Navajo Council Delegate Amber Crotty advocates for youth empowerment
The following is from a February 24, 2015 Navajo Nation Council News Release.
DILKON, Ariz. – Navajo Council Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty (Beclabito, Cove, Gadi’i’ahi/To’Koi, Red Valley, Tooh Haltsooi, Toadlena/Two Grey Hills, Tse atnaoz’t’l’I] met with youth community members in Dilkon on Monday to discuss the development of a local youth council and Girl Scouts program, which was hosted by Dilkon Youth Services.
Delegate Crotty was invited to the meeting by the DYS program and said she was pleased to visit with local youth to express her support of the proposed youth council. She then posed questions to the youth members regarding the initiative and its effort to become affiliated with the United National lndian Tribal Youth.
“What made you want to start this youth council? How are you going to bring this to Navajo? What are your goals and what do you hope to accomplish once you receive official affiliation from UNlTY? These are very important questions to ask yourselves as you begin to move forward,” said Delegate Crotty.
UNlTY is a national organization that promotes the spiritual, mental, physical, social, and personal development of American lndian and Alaska Native youth. With over 140 youth councils in 35 states and Canada, the number of UNlTY youth councils continues to increase throughout lndian Country, according to the UNlTY program report.
Ashley John, recreation coordinator at DYS, said the idea of the youth council in Dilkon originated from youth member Cassie Monroe, who expressed the need for improved representation of youth in Navajo communities and to promote community involvement.
“l think we all want to develop youth leadership. We all have ideas, but we want the youth to come up with the ideas themselves. We are not actual UNlTY members yet, but they are guiding us on [developing] this youth council,” said John.
Delegate Crotty applauded the youth members and said she was impressed with the youth initiative, and suggested that youth councils be established in each Navajo agency.
“l know that Northern Navajo Agency has a youth council, and l think it would be amazing if we had a youth council in each agency to represent Navajo youth and hear directly from them exactly what their needs are,” said Delegate Crotty.
After meeting with the DYS youth members, Delegate Crotty also visited with Dilkon Girl Scouts Troop 2671, and provided a presentation to the young Navajo girls regarding leadership skills and community service.
“When you’re a girl scout, l think you can do anything. We are going to change the world when girls start talking, and when they start talking they are going to do amazing and wonderful things,” Delegate Crotty said to the group, after they recited the Girl Scout Promise and Law.
Delegate Crotty, a former Girl Scout and troop leader, said it is important that Navajo girls feel empowered at a very young age so they may develop into successful adults that can take on leadership roles in their communities. She stressed that community service will enable the young girls to foster positive relationships with one another, as well as with their communities.
At the conclusion of the presentation, Delegate Crotty provided gifts to the Girl Scouts and offered her assistance to the advancement of the Dilkon Girl Scouts through her experience as a troop leader. She added that she would also seek financial support for the DYS program through the Navajo Nation Council, as well as grant opportunities that may become available.
The youth council and Girl Scouts are part of an afterschool program provided by the DYS. For more information regarding the programs, you may contact DYS program project coordinator Claudia Jackson at (928] 657-‐8126.