Flags to fly half-staff on Navajo Nation in honor of former President Kelsey Begaye

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

GALLUP — Flags will be lowered to half-staff on the Navajo Nation to honor the life of former tribal President Kelsey Begaye.

Begaye died on Aug. 13 of natural causes at the age of 70, tribal leaders reported over the weekend.

Tribal President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer issued a proclamation that orders flags to fly at half-staff from Aug. 17 through Aug. 20.

"With the proclamation issued today, we pay tribute to Honorable Kelsey Begaye and thank him and his family for all of their sacrifices for the Navajo people," Nez said on Aug. 16 in a statement.

Begaye served two terms as speaker of the Navajo Nation Council before being elected to the presidency in 1998, completing his term in 2003. He was an Army veteran and served in the Vietnam War.

Kelsey Begaye

The president's office has been working with the Begaye family to livestream the funeral service because of concerns about COVID-19.

The service will start at 10 a.m. on Aug. 20 and stream online on the Nez-Lizer Facebook page, according to an update the office issued the afternoon of Aug. 17.

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.

Support local journalism with a digital subscription to The Daily Times.