The Navajo Nation

Office of the President

     The Navajo Nation

Office of the President

President Nygren celebrates the grand opening of a new NACE in Navajo Eastern Agency 

CROWNPOINT, N.M. — Perhaps the grand opening of the Navajo Arts and Crafts store in Crownpoint could be the catalyst for a bustling economic boom for the Eastern Navajo Agency community. 

On Thursday, Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony held at the Navajo Nation Shopping Center plaza that houses several other businesses, including Victoria’s Pizza, which debuted with its grand opening on May 3. It is owned by Victoria Largo. 

The community of about 3,000 sits along N.M. State Highway 371, which tourists use to make their way to Chaco Culture National Historic Park. The community is about 26 miles north of Interstate 40. 

President Nygren thanked NACE CEO JT Willie for continuing to expand the enterprise that’s been in operation for 82 years. 

“I congratulate NACE for expanding and establishing its presence in Eastern Navajo. The store coming back will help benefit the local community to allow them to shop and reduce their travel distance and time,” said President Nygren. “I commend Navajo Arts and Crafts Enterprise and its employees for their new store in Crownpoint. The new store looks fantastic. I support our Navajo Enterprises because they are an extension of the Navajo Nation Government and shareholders of the Navajo people.”

CEO Willie also thanked his staff for the work they did to bring NACE back to Crownpoint. He told President Nygren for his words. 

“Your words have recharged our energy to continue to do good things for our enterprise,” Wille said to the President. 

Willie a silversmith himself said he understands the challenges of getting a fair price for his work. 

“We’re that channel for all of our artisans,” he said of NACE. 

He added that if local artisans-to-be wanting to learn how to make jewelry could reach out to the enterprise where they could be taught. 

“We have a workshop in St. Michaels, (Arizona) that’s collecting dust. So, if you have someone who wants to learn how to make jewelry, send them my way. We have silversmiths that work for us that can teach them,” Willie said. “I can take time to teach you to the neck college does a mentorship program. We’re going to collaborate to do great things. To continue our art of who we are as Navajo people.”

Navajo Vice President Richelle Montoya thanked NACE for returning to Eagle Country.

“For Navajo Arts and Crafts Enterprise to be back in Crownpoint is a huge step and achievement for the community of Crownpoint. Thank you to everyone for making this grand opening possible and for all the hard work they have done,” Vice President Montoya said. “I appreciate Mr. JT Willie for bringing NACE back to Crownpoint and leading the Enterprise.”

President Nygren, Vice President, and NACE CEO Willie were also joined by NACE Board Chair Jerome Tsosie, Navajo Nation Shopping Centers Inc. CEO Nick Taylor, and Crownpoint Chapter President Rita Capitan.

The grand opening ended with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in front of the Navajo Arts and Crafts store. 

With its new location in Crownpoint, NACE now has nine stores operating throughout the Navajo Nation.