The largest Indigenous pride event, Diné Pride, will be held in Arizona during the third week of June from the 14-19. This will be the fourth year the Navajo Nation has held the event and this year it will be celebrated during the official Pride Week set by the Navajo Nation government last year.
The event will focus on “honoring all Indigenous Womxn” this year, according to the Navajo Nation Pride website.
“To put it short, the theme is the sacred resilience of Indigenous women. We felt that it was important that we share the narrative, the story, the experiences and accomplishments of our matriarchs all across the United States that identify as indigenous and LGBTQ,” Navajo Nation Pride executive director Alray Nelson said.
The event will begin virtually and the last day will be held in-person following COVID-19 guidelines set by the nation. Everything will be streamed live on all Diné Pride’s platforms for those who don’t feel comfortable attending in person.
Diné Pride is a different experience from other pride events for many reasons, Nelson said, including not being corporately sponsored and decolonizing how pride works.
“Diné Pride is here to be a symbol of hope for everyone about how Navajo people, since time immemorial, have always honored the equality among our people. We've always recognized same-sex marriages, same-sex unions. We were always here at the forefront honoring LGBTQ relatives as sacred beings,” Nelson said. “That's the message you will always receive if you're attending one of our events.”
Pride week will begin on June 16 with a virtual opening ceremony with speeches from this year's two Diné Pride champions; former Senator Jack Jackson Jr. and U.S. Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland, one of the first Native American women to be elected to congress.
Four people will be recognized with a leadership award and this year’s Diné Pride scholars, who will each win a $1,000 scholarship for college, will also be introduced.
On the 17th, there will be an Indigenous LGBTQIA+ women’s summit where attendees will hear from lesbian and non-binary indigenous women. A transgender women’s leadership panel will be held on the 18 and will close off the virtual events. Every night will include a virtual drag show after the events.
“We're going to host the first ever Pride parade on an Indigenous nation. It will take place in Window Rock, Arizona, which is the capital of our tribe,” Nelson said about the events taking place on June 19. “Following the parade is going to be our first in-person event where we're going to be hosting in front of the Navajo Nation council chamber.”
There will be a drag show and attendees will have a chance to meet the champions and scholars in person. Diné Pride does several events throughout the year that can be found at navajonationpride.com.