Youth develop issues, solutions then present to candidates

By Shondiin Silversmith
Navajo Times

SHIPROCK, Aug. 21, 2014

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(Times photos – Ravonelle Yazzie)

TOP: A workshop participant writes down “gang violence” as one of the issues on the Navajo reservation before the Diné Youth Forum in Shiprock, N.M.

MIDDLE: Mariah Claw of Chinle, Ariz., speaks with presidential candidate Carrie Lynn Martin after the Diné Youth Forum last Wednesday in Shiprock, N.M.

BOTTOM: Diné youth present and identify issues on the Navajo Nation that impact them and their community during the Diné Youth Forum in Shiprock, N.M., on Aug. 13.

Young Navajos gathered at the Shiprock Chapter House on Aug. 13 for the Diné Youth Forum and 18 participated in a work session.

Jeneda and Clayson Benally, of the band Sihasin, conducted the work session. The goal was to identify issues affecting the Navajo Nation and to develop solutions.

“Clayson and I volunteered our time to work with the youth to help empower them and help them feel comfortable with speaking to the candidates,” Jeneda said, adding that it could be intimidating for youth to speak to their elders.

Clayson said helping the youth go through the process of identifying issues and finding creative solutions was an inspiring because it was an opportunity for their voices to be heard.

Jeneda added that it’s important to get the youth involved with the political process.

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