pick

Governor names Lynn Trujillo to head department

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times
Lynn Trujillo, right, stands with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, center, and Stephanie Schardin Clarke, left, on Tuesday in Santa Fe. Trujillo was appointed as secretary of Indian affairs and Schardin Clarke as secretary of taxation and revenue.
  • Lynn Trujillo received her law degree from the University of New Mexico and served as general counsel for Sandia Pueblo.
  • Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer congratulated Trujillo and said they anticipate working with her to advance the tribe's priorities.
  • The governor also appointed Stephanie Schardin Clarke as secretary for the Taxation and Revenue Department on Tuesday.

FARMINGTON — Leaders of the Navajo Nation are pleased with the appointment of Lynn Trujillo as secretary for the New Mexico Indian Affairs Department.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham named Trujillo to lead the department on Tuesday.

Trujillo, a member of Sandia Pueblo, served as the Native American coordinator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's rural development program in Albuquerque.

She received her law degree from the University of New Mexico and served as general counsel for the pueblo, according to information released by the governor's office.

As secretary, she will oversee a department designed to strengthen tribal and state relations and address challenges such as economic development, infrastructure improvement and health care accessibility.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer congratulated Trujillo and said they anticipate working with her to advance the tribe's priorities.

"We look to the leadership of Secretary Trujillo to help our nation secure funding for capital outlay projects, TIF (Tribal Infrastructure Fund) dollars and to facilitate any gaming issues that need to be addressed in coordination with other gaming tribes," Lizer said in a press release.

Pro Tem Speaker Seth Damon said the Navajo Nation Council looks forward to building a positive working relationship with the department.

"We are seeking her support to move forward our education and capital outlay initiatives and to cut the red tape to better serve our New Mexico Navajo people," Damon said in a release.

Lujan Grisham also appointed Stephanie Schardin Clarke as secretary for the Taxation and Revenue Department on Tuesday.

The governor said in a statement that both women bring experience and vision to the administration.

Both appointments are subject to confirmation by the state Senate.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.