Published June 21, 2016
In light of recent news of the Navajo Nation’s request to meet with U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, I find it necessary to clarify my position and respond to these reports.
I will not tolerate the derogatory name-calling, racial slurs, and fear-mongering of Donald Trump. As Native women, we know all too well the true history of Pocahontas — made a slave and victim of sexual violence by colonists. Such ignorant and careless references trivialize the serious issue of violence against Native women and children. The Navajo Nation will not stand for it. Native women are not mere cartoons.
The violent rape of our lands and bodies continue to manifest undue chaos in our communities. Making light of Native peoples is an indication of Trump’s position on issues important to our Nation. Native peoples are not just a “special interest group.” We are distinct native nations with government-to-government relationships with the United States.
Trump’s recent fundraiser in Phoenix, Arizona at Barry Goldwater’s former estate brings to mind the Goldwater Institute’s current efforts to undermine Navajo Nation sovereignty by sustained attacks on the Indian Child Welfare Act. The Institute refuses to recognize our inherent right to decide tribal citizenship — I refuse to entertain any meeting request from a presidential candidate without sound policies for Indian County. These attacks on our sovereignty and way of life will not be overlooked or ignored.
I have received numerous communications from Navajo citizens who disagree with any prospective meetings with Trump, and I stand with my People today in saying “No!” to Trump. Our people currently are victimized in border-towns with racial profiling and are on the receiving end of Trump’s hate-mongering rhetoric.
While I understand the sentiments of some of my colleagues on the Navajo Nation Council to vet all candidates in the best interest of the Navajo Nation, this is one prospect we should not consider.
Any perceived relationship with Donald Trump in his bid for the White House is not in the Navajo Nation’s best interest. As a leader I cannot conscionably agree with such efforts to meet, nor keep silent regarding this matter.
Amber Kanazbah Crotty is a Navajo Nation Council delegate. She serves Beclabito, Cove, Gad Ii’ahi/Toko’i, Red Valley, Tooh Haltsooi, Toadlena/ Two Grey Hills and Tse Alnaozt’i’i.
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