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Navajo lawmakers support funding for UNM housing project

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Lawmakers on the nation’s largest American Indian reservation are throwing their support behind an effort to provide dormitory space for Navajo students at the University of New Mexico.

The Navajo Nation Council late last week approved legislation to use nearly $1.5 million in supplemental funding for the effort.

Under the plan, the tribe would execute a contract with the university to acquire an existing dormitory facility to house 118 Navajo students. The aim would be for the residence hall to reflect the tribe’s cultural and historical values.

Council Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty sponsored the measure. She said the acquisition would help ease the financial burden of securing residency and increase retention rates for Navajo students.

Tribal officials say they’re also looking to invest in dorm space at other schools in the region.