Here at the Navajo Human Rights Commission public hearing on Navajo gender violence and Violence against Navajo women and LGBTQs at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Ariz. The hearing is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
I am an Iraq veteran and a recipient of two Purple Hearts and I want to say that the Navajo Nation has no programs to assist the wave of returning veterans. I am promoting a Fatherhood Program because we have so many children that don’t know their childrens. And I’m also speaking on behalf of the perpetrators/instigators because as veteran dealing with Post Tramautic Stress Disorder I have learned that the way that I talk
I know of a family that ate potatoes all month because that is all that they had to eat. And the child comes to Headstart every day hungry. There is a 14-year-old mother with a three-year-old child attending Headstart. But our leaders are ignorant or they don’t care.
And there are only three Navajo Council delegates who are veterans and so perhaps that is why they are not addressing veterans issues.
I have grown up with violence around me and I see children being abused so I believe we need to concentrate on Navajo men. They need to be taught how to protect family, provide home.
The Navajo Nation has scheduled four seminars across Navajo Reservation to promote Fatherhood. And part of the seminar would be to teach men that domestic violence includes harsh words, certain looks and actions.
I believe domestic violence should begin at Headstart where the Navajo Nation has more than 3,000 students. And Headstart needs more funding.
There are no services for veterans and deployed to Afghanistan in 2001, when 17 years old. Sen. Udall once told me that I was very young and I’ve gotten to know which is why I know that there is not enough grants for the funding of domestic violence.
On the issue of police, they need to understand that there is a reason for domestic violence and it could be PTSD.
NHR COMMISSIONER STEVE DARDEN
Dr. Franklin Freeland frustrated with current Navajo government administration lack of focus on veterans, PTSD, support services. And last Monday, my brother and I met with federal judge concerning the lack of Navajo ceremony for a Navajo veteran suffering from PTSD. Perhaps there is a way for courts to take into account PTSD created by serving in the military when a veteran is arrested and charged. Thank you Mr. Keyiome for speaking on the need to focus on Navajo men and veterans. Could solutions be PTSD training and counseling at our tribal colleges?
NHR COMMISSIONER DR. JENNIFER DENETDALE
When 9/11 happened and everyone in uproad to go to war, I questioned why. And when global discussions occur about war, there is always debate over the U.S being war mongers and biggest violators of human rights.
Our treaties are repeatedly violated by the U.S. The U.S. does not take care of our most valuable resource, our young men and women. The U.S. military has increasing violations of domestic violations against children.
I appreciate your point that gender means masculine, feminine, which in Navajo terms is Nedleeh.
And yes, men are the primary perpetrators but women are also involved so I appreciate your words.
I have been raped by medicine men and so I don’t trust medicine men and to say this publicly is difficult. And why I bring up is to stand with you to say I am going to stop the violence in my family and among my grandchildren.
And regarding your statement about Headstart, I appreciate your stand for respectful Fatherhood that involves community and not just men.