Demonstrators Gather, Demand Justice For Diné Women
Demonstrators gathered for hours in Window Rock last Friday to demand justice for Diné women on the Navajo Nation.
The Diné Sáanii for Justice March unfolded after the 24th Navajo Nation Council failed to approve an allocation of $86,806 to fund the Navajo Nation Office of the Prosecutor at a budgetary hearing, the council said in a statement. Council says the budget was one vote short of approval.
At the march, Former Council Delegate Genevieve Jackson called for greater representation of women within the Navajo Nation Council.
"How are we going to achieve balance and harmony when it's male-dominated?" Jackson asked amid applause.
Currently, three delegates in the council are women.
Friday’s demonstration came as cases remain unsolved for missing and murdered Indigenous women across the country. Navajo Nation citizen Ella Mae Begay, a 62-year-old woman from Sweetwater, was last reported to be seen June 15, 2021. The Navajo Police Department later declared Begay’s case a homicide investigation. The Facebook page Trailing Ellamae has since been created, circulating updates of Begay’s case along with announcements of other missing people.
Nursing Assistant Jamie Lynn Yazzie was last seen in Pinon on June 30, 2019 and remains missing, according to the FBI. Yazzie, a nursing assistant, was 31 at the time of her disappearance. Ranelle Rose Bennett, last seen June 15, 2021, was reported missing earlier this summer after the 33-year-old woman was last seen by her mother in Hogback, New Mexico, tribal authorities said.