Navajo Council Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty walked with Navajo elders and senior center staff to the Navajo Nation Veterans Memorial Park in Window Rock, Ariz. on Oct. 26, 2018.
Published October 28, 2018
WINDOW ROCK – On Friday, nearly 200 Navajo elders participated in the Navajo Nation Division of Aging and Long Term Care Support’s Appreciation Celebration Walk and Luncheon. The morning awareness walk began at the Lowe’s Shopping Center and concluded at the Navajo Nation Veterans Memorial Park in Window Rock, and festivities continued at St. Michaels Chapter.
Delegate Crotty addresses the crowd of Navajo elders during the leadership appreciation event in Window Rock, Ariz. on Oct. 26, 2018.
The event was held in honor of Council Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty (Beclabito, Cove, Gadi’i’áhi/To’Koi, Red Valley, Tooh Haltsooi, Toadlena/Two Grey Hills, Tsé ałnáoz’t’I’í), Navajo leadership, and program staff for supporting Navajo elders by increasing their funding, improving senior centers, and raising awareness of other issues that still need to be addressed such as new transportation, more new buildings, and to improve meals and services.
Delegate Crotty, who marched with the Navajo elders, has been a strong advocate in raising awareness of elder issues at the tribal, state, and federal levels, and said she will maintain her stance on advocating for Navajo elders to ensure they continue to receive proper funding and direct services.
“Our elders need to be funded right at the top of the list with veterans and education. As we look to the future for the well-being and care of our elders, we also need to begin discussions to appoint managers at each senior center to make swift decisions and end the age-old bureaucratic process of waiting for decisions to be made from the top of the chain. We also need to increase investigators who can investigate crimes of elder abuse and bring justice to the victims,” said Delegate Crotty.
She also commended the senior centers’ staff for taking care of the Navajo elders on a daily basis, preparing and serving them food, providing transportation, and engaging in activities that Navajo elders find fun and exciting. Delegate Crotty said she understands that many elders may not have family interaction regularly, and thanked staff for “stepping up to the plate” to care for the elders.
Delegate Crotty, who is also a member of the Health, Education, and Human Services Committee, said the next step for her and her colleagues is to look into creating a set-aside fund from the Navajo Nation’s revenues to increase funding for services, new transportation, and construction of senior centers.
“I want to thank my colleagues on the Health, Education, and Human Services Committee for continuing to support Navajo elder initiatives, and we are seeking ways we can continue the momentum in helping our senior citizens’ programs. Just by the shear number of Navajo grandmothers and grandfathers that came today, we can see how important it is to them for leadership to meet their needs. They are honoring us today, but we must honor them by ensuring they continue to receive the best our Nation can offer them,” said Delegate Crotty.