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Navajo Nation hosting a memorial for late tribal president

FILE - In this March 4, 2015, file photo, then-Rep. Albert Hale, D-St. Michaels, talks at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix. Hale, who served as the second president of the Navajo Nation in the 1990s, died Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. A cause of death and an exact age for Hale was not immediately available. But tribal officials said Hale was in his early 70s and was battling COVID-19 when the Navajo Nation Council heard of his condition last Friday. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation is hosting a memorial event to honor the memory of former tribal president Albert Hale. Tribal officials say the 70-year-old Hale died Tuesday because of complications from COVID-19.  

Friday’s event will be streamed live online and aired live on a Navajo language radio station. Hale served as the Navajo Nation’s president from 1995 to 1998 and was in the Arizona Legislature, where he served in the Senate from 2004 to 2011 and in the House from 2011 to 2017.

To honor Hale, tribal President Jonathan Nez has called for flags to be flown at half-staff through Saturday on the vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.