Pendleton healing blanket designed to raise funds for Diné Missing & Murdered Relatives
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Madam Chair Amber Kanazbah Crotty of the 24th Navajo Nation Council was joined by Cellular One and Pendleton Woolen Mills to announce the commissioning of Navajo artisan Ms. Leandra Yazzie to design a Special Artists Edition Healing Blanket to benefit ongoing efforts of the Missing and Murdered Diné Relatives (MMDR) movement.
In March 2019, the Navajo Nation Council supported establishing a working group to begin addressing the ongoing crisis of MMDR in the Navajo Nation. The group is comprised of a multidisciplinary team tasked with developing a framework to establish a Missing & Murdered Diné Relatives data institute, develop a missing persons community action toolkit and create healing spaces for the families of victims.
“The Navajo Nation is deeply grateful for the support of Cellular One and Pendleton Woolen Mills. We can make real progress when enough families speak up, and community stakeholders come together. We can impact legislation and ensure collaboration between tribal and state law enforcement officers so there is greater cohesion for search efforts and justice is served for victims and their families,” Crotty said.
A self-taught Diné artist, Yazzie lives in Blue Gap, Arizona, and was raised surrounded by her grandmother and aunt, who are renowned Navajo weavers. She said it was the resilient woman in her life who inspire her artwork and its vibrancy and cultural undertones.
“I am proud to be a part of this initiative to support the Navajo MMDR movement. It is an honor to apply my art to such an important cause. When Cellular One and Pendleton reached out to me, I quickly felt inspiration take hold. The design of this blanket is intended to convey hope and healing — symbolizing the resilience of the human spirit in the face of loss and tragedy,” she said.
According to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Report, the National Crime Information Center reports that there were 5,712 reports of missing American Indian and Alaska Native women and girls, though the Department of Justice’s federal missing person database only logged 116 cases.