Azee'Bee Nahagha opens arms to youth

By Shondiin Silversmith
Navajo Times

CHINLE, July 3, 2014

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(Times photo – Ravonelle Yazzie)

TOP: Teepees were set up for the meeting that was held in Chinle on June 27 for the 48th annual Azee' Bee Nahagha of Diné Nation.

BOTTOM: During the 48th annual Azee' Bee Nahagha of Diné Nation, Austin Wero (left), Tristen Tsosie (middle), and Miss Tsaile Elementary School Princess Natiana King eat their lunch on June 27 during Youth Day.

Most people think that peyote meetings focus on adults but as a way to give the young Native American Church community an outlet to practice their tradition the Azee'Bee Nahagha of Diné Nation held their annual youth day celebration.

The celebration was a part of the 48th annual ABNDN Convention, a three-day event to come together and share information, give recognition and acknowledgements, pray and sing together in a spiritual setting.

Youth Day kicked off the convention on June 27 with cultural presentations and a meeting. The day started off with the youth constructing the teepees they would use for their meeting.

ABNDN President Steven Benally said the kids get directly involved with the set up to learn about running a ceremony.

"We're just sharing teachings with our young ones," Benally said. "We're coming together to pray for them."

Presentations by youth advocates were conducted throughout the day including one by Rex Harvey.

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