24th Navajo Nation Council - Office of the Speaker
On Friday, October 11, 2019, Council Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty of the 24th Navajo Nation Council participated in a Missing and Murdered Diné Relatives panel discussion and provided a presentation at the “Community Healing Through Courageous Conversations” conference hosted by the Pueblo of Isleta in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The conference provided a legal overview and discussion regarding the Violence Against Women Act and the impacts of domestic violence in tribal communities. Delegate Crotty, along with other New Mexico tribal leaders, had the opportunity to discuss areas of VAWA that are working to improve communities and how the Act has impacted tribal criminal justice systems.
“The convening was powerful. Leadership had candid conversations regarding VAWA and we analyzed areas that need improvement. The inclusion of youth voices at the conference was also a positive direction that tribes are taking to address violence in our communities,” said Delegate Crotty.
Delegate Crotty facilitated two Missing and Murdered Diné Relatives breakout sessions that illustrated the steps the Navajo Nation is taking to address sexual and domestic violence, human trafficking and the importance of working with grassroots groups that can provide vital information and research towards developing solutions.
“Violence is a multidimensional and systemic issue that needs bold, systemic changes. As leaders, we must come together at the county, state and federal levels to advocate for justice and healing in our communities,” said Delegate Crotty.
Delegate Crotty leads the Missing and Murdered Diné Relatives Working Group, which is taking an interdisciplinary approach to addressing the crisis in Navajo communities. Delegate Crotty asked programs and neighboring indigenous tribes to consider partnering with grassroots working groups with the right subject matter expertise to address violence.
During the Tribal Leaders Roundtable discussion, Delegate Crotty provided information on the Navajo Nation’s criminal justice and social services programs that aim to address domestic and sexual violence. Delegate Crotty said that policy change and community awareness are the tools Navajo leadership have to make meaningful changes.
Delegate Crotty thanked the Pueblo of Isleta for hosting the conference and shared that the United States Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women was invited to visit the Navajo Nation for a one-on-one consultation. That invitation is awaiting a response. Delegate Crotty stressed that it is important that federal agencies and programs hear of unique tribal needs directly from tribes.
More information regarding the Missing and Murdered Diné Relatives initiative can be obtained by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.