Navajo Nation leader raises sexual assault awareness with walk before Spring Session began

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

WINDOW ROCK, Arizona — Leaders on the Navajo Nation took time prior to the start of the tribal council’s Spring Session on April 19 to focus on awareness and prevention of sexual assault.

To further conversation, Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty led an awareness walk with the purpose to honor victims of violence on the Navajo Nation and to advocate for survivor resources, to encourage dialogue, and to shed light on a topic that is often hidden in tribal communities.

"You have to be courageous to have these conversations because that's what healing takes," Crotty said.

Navajo Nation first lady Phefelia Nez talks about sexual assault prevention during an event about the topic on April 19 in Window Rock, Arizona.

She added that talking about all aspects of sexual assault goes beyond tribal leadership to families talking about it.

The walk from the Navajo Nation Shopping Center Inc. parking lot to the tribal council chamber coincided with National Sexual Assault Awareness Month and National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

It was conducted under public health guidelines for the coronavirus pandemic. Crotty, who serves as chairperson of the council's subcommittee focusing on sexual assault prevention, spoke live on Facebook during the walk to encourage others to join at home.

Employees from the Navajo Nation Office of the Speaker listen to remarks on April 19 during an event in Window Rock, Arizona to raise awareness and to advocate prevention of sexual assaults.

At the council chamber, Crotty was joined by Speaker Seth Damon, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and first lady Phefelia Nez.

"It's so important to bring awareness of these two topics," Phefelia Nez said.

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

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