Indianz.Com > News > Memorial in honor of Albert Hale, former president of Navajo Nation, 1950-2021
Memorial in honor of Albert Hale, former president of Navajo Nation, 1950-2021
Friday, February 5, 2021

LIVE at 11am MST: Facebook | YouTube | Memorial Program

Please join a virtual memorial in loving memory of Albert Hale, a former president of the Navajo Nation and a former state lawmaker from Arizona.

Hale passed away on February 2 due to complications from COVID-19. He was 70 years old.

“To the family of Albert Hale, we offer our heartfelt condolences and prayers at this difficult time. We join our Navajo people in grieving for the loss of our great leader, a loving family man, and my brother,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez. “Throughout his lifetime, he demonstrated his love and compassion for our people through his service and all of his great contributions as President of the Navajo Nation and as a member of the Arizona Senate and House of Representatives.

“He was known by many as ‘Ahbihay’ and always greeted everyone with a smile and shared his humor with all. He stood strong on many issues and left the world a better place than he found it,” said Nez. “First Lady Phefelia Nez and I pray that his family will take comfort in knowing that he is now with our Creator at this time.”

Albert Hale, right, with Jonathan Nez, President of the Navajo Nation. Photo Photo courtesy Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President

Hale was born in Ganado, Arizona, in 1950. He was Áshįįhi and born for Tódich’ii’nii. His maternal grandfather was Honágháahnii and his paternal grandfather was Kinyaa’áanii. He served as the President of the Navajo Nation from 1995 to 1998. He later served as a member of the Arizona State Senate from 2004 to 2011 and with the Arizona House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017.

“My family and I are very saddened by the loss of a great leader of our time, the Honorable Albert Hale,” said Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer. “On every occasion, he greeted us with open arms and a warm smile. In his many years of service to the Navajo people and the citizens of Arizona, he was very instrumental in many issues and always stood up for underserved communities.”

“We will always cherish our memories of him and hold him close to our hearts. We remember his family, friends, and colleagues in our prayers at this time,” said Lizer.

Albert Hale, 1950-2021. Courtesy photo

The virtual memorial takes place at 11am Mountain time. The event will be streamed on Facebook and YouTube, and aired live on KTNN AM 660, FM 101.5 and KKNS AM 131.

“We invite all of our Navajo people and many others who had the honor of knowing our leader, Albert Hale, to tune-in live as we honor and pay tribute to his life,” said Nez. “We are working with his family to coordinate this event for the public.”

“Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 we cannot hold a large in-person public event so we will be livestreaming it and KTNN has been gracious in allowing it to be aired live on the radio as well,” Nez added.

The memorial event will include remarks from the Hale’s family, Nez, Lizer, members of the Navajo Nation Council and others.

“We are honored to bring together the family of Albert Hale and our Nation’s leaders to recognize our leader and to provide the opportunity for our Navajo people to view it,” said Lizer. “We continue to offer our prayers for the family, friends, and the many who knew him. We ask our Navajo people to join us in offering condolences and prayers.”

Hale experienced the atrocities of the Indian boarding school era before graduating from Fort Wingate High School in Arizona in 1969. He later earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Arizona State University and a Juris Doctor from the University of New Mexico. He was a member of the Navajo Nation Bar Association and the New Mexico Bar Association, and ran his own private law practice.

“Throughout his service to the Navajo Nation, he helped our people in many ways by helping to secure water rights in the state of New Mexico, advocating for the remediation of uranium mine sites and mine workers, securing critical funding at the state level, and for his outspoken advocacy for people of all backgrounds and nationalities,” said Nez. “We ask all of our Diné people to join us in honoring former President Hale and to offer prayers for his family.”

On Tuesday, Nez and Lizer issued a proclamation calling for all flags on the Navajo Nation to be flown at half-staff, beginning on February 3 through February 6, in honor and memory of Hale.