Apr 8, 2017

Branch Leaders need to visit Relocated Families about NGS Closure

I heard about the Navajo President and the Navajo Speaker visiting with the Peabody workers who are about to lose their jobs due to the Navajo Generating Station closure.  President Begay is asking for federal support to keep NGS open a few more years.  President Begay and Speaker Bates need to look at the broader issue.  They are only looking at one side, the Peabody workers' side.  How about visiting the families who lost their lands to the Navajo-Hopi land dispute? How about talking to McCain about that? Or Navajo-Hopi Land Office Attorney Lawrence Ruzow (who happens to be the Navajo Nation Bar Association President and chums with the third branch leader Acting Chief Justice Allen Sloan)?  Don't those relocated families have a say in the NGS?  Peabody is the reason these families were removed.  Thousands of acres of land lost. A lot of those lands are just vacant today.  And the Navajo-Hopi Land Office is closing soon.  I think Percy Deal stated in the Gallup Independent that no politician has come to his community of Big Mountain about NGS-Peabody's impact on families and environment in his community.  I agree.  It just seems like President Begay and Speaker Bates just support the expensive clothing worn, and big pick-up trucks driven by the relatively few Peabody workers and their families. That's not right.  They need to look at this issue more comprehensively, and considering history.

Apr 2, 2017

Brown-Almaweri a role model for Navajo leaders


There is this article, "Student hopes to teach others about their cultural identity".  The article discusses how one student, Baahh Nazoshnii Brown-Almaweri, tries to promote Navajo language and culture.  She got a $10,000 grant for an afterschool program in Ganado for teenagers to learn about "healthy eating habits, positive  body image, and Mother Earth and living traditions."  A key goal for the program is retaining cultural identity.  Where it gets interesting is when the article describes the Navajo Indian reservation
"It's also a place where many have been stripped of their cultural identity because of forced assimilation by state-runned public schools." 
The article acknowledges the forced assimilation of Navajos.  Further, in light of the present race climate surrounding Native Americans in America, this article courageously and plainly acknowledges this country's hatred for Navajo culture.  We see this racism today in our state education policies where our state school curriculum (Structured English Immersion in Arizona) is designed to make English speakers out of Navajos.  In the process, our divine right to "the fundamental values and principles of Diné Life Way" and "the right and freedom of the Diné to be educated as to Diné Bi beenahaz'áanii," as described in the Navajo Fundamental Law, is being diminished.  Ms. Brown-Almaweri is trying to do something about this problem.  I wish our leadership would do the same and put more effort into addressing this issue.  This would require a courageous leader.
Baahh-Nazoshnnii Brown-Almaweri ’17 is familiar with the myriad issues facing young people of the Navajo Nation. - See more at: https://www.union.edu/news/stories/2017/03/from-navajo-nation-to-union-student-hopes-to-teach-others-about-their-cultural-identity.php#sthash.bgUYhCTR.dpuf
We sIt’s a a place where many have been stripped of their cultural identity because of forced assimilation by state-run public schools - See more at: https://www.union.edu/news/stories/2017/03/from-navajo-nation-to-union-student-hopes-to-teach-others-about-their-cultural-identity.php#sthash.bgUYhCT
It’s also a place where many have been stripped of their cultural identity because of forced assimilation by state-run public schools. - See more at: https://www.union.edu/news/stories/2017/03/from-navajo-nation-to-union-student-hopes-to-teach-others-about-their-cultural-identity.php#sthash.bgUYhCTR.dpuf
It’s also a place where many have been stripped of their cultural identity because of forced assimilation by state-run public schools. - See more at: https://www.union.edu/news/stories/2017/03/from-navajo-nation-to-union-student-hopes-to-teach-others-about-their-cultural-identity.php#sthash.bgUYhCTR.dpuf
It’s also a place where many have been stripped of their cultural identity because of forced assimilation by state-run public schools. - See more at: https://www.union.edu/news/stories/2017/03/from-navajo-nation-to-union-student-hopes-to-teach-others-about-their-cultural-identity.php#sthash.bgUYhCTR.dpuf
It’s also a place where many have been stripped of their cultural identity because of forced assimilation by state-run public schools. - See more at: https://www.union.edu/news/stories/2017/03/from-navajo-nation-to-union-student-hopes-to-teach-others-about-their-cultural-identity.php#sthash.bgUYhC". 

NT Letter attacks Tlo'chi'in News - raises Lack of Education among our Dine

There was this NT letter to the editor "The dangers of Jini news", that was worth mentioning.  Melvin Tso complains about Tl'oh Chin news spreading false news, despite the site's disclaimer, "Tlo'chi'iin News is fake and satirical news."   He compares the online site to Ma'ii who spreads the fake word.  He pleads to the Navajo leadership to do something about this fake.  

I disagree with Tso.  Tso's letter illustrates a big Navajo issue - the lack of western education among our DineToday, many of us Dine need western education to function in this society.  Many Dine do not know that Navajo society is in the process of assimilating and is quickly transforming into a brown version of American society.  In the process, we try to be as assimilated as possible, but some of us don't have the education to back us up.  In this situation, Melvin Tso may have learned to read and write English, but it seems like he has not been educated of the different forms of English writing.  One form of writing is called "satire" or "satirical writing".  Some of the early satirical writers were European Victorian cartoonist.  Today, our Navajo society is assimilating into American society, so we have Jack Ahasteen being the modern European Satirist, the Navajo version.  Satire does not focus on factual accuracy which is the aim for general news. The satire provides a means to communicate perspectives that may otherwise be difficult to publish as regular news.  Tl'oh Chin provides different perspectives about difficult issues that might be difficult to publish, such as accusing Senator McCain of Navajo witchcraft "Poll: 95% of Navajos are Sure this Photo shows that McCain is a Skinwalker". I find it thought-provoking.  Therefore, I don't agree with Melvin Tso.  Our People need more perspectives, more discussions on some of these difficult topics, more western education about topics such as European history and American Indian studies, and more Navajo education on topics such as the Navajo Fundamental Law.