Women are Sacred conference promotes indigenous traditional knowledge

Navajo Nation Council Delegate Amber Crotty speaks at a Women Are Sacred conference June 28. (Office of the Speaker)

Navajo Nation Council Delegate Amber Crotty speaks at a Women Are Sacred conference June 28. (Office of the Speaker)

On June 28, Council Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty provided a plenary address entitled “We Carry Our Medicine” at the annual Women Are Sacred Conference, which focused on the utilization of indigenous traditional knowledge and ceremony for violence prevention.

The conference’s theme, “Resilience: Walking in Ancestral Footprints, Carrying Our Medicine,” promoted the use of indigenous cultural awareness as a means to ending violence in Indian Country and implementing social change through traditional healing and medicines. The conference was provided by the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center.

Crotty (Beclabito, Cove, Gadi’i’áhi/To’Koi, Red Valley, Tooh Haltsooi, Toadlena/Two Grey Hills, Tsé ałnáoz’t’I’í), who also serves as the chair for the Navajo Nation Sexual Assault Prevention Subcommittee, stressed the importance of prayer and cultural resilience as victim advocates, law enforcement, social workers, parents, and youth work to promote violence prevention.

“I think one of the things we need to take away is how powerful prayer and ceremony is, and to incorporate it into what we are doing in protecting our women and children. This is the time to go to an elder or community medicine person to ask these critical questions about protection of others and most importantly, to restore yourself, your family, and community,” Crotty said.

In addition to promoting healing for victims, Crotty added that it was important for individuals who work in challenging environments and cope with personal traumas or traumas of victims, to take care of themselves at an individual level so they may continue to fight “modern day monsters” such as violence, sexual assault, suicide, and alcohol and substance abuse.

The conference invited victim advocates, survivors of violence and abuse, tribal domestic and sexual violence programs, tribal leadership, community members, law enforcements, and tribal court officials and personnel. The conference is designed to provide training opportunities and aid in developing community-based programs to address violence in tribal communities.

At the conclusion of Crotty’s address, she thanked the participants and the organizers of the conference for providing valuable information to stakeholders dedicated to ending violence and protecting tribal communities, and commended the Native American youth who took part in the trainings and discussions.

“To the youth, you literally are the prayers your great-great-grandmothers put in place. She never knew your name, but she had that hope, perseverance, and tenacity to put your life into motion. How did she do that? Through prayer, through her own teachings — she survived. And that’s how we are all here today, through our women nation who provided life and our men nation who partner with us to create the beautiful blessings we see here,” Crotty said.

Information provided by the Navajo Nation Speaker’s Office

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