Navajo Nation Issues Statement on the Passing of Native Advocate
The Navajo Nation Washington Office is deeply saddened by the loss of Chastity Bedonie, a citizen of the Navajo Nation and a long time resident of Washington, D.C. She died September 15 in Baltimore, Maryland, following a brief illness.
She was born August 20, 1975 in Tuba City, Arizona, and was raised in Farmington, New Mexico. She was Todich’iinii (Bitter Water Clan), born for Nashashi (Bear Clan).
“We extend our condolences and deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Chastity. She was a remarkable attorney and a staunch advocate for Native issues,” said Navajo Nation Washington Office executive director Clara Pratte.
She obtained her bachelor of arts degree in Physics from Bryn Mawr College, and her juris doctor from the University of California Los Angeles School of Law.
At the time of her passing she was an attorney at the U.S. Department of the Interior in the Office of the Secretary. Prior to her role at the department, she served on the staffs of former Rep. Brad Carson, D-Okla., the National Indian Gaming Commission, the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Chastity was a former treasurer of DC’s Native American Bar Association. Chastity was also a Morris K. Udall Native American Congressional Intern.
“Chastity Bedonie was a highly regarded and widely respected professional who was deeply committed to helping Indian Country. I gained a deep appreciation for her through our many opportunities of working together on important legal and legislative issues. On behalf of all Indian Affairs employees, I want to extend our deepest condolences to Chastity’s family at this difficult time,” said Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn.
Bedonie is survived by her mother Hilda Greyeyes of Kayenta, Arizona, brother Theo Bedonie; and sisters Michelle Bedonie, Sherrie Bedonie and Brielle Bedonie, all of Farmington, New Mexico.
Bedonie was preceded in death by her father Timothy Bedonie of Bellemont, Arizona.
Late in the afternoon Friday, September 20, 2013 the friends and co-workers at the Department of the Interior, Office of Indian Affairs will host a Memorial Ceremony to honor Chastity and her many years of hard work for Indian Country and our Nation. For more information about the memorial contact the Navajo Nation Washington Office at 202-682-7390.
Funeral arrangements will be made by Desert View Funeral Home in Shiprock, New Mexico. Donations and messages to the family can be made at this website.