Chastity Bedonie, Navajo attorney, passes away at age of 39

Chastity Bedonie, a member of the Navajo Nation who worked at the Interior Department, died on Sunday. She was 38.

Bedonie spent her career focusing on Indian issues. She worked for the National Indian Gaming Commission and the Senate Indian Affairs Committee before joining Interior.

"I saw in her a passion for ensuring the Interior Department meets its trust and treaty responsibilities to tribal nations and accomplishes our mission of helping to build stronger, more prosperous Native American communities," Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, who met Bedonie earlier this year, said in a statement that was circulated among department employees.

Bedonie, whose sister in New Mexico, has set up a fund to cover funeral expenses, also worked at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld representing tribes. One of her clients was the Osage Nation of Oklahoma.

"She worked for the Akin-Gump law firm when I was Chief and she was very kind to our delegations whenever we traveled to Washington D.C.," former chief Jim Gray said in a posting on Facebook.

Get the Story:
Navajo Woman, Committed to Improving Lives of Natives, Walks On at 39 (Indian Country Today 9/18)

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