The Navajo Nation lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and two-spirit community and its allies will host the largest Indigenous Pride in the country in its sovereign capital of Window Rock, Arizona - from June 20-24, 2023.
All planned events are in-person following the official deactivation of COVID-19 restrictions on the Navajo Nation by President Buu Nygren earlier this year.
Organizers from Navajo Nation Pride have announced a monumental week-long celebration that includes a virtual-Opening Ceremony that will uplift the voices of LGBTQ+ Indigenous leaders, the 2023 Pride Champions, Naat’áanii Leadership Honorees, and Nááts'íilid Rainbow College Scholars.
In a press release, Navajo Nation Pride Executive Director Alray Nelson said,
Navajo Nation Pride has grown to be the largest Indigenous LGBTQ+ celebration in the United States. Hózhó Dooleł is our theme this year and they are two time immemorial words that say we are beautiful, portected, and strong. Our Diné gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and two-spirit family members have been here since the beginning of time. We are unapologetic, fierce, and resilient LGBTQ+ warriors.
The 25th Navajo Nation Council will be official hosts of the "We Are Sacred" Ceremony and Drag Show at the historic Navajo Nation Council Chambers on Friday evening with a rainbow lighting. The following morning, the largest Indigenous Pride Parade will commence from the Navajo Nation Museum to the Council Chambers before the start of the "One Nation" Pride Festival and Marketplace in front of the Window Rock Veterans Memorial Park.
Many national headliners from the Indigenous drag community are confirmed, including 2022 Miss New Mexico Pride Tomahawk Martini.
Navajo Nation Pride Deputy Director, Curtis Berry added,
Being gay, lesbian, trans, bisexual, queer, and two-spirit meant you were a sacred human being that was revered through history by the people. As this pandemic comes to an end, we boldly say we are alive. Navajo Nation Pride will reclaim our traditional knowledge and fight for our right to be who we are.
On Friday, the youngest Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren and the first woman Speaker Crystalyne Curley will jointly sign a proclamation declaring the month of June as "Navajo Nation Pride Month". Several tribal lawmakers also announced plans to end the Navajo Nation's longstanding ban on same-sex marriage and to introduce the "Diné Equality Act" to protect LGBTQ+ rights.
Former Speaker Seth Damon added:
The Navajo Nation Council Chamber is the People's House and all are welcome - including our gay, lesbian, transgender, and two-spirit family members. It is now time we review Navajo law to ensure it provides necessary LGBTQ+ protections, including the final repeal of the discriminatory Diné Marriage Act. Our citizens should have the right to choose who they love and be respected and accepted here within our great Nation.
Last year, the 24th Navajo Nation Council passed Legislation No. 140-20, proclaiming the third week of June as Diné Pride Week. Sponsored by former Budget and Finance Committee member Nathaniel Brown, the legislation was approved 12-9 by the Naabik’iyati Committee and then by a vote of 14-8 by the tribal council. The Council Chamber will display all LGBTQIA+ Pride flags each week.
Supporters interested in volunteering or learning more about Navajo Nation Pride, visit us: NavajoNationPride.com