Raymond Nakai, former Navajo chair, dies at 86

Raymond Nakai, a former chairman of the Navajo Tribe, died on Sunday after a lengthy illness. He was 86.

Nakai ran the tribe from 1963 to 1971 and was recalled as one of the tribe's most important modern leaders. He oversaw the creation of the first tribal college in the U.S., was chairman when the tribe became the Navajo Nation and pushed for the legal use of peyote by Native American Church members.

A proclamation was issued by Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. to recognize and honor Nakai. Flags on the reservation are being flown half staff from August 15-21.

Get the Story:
Nakai, former Navajo leader, dies at 86 (The Farmington Daily Times 8/16)
Raymond Nakai, 86, influential Navajo tribal leader (The Arizona Republic 8/16)
Former Navajo Chairman Raymond Nakai dead (AP 8/15)

Relevant Links:
Navajo Nation -