Greetings to everyone from the Coconino County Attorney's Office and the Western Navajo-Hopi Meth Task Force! We are excited to give you an update about our recent activities and some exciting events we are planning for this summer.
As many of you know, crystal meth ("Ice," "G," "Glass," "Crystal") has had a devastating effect on Indian reservations throughout America in the last couple years. Tribal populations can be especially vulnerable to the lure and the lie of this drug due to their remote locations with limited opportunities for youth. The Western Navajo-Hopi Meth Task Force was formed in April 2006, due to our concerns over the destruction from meth in reservation communities and our desire to fight back and prevent further harm and suffering.
Our task force members come from many walks of life, including concerned citizens and many fine professionals who serve Navajo and Hopi communities in various capacities. Our focus is on Prevention-Awareness-Intervention. We seek to raise community awareness regarding meth (and other drugs) on the reservation, prevent youth from falling into the trap of drug use and addiction, and help those who are addicted find healing and restoration in their lives. We are taking a grassroots approach that is based on Native traditions and customs so that we can maximize our effectiveness and "touch the hearts" of those whose lives have been affected by meth and other drugs in Indian Country. There can be no Harmony or Beauty where meth is involved!
We recently received some grant funding from the Coconino County Board of Supervisors in the amount of $6,000-special thanks to Supervisors Louise Yellowman and Deb Hill-which will be used for three "Community Awareness Events" this summer. The purpose of these events is to raise awareness regarding meth (and other drugs) in reservation communities and distribute information and contact numbers for those needing help. At these events, we will have booths with posters, handouts and other materials, provide food and drinks, and conduct art contests for the youth. We will also have Native speakers who will speak first-hand about their own experiences with meth and recovery. Our resources are designed to target all different age groups, from young children to the grandmas and grandpas. We will conduct these events in strategic locations to reach surrounding communities and especially those living in remote areas.
We will be planning our summer events. We welcome your input and participation. If you have any questions or would like to participate in any way, please contact us.
On Tuesday, June 12, we will be helping with a Community Meth Awareness Day in Kiabeto. We are honored to work alongside the Navajo Department of Behavioral Health Services and local Chapter officials, with many exciting events planned that day in Kaibeto! Among other things, there will be a Community Walk, graffiti removal, children's art contest with prizes and special speakers at the Chapter House. If you would like to be involved in this important day, please contact the event sponsors: Kiabeto DBHS at (928) 673-3267 (Ruby) or K'ai'biito Dine Bisilao Tsohi, Inc. at (928) 673-3490 (Elouise).
We'll see you around the Rez this summer! Remember- Meth Kilz and The High is a Lie.
David W. Rozema
About the author: David Rozema is an attorney who became a member of the Navajo Nation Bar Association in 1995. He served as a Bar Commissioner for the Tuba City District from 1995-97, and he has practiced before the Navajo Supreme Court. Rozema has been the Chief Deputy for the Coconino County Attorney's Office since 1996. He is a founding member of the Western Navajo-Hopi Meth Task Force.