Richelle Montoya

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Richelle Montoya
11th Vice President of the Navajo Nation
Assumed office
January 10, 2023
PresidentBuu Nygren
Preceded byMyron Lizer
Personal details
SpouseOlsen Chee (sep. 2023)[1]

Richelle Montoya is an American politician who is the 11th vice president of the Navajo Nation.[2] She is the first woman elected to the executive office of Navajo Nation.[2]

Montoya is from Torreon, Sandoval County, New Mexico and is Hashtł'ishnii (Mud clan) and born for Ta'neeszahnii (Tangle clan).[3] Her maternal grandfather is Kinłichii'nii (Red House clan), and her paternal grandfather is Táchii'nii (Red Running into Water clan).[4]

She served as the president of the Torreon/Star Lake Chapter and is a member of the Na’ Neelzhiin Ji Olta’ Inc. board.[5] In August 2022, Montoya was selected as the running mate of Buu Nygren during the 2022 Navajo Nation presidential election.[6]

Montoya is an advocate for the usage of the Navajo language.[4]

She was married to U.S. Army veteran Olsen Chee.[5] The pair separated in August 2023.[1]


  1. ^ a b Abasta, Rick (2023-11-02). "Olsen Chee believes protecting his wife led to separation". Navajo Times. Retrieved 2023-12-31.
  2. ^ a b "Indigenous leaders elected". Ict News. November 9, 2022. Retrieved 2022-11-10.
  3. ^ Silversmith, Shondiin. "Navajo voters elect Buu Nygren as president, ousting Jonathan Nez". Longview News-Journal. Archived from the original on 2022-11-10. Retrieved 2022-11-10.
  4. ^ a b Silversmith, Shondiin. "Buu Nygren becomes youngest Navajo president, Richelle Montoya becomes the first woman VP". Tucson Sentinel. Retrieved 2023-01-12.
  5. ^ a b Krisst, Rima (2022-08-11). "Aiming for balance: Nygren picks Richelle Montoya-Chee as running mate". Navajo Times. Retrieved 2022-11-10.
  6. ^ "Nygren chooses New Mexico leader as running mate in Navajo president election". KNAU Arizona Public Radio. 2022-08-09. Retrieved 2022-11-10.
Political offices
Preceded by Vice President of the Navajo Nation