Meeting will center on Navajo youth council

Noel Lyn Smith
Navajo Nation

FARMINGTON — Young Navajos can learn more about the Navajo Nation Youth Council during a meeting Tuesday in Shiprock.

The youth council and the Office of Diné Y.O.U.T.H. are organizing the meeting to share information about the council and collect input about its direction from Navajo youth.

Navajo Nation Council Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty, who is scheduled to speak at the event, said the meeting is the first step toward advancing the youth council. She said it also provides a chance to generate excitement for establishing the council and gathering ideas about its focus.

Crotty, who represents Beclabito, Gadii'ahi-Tokoi, Toadlena-Two Grey Hills, Tooh Haltsooí and Tsé Alnaozt'i'í chapters in New Mexico and Cove and Red Valley chapters in Arizona, said she often receives comments and listens to concerns about issues facing young people.

She said they are “very engaged” and want to improve their communities.

“They want to, first and foremost, be part of the conversation,” she said.

Crotty serves on the Health, Education and Human Services Committee and explained the committee issued a directive to the Department of Diné Education and the Office of Diné Y.O.U.T.H. to provide a blueprint for developing a youth council.

“I’m excited to hear from the youth themselves about how they want to incorporate it,” Crotty said.

Wetona Becenti, program supervisor for the Office of Diné Y.O.U.T.H. in Shiprock, said the first meeting about the youth council is Monday in Fort Defiance, Ariz., and there are plans to hold additional meetings in Crownpoint and in Chinle and Tuba City in Arizona.

So far, the youth council has a website that lists information about its structure, including plans to establish five agency councils and develop the positions of agency presidents, vice presidents and secretary-treasurers.

During the Shiprock meeting, there will be presentations about the council’s history, its initiatives, goals and structure, as well as a round table discussion, according to the agenda.

Registration starts at 9 a.m., and the meeting will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Shiprock Youth Complex. The building is located along U.S. Highway 491, next to the Bureau of Indian Affairs complex.

For more information about the meeting, call the Office of Diné Y.O.U.T.H. at 505-368-1125.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636.