WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Council Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty (Beclabito, Cove, Gad Íí’áhí/ Tókǫ’í, Red Valley, Tooh Haltsooí, Toadlena/ Two Grey Hills, Tsé Ałnáozt’i’í) attended several court proceedings this week to support Navajo victims and their families.
On Aug. 1, Crotty attended a hearing in Albuquerque to support the family of Gary Mike and Pamela Foster, the parents of a young Navajo girl who was murdered last year. The suspect in the case was indicted on six counts, including first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated sexual abuse. The defendant changed his plea from not guilty to guilty at the hearing.
Crotty, who chairs the Council’s Sexual Assault Prevention Subcommittee, attended the hearing along with the non-profit Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women at the invitation of the victim’s family. The coalition is an advocacy group for Native American women and children.
On Aug. 3, Crotty traveled to Holbrook, Arizona to support the family of two shooting victims who died after a contentious custody hearing last year. The suspect in that case is charged with two counts of second-degree murder and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Crotty said the family requested her attendance and support at the proceedings, which were held at the Navajo County Superior Court.
“Amidst the challenges and responsibilities of being a Naat’áanii, we must never forget our connection to the people we represent and advocate for,” Crotty said. “We must never lose sight of our role as elected officials and share the burdens of our respective communities. In the Beauty Way, our home is a sanctuary, and our family is a shield from the perils of this world. We should always make time to extend our advocacy for our people by even the most basic means — by just being there for the families, standing with them in difficult times, and sharing in their grief.”
Crotty also said she would continue to advocate for the completion and activation of a comprehensive AMBER alert system for the Navajo Nation, and said she encourages Navajo communities to continue speaking out in productive ways about public safety and sexual violence in the Navajo Nation.
“It will take all of us working together in mutual respect and collaboration to address these social ills in a meaningful and substantive way,” Crotty said. “Remember one another in prayer, and let us all do our part to keep our Nation safe.”