The re-development of the Tonalea Chapter Replacement Facility shone as a true testament of persistence for community leadership. Mr. Colbert Dayzie, former Vice President of Tonalea Chapter, led early design efforts on behalf of the Chapter, along with other chapter officials. Unfortunately, Mr. Dayzie didn’t get to realize the completed building, having journeyed on to the next world in 2020. Prior to this, his father was a former Navajo Nation Council Delegate and moved to secure funding for a new facility for the community. Chapter officials and members of the community remained committed to working on this goal. One other key person who helped orchestrate all parties on behalf of the project was Marlinda Whiterock, former Chapter Service Coordinator. Mr. Dayzie and Ms. Whiterock continued efforts to secure funding for the replacement building. After dealing with space shuffling within existing facilities on the Chapter compound, the Navajo Nation Council passed a resolution in November of 2019 to provide funding for the construction of the new Chapter facility.
Starting in July, 2016, DMA and Tonalea Chapter worked together to develop design ideas molded from the unique characteristics of the local community. Primary design features included colors and materials that reflect traditional Dine’ culture, a Hogan shaped lobby and Ts’aa’ wedding basket patterns that are integral in the building design.