BLANDING, UTAH — Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren made an unscheduled stop at a Navajo-owned trading post on Thursday morning in Blanding, Utah.
Owner of the establishment, William Day, originally from St. Michaels, was making his famous coffee for customers when the Navajo Nation President walked in to get some coffee.
Instead of heading straight to his scheduled event in Moab, Utah, the President took an unexpected detour. Nygren ordered his driver to pull into Hunt’s Trading Post, a store owned by William Day, a Navajo citizen, famous for its Native American jewelry, crafts and souvenirs.
“Yá’átééh,” President Nygren said as he walked into the trading post.
“Yá’átééh,” said Day when he saw the President. “I voted for you.”
President Nygren shook William’s hand and thanked him.
“We were just passing through on our way to Moab,” the President said to Day.
The President spent about 20 minutes browsing the shelves and chatting with William and his granddaughter. He was especially interested in learning about the history of the trading post.
Nearly hidden amongst the displays of turquoise squash blossoms, bracelets and rings was a Navajo Tribal Council badge that William said belonged to his father Sam Day III.
The badge is made of metal or perhaps silver. In the center of the badge is a carving of a hogan which symbolizes the sacredness of family and the Navajo way of life. Above is an eagle, depicted with its wings spread across to illustrate a sense of patriotism, strength, and unity.
As a show of gratitude and Navajo hospitality, William presented the President with a gift and some coffee.
The impromptu stop highlights President Nygren’s interest in supporting Indigenous-owned small businesses and learning about the history and cultures of the Indigenous-owned businesses he visits.
“Hunt’s Trading Post is a gem of a place. I enjoyed walking through the trading post. William and his granddaughter are friendly and inviting. Their coffee was also very good. Thank you to William and his granddaughter for their gracious hospitality and beautiful gift,” said President Nygren.