Kayenta Native Serves on the Cutting Edge of Naval Aviation Modernization

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Electa Berassa, Navy Office of Community Outreach

LEMOORE, Calif. – A 2004 Monument Valley High School graduate and Kayenta, Arizona, native is serving in the U.S. Navy with VFA 147 The Argonauts.

Petty Officer 1st Class Berthia Sullivan works as a yeoman and operates out of Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore, California.

A Navy yeoman is responsible for everything personnel-related with pay and benefits.

“I have learned a lot about my Navajo culture,” said Sullivan. “I come from a long history of Native American veterans. From a young age my grandmother instilled in us a lot of our culture to make sure we are successful. She sacrificed a lot to get me here, and I don’t ever want to let her down.”

NAS Lemoore is the home of the F-35C Lightning II, which is slated to play a critical role in carrier strike groups’ integrated warfighting packages, according to Navy officials.

F/A-18 Super Hornets, with the ability to carry large payloads of advanced weapons, will continue to provide lethality and flexibility to complement the capabilities of the F-35C Lightning II. This combination of naval aviation assets will provide a mix of strike assets to deliver responsiveness and firepower across the range of military operations, according to Navy officials.

The F-35C will serve as the first stealth platform to operate forward from the sea, extending combat power in all threat environments and reducing the Navy’s reliance on supporting aircraft, tankers and jammers while enabling joint interoperability with newer systems.

The strike fighter wing, headquartered at NAS Lemoore, ensures that each squadron is fully combat-ready to conduct carrier-based, all-weather, attack, fighter and support missions for the Pacific Fleet.

Sullivan has military ties with family members who have previously served and is honored to carry on the family tradition.

“My grandfather was a WWII Army vet,” said Sullivan. “He helped set the standard before I was even born, and he talked about what it was like to leave the reservation and travel. That fueled my decision to join and get me where I am today.”

Sullivan is also proud of earning the Navy Marine Corp Achievement Medal in December for making sure everyone was taken care of regarding pay, personnel and benefits.

With the CSFWP consisting of more than 20 squadrons, highly specialized jobs range from training new aviators to maintaining airframes and engines, to handling and flying aircraft.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Sullivan and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

“Serving in the Navy means making sure there is a future for my girls, and they are as free as I was growing up,” Sullivan added. “I am making sure they get the same opportunities, if not more.”

Kayenta Earth Week 2018

Kayenta Township designated this past week earth week, and I must say that the community of Kayenta pulled it off. Altogether the community of Kayenta gathered 60 Cubic Yards of Trash!



Trash was collected:

  • North of Laguna Creek Bridge on US Highway 163
  • Heading east out of Kayenta on US Highway 160
  • South on BIA Route N591
  • West of Kayenta on US Highway 160






I would like to thank the following organizations for helping out with this effort and making this possible for Kayenta.

  • Community Members of Kayenta
  • The Teachers of Kayenta Unified School District
  • Kayenta Township
  • ADOT
  • Kayenta Fire Department
  • Blue Coffee Pot
  • The Kayenta Chapter

JoDonna Hall- Ward proud owner of Blue Coffee Pot and a Kayenta Township Commissioner helped tremendously with her 40oz bottle recycling that she puts together every year.



Altogether with her efforts she was able to collect 23,033 40oz bottles. That translates to $1,151.65 of her own money that she put up to get rid of this eye sore in the community of Kayenta. The Kayenta Township is currently assisting with the hauling and disposal fees of these 40oz bottles in White Mesa, Utah with an additional estimated cost of $2000.00.




I truly believe we banned together as a community and made Kayenta better for our community members and visitors from all over the world. I sincerely hope that we all take pride in our community and take a sense of ownership of Kayenta that we call home. Thank you to all who came out and assisted with “Earth Week” here in Kayenta and making this week one for the books.


Gabriel Yazzie – Kayenta Town Manager


Drivers should plan for extra time on US 163 north of Kayenta due to construction project that begins today

The Arizona Department of Transportation advises drivers to plan for extra time when traveling on US 163 north of Kayenta during a scheduled six-month-long construction project that begins today (March 14).

The 1-mile work zone, located between mileposts 400 and 401, is approximately 5 miles north
of Kayenta. Drivers traveling between Kayenta and the Utah state line will use a temporary detour alongside US 163 to continue north- and southbound travel through the work zone. US 163 is the highway motorists use to access the popular Monument Valley Navajo Tribal park near the Arizona-Utah border.

Drivers should expect intermittent delays of up to 30 minutes during the construction project, which is  needed to improve the drainage system along this portion of US 163 during rain storms.

Motorists should slow down and use caution through the work zone. To learn more about the US 163 roadway improvement project, visit [www.azdot.gov/US163]www.azdot.gov/US163.

Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, please call the ADOT Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or email Projects@azdot.gov. For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT’s Traveler Information Site at www.az511.gov, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except when driving.

LEGISLATIVE ALERT: H.B. 2003 coal mining; TPT; repeal

On Tuesday, Mar. 6, H.B. 2003 coal mining; TPT; repeal was assigned to the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Rules Committee, respectively. Previously, the bill passed out of the House of Representatives last Thursday, Mar. 1, and was transmitted to the Senate on Monday, Mar. 5. H.B. 2003 is sponsored by Rep. Mark Finchem, R-Dist. 11; Casa Grande, Eloy, Marana, Maricopa, Oro Valley, Tucson. The bill is on the agenda and scheduled to be heard in the Senate Finance Committee next Wednesday, Mar. 14 at 9 a.m. MST.

This legislative alert seeks to inform LD-7 constituents of this bill and its potential impacts district-wide. The office of Sen. Peshlakai encourages district and state residents’ input and feedback through the legislature’s ‘Request To Speak’ system. 

Attached is the committee agenda, a House bill summary, and a fiscal note for your review. You may review the full bill and additional details online at www.azleg.gov.


Employment Opportunity: Kayenta Family Chiropractic

Position: Chiropractic Assistant

Health care is such a rewarding field of work. A position in our company, (Kayenta Family Chiropractic), as a Chiropractic Assistant would allow a person interested in helping other people, to learn an effective, alternative method other than drugs and surgery of restoring health. Our patients are fun and it’s so rewarding to work with them. Previous experience is helpful but not required. We do have paperwork and records to process, so bring those skills with you.
Send or drop off your resume’ [Kayenta Family Chiropractic, PO Box 2817, One Canyon Drive,] and let’s see if we can create a great work experience for all of us.

Request for Qualifications – Kayenta Bus Route

Request for Qualifications # KY-17-007-01 – Kayenta Bus Route

Kayenta Bus Route Final Plans

Please amend and include the following information for Request for Qualifications #KY-100-1-11-5610 as follows:

1. Due Date and time revised to: 4:30 pm, August 15, 2017 p.m. MST

2. Last Day for Questions: 4:30 pm, August 10, 2017 p.m. MST

3. Contractor to use plans dated 8/7/17 & Construction Manual 8/2/17 completed by

Arrowhead Engineering, Inc. available by contacting:

a. Ernnon Quanah, eq@arrowheadengineeringinc.com Office: 520-448-5212

b. https://www.facebook.com/kayenta.township.5/

c. http://kayentatownship?nsn.gov/Home/

4. Attendance at Pre Bid Meeting held 8/2/17 is NON-MANDATORY. Bids can be submitted from all interested parties.


Kayenta Township Opposes Proposed Navajo Nation Firearms Registration

On Monday May 8, 2017 at 5:30pm the Kayenta Township Commission held its regularly scheduled monthly meeting. Among the agenda items was resolution #KTCMY-30-17 “Opposing Proposed Navajo Nation Council Legislation No. 0114-17 Amending Title 17 of the Navajo Nation Code and Enacting the Navajo Nation Firearms Act”. This legislation was drafted and put forth by Navajo Nation Council Delegate Davis Filfred of Aneth, UT.

This resolution was first presented to the Kayenta Township Commission at last month’s regularly scheduled meeting on April 10, 2017 but was tabled because the Commission wanted community input on the matter. The Commission directed Kayenta Town Manager Gabriel Yazzie to hold a public meeting at the Kayenta Town Hall.

Commissioner Jarvis Williams addresses the audience at the Kayenta public meeting.

This public meeting was held at 10am on May 4, 2017 and conducted by Kayenta Town Manager Gabriel Yazzie. In attendance were community members of Kayenta, the surrounding area and other communities such as Kaibeto and Oljato. Kayenta Township Commissioner Jarvis Williams, Jodonna Hall/Ward and Rodger Grey made it a priority to be at the meeting to hear the public input. Three Navajo Nation police officers were in attendance as well.

Commissioner Hall/Ward addressed the audience first at the meeting and informed the audience that this piece of proposed legislation by Davis Filfred is very important and affects each and every firearm owner on the Navajo Nation. “We want your input on this issue so we can make the right decision for this community.” Stated Ms. Hall/Ward.

Every community member that was in attendance, with the exception of the three Navajo Nation police officers, were opposed to the proposed legislation and voiced their concerns quite openly and candidly. Many stated that as responsible firearm owners they had already followed the mandatory background check when purchasing a firearm and that forcing everyone on the Navajo Nation that owned a firearm(s) to register and be put in a database is not what needs to be done to combat crime on the Navajo Nation.

The Navajo Police officers in attendance justified their support of the legislation by stating that a firearms registry would help them trace a firearm(s) used in a crime to its owner much easier. This was their only justification in support of the proposed Navajo Nation legislation.

In attendance at the public meeting was Kayenta community member Shonie De La Rosa who is an active member of the National Rifle Association and the Arizona Rifle and Pistol Association. Shonie has stated that he will fight this legislation to the very end and people need to be educated on this very important issue. “I completely oppose this legislation. In my opinion there are more important things to worry about than registering firearms. We all know that drugs and alcohol kill far more of our people than firearms do.” He further stated that, “The majority of the crimes on the Navajo Nation are drug and alcohol related and that the Navajo Nation needs to address that issue first.”

A key point that Shonie De La Rosa brought up at the public meeting was the NICS (The National Instant Criminal Background Check System). Excerpt from their web site: Mandated by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 and launched by the FBI on November 30, 1998, NICS is used by Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) to instantly determine whether a prospective buyer is eligible to buy firearms. Before ringing up the sale, cashiers call in a check to the FBI or to other designated agencies to ensure that each customer does not have a criminal record or isn’t otherwise ineligible to make a purchase.

Shonie stated that local, state, county and federal agencies contribute criminal records to this NICS database and that the Navajo Nation does not contribute to the NICS database. Therefore, anyone on the Navajo Nation convicted of a crime(s) such as domestic violence, drugs, etc. that would by federal law make an individual prohibited to possess firearms could easily purchase a firearm(s) without their Navajo Nation criminal record showing up on the mandatory NICS background check. “If the Navajo Nation would contribute these criminal records to the federal database, it would make a much better impact than the proposed firearms registration Filfred Davis has proposed to the Navajo Nation.” Said Shonie.

Kayenta Town Manager Gabriel Yazzie stated, “This was a very good meeting and we received a lot of good feedback from the community about this issue. I will take the input from this public meeting to redraft the Kayenta Township resolution Opposing Navajo Nation Legislation No. 0114-17 and present it to the commission at our next meeting.”

On May 8, 2017 the redrafted resolution was presented to the Kayenta Township Commission at their regular scheduled monthly meeting. Kayenta Township resolution #KTCMY-30-17 passed that evening with a vote of 3 in favor, 0 opposed and 0 abstained.

“This is the first step in fighting this very important issue. Now that the Kayenta Township has passed this resolution opposing Filfred’s proposed legislation, everyone on the Navajo Nation needs to encourage their community leaders to do the same and pass resolutions in their chapters opposing this legislation.” Said Shonie.