Former Arizona legislator, Navajo Nation Council delegate Jack Jackson dies

Mar 9, 2023, 10:30 AM
(Navajo Oral History Project Photo)...
(Navajo Oral History Project Photo)
(Navajo Oral History Project Photo)

PHOENIX – Former Arizona state legislator Jack Jackson, whose career highlights included obtaining education funding for tribal communities, died Sunday at 89, the Indigenous Peoples Caucus announced.

Jackson, born in Leupp, Arizona, on the Navajo Nation, served in both chambers of the Legislature starting in the House of Representatives in 1985. He stayed for 14 years then moved to the Senate in 1998.

He was joined in the statehouse by his son, Rep. Jack Jackson Jr. The pair became the first father and son to serve together in the Legislature, according to a press release, in the older man’s final term in the Senate.

Among Jackson’s accomplishments was helping to pass a bill that established Arizona Indian Legislative Day.

The longtime educator’s foray into politics began with the Navajo Nation Council, where he served from 1980 to 1984.

“Dr. Jack C. Jackson’s family honors their patriarch’s legacy as a spiritual leader, medicine man, educator, legislator, rodeo cowboy, rancher, athlete and coach, and a fierce defender of preserving and prolonging Diné traditions, culture and language so future Navajo generations will continue to prosper and thrive. He will be greatly missed and is deeply loved,” his family said in a press release.

Jackson is survived by his children Ronald Jackson, Jack C. Jackson Jr., and Dr. Florinda J. Jackson, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

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Former Arizona legislator, Navajo Nation Council delegate Jack Jackson dies