Navajo president urges students to move on after campus tragedy

Tucson, Arizona (AP) 9-07

Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr., speaking September 13th at the University of Arizona just days after a fatal stabbing on campus involving two tribal members, urged students to move on and become leaders for the tribe.

Galareka Harrison has been charged in the Sept. 5 stabbing death of Mia Henderson, according to police. The two 18-year-old freshman were dormitory roommates and had just started school here.

Without mentioning either woman by name or specifically talking about the incident, Shirley talked about how the Navajo people approach the sorrow of losing loved ones and how to honor them by moving on with life’s work.

“We cannot continue to dwell on it,” Shirley told about 200 students in his speech. “This is a great teaching from our elders, from our medicine people. What happened has happened and it’s unfortunate.

“It hurts. It makes us cry. It makes us think about a lot of things. But to the best of our ability – spiritually speaking – we must move on... Life continues and that’s the way of our people.”

Shirley said the tribe’s future depends on its leaders.

“A learned leader can take us a long way, so stay focused,” he told the students. “Challenges come and go each day. Currently, you need to have resolve and determination. You need to stay focused ... to continue in spite of what has transpired. Do not be hindered or deterred. There are no impossibilities. Now is the time to have faith.”

Information from: Arizona Daily Star,