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Navajo Delegate Brown Talks Dating Violence

Navajo Delegate Brown Talks Dating Violence
June 11
12:36 2018

Navajo Nation Council Delegate Nathaniel Brown wants young people to be aware of the dangers of dating violence.

Brown addressed the “Native Youth Conference: Educating and Preventing Dating Violence” at the Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake.

The conference was to educate Native youth (ages 14 to 24) regarding dating violence and to provide skills to develop healthy dating relationships, provide resources to youth for positive communication, conflict resolution and skills to manage a more holistic view of “the self.”

“I feel it is important that our Native youth are provided traditional and cultural guidance from their parents, medicine people and mentors in order for them to not only understand themselves at an individual level, but to foster healthy relationships by reflecting on their Native identity and their indigenous values from the home areas they come from,” Brown said.

Dating violence accounts for nearly 75-percent of deaths among native youth – such as physical injury, suicide and homicide. Studies reveal that native youth experience dating violence up to 10-times the national average.

Brown urged youths to turn toward their native identities for healthy dating goals. He utilized traditional Navajo examples for native youth, such as clanship and respecting familial boundaries, guidance         from Diné elders and the teaching of respect and discipline through the male and female “kinaałda” (Coming of Age) ceremony.

It is important for parents and adults to be role models to the youth, Brown added.

“It is everyone’s job, not just the parents and guardians, but we as uncles, aunties, friends and peers to raise our young Native children and to work collectively to protect them to make sure that we keep an eye on them,” Brown said. “The most important thing is that we guide them and we supply them with all the information about dating violence.”

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