The Navajo Nation is looking to improve its economy through advanced manufacturing.
The Southwestern Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) could play an important role in the future, according to Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye.
Begaye addressed the SIPI staff on August 21, at the invitation of SIPI President Dr. Sherry Allison. SIPI, is located in Albuquerque. SIPI and similar institutions have the important task of developing a workforce of technical leaders for Native America, Begaye said.
“The Navajo Nation is exploring a new paradigm in developing advanced manufacturing,” he said. “We are looking to SIPI and other tribal colleges and universities to develop this workforce.”
Advancements in technology call for research and production of materials to assist in building satellites, cell phones and renewable forms of energy, Begaye said. The potential for the Navajo Nation to be a part of this technological boom could be furthered through education and specified training, he added.
“For this technology to come from the Navajo Nation is amazing,” Begaye said. “We need our education to evolve at a much higher level to train our students to be leaders in this developing industry.”
In addition to the instructors, Begaye tasked all Native American students with increasing their skill-set to position their tribes to be technological leaders in emerging fields.
Begaye said Navajo students are dreamers and innovative. “They’re looking to gain knowledge. With many emerging fields of technology, we need SIPI to continue to expand and to train our people,” he said.
By fostering technological paradigms within our students and workforce, the Navajo Nation can change its economic and technical landscape, Begaye said.
Begaye recently joined SIPI’s Board of Regents.