The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission (“Commission”) in partnership with Department of Diné Education and Diné BiOlta will be conducting several public hearings to assess the mistreatment of Navajo and Native American students attending K through 12th grade in schools on and off the Navajo Nation.
The mistreatment can be in different forms such as verbal and physical attacks, disparate treatment due to their culture, gender preference and bullying.
Every human being has the right to be happy, to be secure and live without the fear of reprisal. Indigenous peoples have the right to manifesting their cultures, religions, and traditions without the fear of being discriminated.
The Commission set the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (“UNDRIP”) as its threshold in examining Navajo human right issues. UNDRIP was adopted in 2007 and has been supported by the United States Government since 2010. UNDRIP is an international human rights instrument that enshrines the rights of indigenous peoples. These human rights must be respected, protected and, where necessary appropriate, remedied.
The Commission welcomes all parents, guardians and students to provide information on the treatment they received from school personnel at the schools they attend. The Commission will accept written testimony that are signed and dated by the complaining parties.
The public hearings will start on Oct. 24 at the Hospitality Center at Navajo Technical University in Crownpoint, New Mexico from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Oct. 25 at Department of Diné Education Auditorium in Window Rock, Arizona from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Public hearing dates and locations for 2020 will be announced.
More information is available by contacting the Commission at (928) 871-7436 or visiting the Commission website at www.nnhrc.navajo-nsn.gov.