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Public memorial planned for former Navajo Nation President Zah

Peterson Zah
Kenji Kawano
Navajo Nation President Peterson Zah on his inauguration on Jan. 15,1991, at the Navajo Nation capitol in Window Rock, Ariz.

A motorcade processional for former Navajo Nation President Peterson Zah will be held Saturday on the reservation.

According to current Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren’s office, the public memorial is a way for the Navajo people to say farewell to the revered leader.

Zah’s family says he was a public person and would have wanted the people to be able to participate.

The motorcade will begin from Tse Bonito, New Mexico at 8 a.m. with Zah’s family along with officials and other dignitaries.

It’ll proceed to the Zah family cemetery at Low Mountain for a private funeral followed by a public reception and memorial at the Window Rock High School Event Center.

Zah served as Navajo chairman in the 1980s and then was elected as the tribe’s first president.

He’s credited with bringing stability to the government after a tumultuous period.

Zah died earlier this week after an illness.