21st Diné Studies Conference Video Library

October 25-27, 2018 at Diné College, Tsaile, Arizona

150 Years Later: Acting and Advocating to Empower Our Own Researchers and Healers and Visionaries and Thinkers and Planners and Leaders and Scientists and…

Neeznádiin dóo’ąą ashdladiin nááhaigo: Nihidine’é nida’ałkaahígíí, nahałáhí, dahaniihii dóó nitsékeesii dóó naha’áii dóó éé’deitįįhii, doozhóódgóó ba’ahódlí dóó ílį́įgo hiilna

The 21st Diné Studies Conference proudly presents video recordings from our presenters covering topics on the Navajo Treaty, Law, Politics, Media, Literature, Education, Language, Identity, History, Culture, Knowledge, Workshops, Poetry, and more. We recorded many of the wonderful conversations and workshops. We want to make all the knowledge gathered at these conferences available and accessible to all. We hope you enjoy these videos. We ask that you honor and respect these videos. These videos are not for personal use but to be used for academic usage. We highly encourage your feedback. Click here.

Videography by Diné owned Wayfinder Media. Twitter @wayfindermedia.


Opening Keynote: Our Nation’s College: The Future of the Tribally Controlled Colleges Act

Dr. Charles Monty Roessel (Diné), President, Diné College

In the keynote address, I will discuss the rise of the Tribally Controlled Schools Act and its meaning for the Navajo Nation. I will announce the revitalization of the Navajo Community College press and its significance for the future of Diné Research.

Keynote: “Our Diné children, language and culture are sacred: Diné bizaad bee hahóózhd”

Dr. Audra Platero, Principal, Tséhootsooí Diné Bi’ Ólta’, Window Rock Unified School District

Biography: Dr. Platero is Bitter Water, born for the Mexican Clan, adopted by the Tangle People Clan. Her maternal grandfather’s clan is Big Water, and her paternal grandfather’s clan is the One Who Walks Around. She is originally from Many Farms, Arizona. Dr. Platero was trained specifically to be an Immersion teacher from Diné College and Arizona State University. She has taught and worked in the immersion setting for the past 16 years. She supports and advocates for our Diné language and culture so that our children can have a sense of identity and self.

Lunch Keynote: Developing a Navajo Educational Media Guide: A Community Perspective

Shawna L. Begay, Ph.D. (Diné)

The findings in this study will serve to inform the development of a Navajo Educational Media Guide that is to provide guidelines for a potential Navajo Educational Media Show that teaches the Navajo language and culture to pre-school aged children (4-6 years old). Implications from this study suggest that more research in needed around Indigenous Educational Media and the development of culturally relevant media for Indigenous populations in the area of Indigenous language rejuvenation.

Keynote: The Role of Law in the Navajo Nation Since the Treaty of 1868

Mr. Paul Spruhan, J.D.

What is the role of law in Navajo society since 1868? The Treaty created the original Navajo Reservation, and the Nation’s political territory has expanded significantly since that time. The Nation’s legal system has evolved since the Treaty as well, to a government split between three branches and a robust court system, though with no organic document like a constitution to define the roles of the three Branches. This structure co-exists with traditional legal principles originating from the Journey Narrative and other sources.

Treaty, Politics and Law 

Session One

Naltsoos Sani: A Legal History of the Navajo Treaty of 1868

Paul Spruhan, J.D., Assistant Attorney General, Navajo Department of Justice

Navajo Nationalism, 1940s-1960s

Paul C. Rosier, Ph.D., Mary M. Birle Chair in American History, Villanova University

Session Two

Reflections on the Navajo Treaty of 1868—Scholarship, Community Remembrances, and International Human Rights

Jennifer Denetdale, Ph.D.(Diné), Associate Professor, Department of American Studies, University of New Mexico

Exploiting the Fifth World: Navajo Land and Economic Development

Ezra Roser, J.D., Law Professor, American University Washington College of Law

Long Walk:  Healing for Today

Philip J. Chmielewski, Ph.D., Professor and Sir Thomas More Chair of Engineering Ethics, Loyola Marymount University


Session Three

Author Meets Critic Session: Landscapes of Power by Dana Powell

Panelists: Dana E. Powell, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Appalachian State University; Jennifer Denetdale, Ph.D. (Diné) Associate Professor, Department of American Studies, University of New Mexico; Earl Tulley (Diné), and Sandra Yellowhorse (Diné), Doctoral Student, University of Auckland, Venaya Yazzie (Diné) Moderator: Andrew Curley, Ph.D. (Diné), Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, UNC - Chapel Hill

Session Four

Getting A Diné Leader to Congress: Trials and Tribulations of Navajo Congressional Contenders and possibilities for our future

Panelists: Derrick Watchman - Arizona (Diné), Jack Jackson, Jr. - Arizona (Diné), Wenona Benally, J.D. - Arizona (Diné), and current congressional contender, James Singer - Utah (Diné). Moderator: Wendy S. Greyeyes, Ph.D. (Diné), Assistant Professor, University of New Mexico


Session Five

Influencing policy solutions: Navajo Nation Human Trafficking White Paper

Presenters: Honorable Nathaniel Brown (Navajo Nation Council Delegate), Honorable Amber Kanazbah Crotty (Navajo Nation Council Delegate), Kathleen Finn and Carla Fredericks - University of Colorado-Boulder American Indian Law Clinic;  Eric Gale - Navajo Department of Family Services;  Melissa Clyde - Casey Family Programs

Media and Literature

Session Six

Photography in the Hweéldi Era

Panelists: Rapheal Begay, Curator and photographer, Maxwell Museum, University of New Mexico; Devorah Romanek, Curator, Maxwell Museum, University of New Mexico; Hannah Abelbeck, Digital Archivist, Palace of the Governors, New Mexico History Museum, Santa Fe, NM. Moderator: Jennifer Denetdale, Ph.D.(Diné) Associate Professor, Department of American Studies, University of New Mexico.

Session Seven

Dine Literatures: Past and Future Perspectives of Dine Literature and Nation-Building through Writing

Panelists: Lemanuel Loley, Navajo Technical University; Orlando White, Diné College; Dr. Laura Tohe, Arizona State University; Byron Aspaas; Sherwin Bitsui; and Esther Belin. Moderator:  Jake Skeets (Diné).

Session Eight

Poetry Reading of New and Selected Works of Luci Tapahonso

Luci Tapahonso (Diné), Professor Emerita of Diné and English Literature (University of New Mexico 2016)  

Session Nine - Videos Not Available

 Shásh Jaa’: Bears Ears (25 min short)

Angelo Baca (Diné/Hopi), Doctoral Student, Department of Anthropology, Culture and Media Documentary Program, New York University 

Cultural Grit: The Story of K-Town Youth

Wendy S. Greyeyes, Ph.D. (Diné), Assistant Professor, University of New Mexico

Hondo Louis (Diné), Assistant Professor, Navajo Technical University

Crossroads 2020

Brian Cowdon

Education and Language

Session Ten

Development and Growth of Parent Leaders via the Indian Education Committee

Panelists: Katie Joe, Brenda Begay, Myrtle CauAugust, and Carleen Benally. Moderator: Carmen Moffett (Diné).

Session Eleven

Understanding Intergenerational Trauma for Indigenous Communities

LeManuel Lee Bitsóí, Ed.D. (Diné), Chief Diversity Officer/Research Professor, Stony Brook University, New York

A Century-Plus of Sheepherding on Black Mesa: An Ethnoarchaeological Study of Navajo Pastoralism

Wade Campbell (Diné), Doctoral Candidate, Anthropology, Harvard University

From Naaltsoos Sani to Now: Dismantling the Effects of Disciplinary Policy from our Navajo Schools to Navajo Imprisonment

Delores Greyeyes, Ph.D. (Diné), Program Director, Department of Corrections, Navajo Nation and Wendy S. Greyeyes, Ph.D. (Diné), Assistant Professor, Department of Native American Studies, University of New Mexico   


Session Twelve

Reflecting upon Diné College – 50th Anniversary of the First Tribally Controlled College

Miranda Haskie, Ed.D. (Diné), Faculty, Social and Behavioral Sciences Department, Diné College

Navajo students’ decision-making factors that influence access and persistence in doctoral education

Colin Ben (Diné), Ph.D., Educational Leadership and Policy, University of Utah

Indigenous Knowledge System and Decolonizing Methodology Interwoven Into Higher Education Experience: Autoethnography

Frank Sage, Ph.D. (Diné), Director, Diné Policy Institute, Diné College

Session Thirteen

Ripple Effects: Intergenerational Ties of Diné Boarding school experiences, Stories and memories

Panelists: Tiffany Lee, Ph.D. (Diné/Oglala Lakota), Natahnee Winder (Tsaidüka (Duckwater Shoshone, Diné, Cui Ui Ticutta, Pyramid Lake Paiute and Nuucic (Southern Ute))); Farina King (Diné); Sandra Yellowhorse (Diné). Moderator: Miranda Haskie, Ed.D. (Diné), Faculty, Social and Behavioral Sciences Department, Diné College

Session Fourteen

Diné doctoral students designing dissertation research that enforces tribal nation building.  

Panelists: Crystal Tulley-Cordova, Diné, Doctoral Candidate, Geology, University of Utah; Sharon Singer, Diné, Doctoral Candidate, Navajo Nation Ph.D. Program, Arizona State University; Ranalda Tsosie, Diné, Doctoral Student, Individual Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program, University of Montana. Moderator: Colin Ben (Diné), Ph.D., Educational Leadership and Policy, University of Utah

History and Identity

Session Fifteen

Diné Third Gender Identifiers: Advocating Towards Social & Educational Policies

Andy Nez (Diné), Education Specialist, Office of Educational Research and Statistics, Department of Diné Education

Traditional and Contemporary Navajo Identity

Lloyd Lee, Ph.D.(Diné), Associate Professor, Department of Native American Studies, University of New Mexico   

Hozhoogo Na’adah: A Navajo balancing Construct

Herbert John Benally, Ph.D. (Diné), School of Diné Studies and Education, Diné College

Session Sixteen

Mapping the Patriarchal Norm of Misrecognition: Exposing Consequences for Diné Woolgrowers and Weavers

Kathy M’Closkey, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology, University of Windsor, Canada

Navajo Masculine Performance/Expression in the 21st Century

Lloyd Lee, Ph.D.(Diné), Associate Professor, Department of Native American Studies, University of New Mexico   

Session Seventeen

Be Matriarch, Not Feminist: Perpetuating Diné Asdzaá

Venaya Yazzie (Diné), Huerfano, New Mexico  

Navajo Patriarchy in a 21st Century World

Lloyd Lee, Ph.D.(Diné), Associate Professor, Department of Native American Studies, University of New Mexico   

Unsettling Borders: Criminalization of Indigenous peoples in the borderlands

Sierra Edd, Graduate Student (Diné), Ethnic Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Session Eighteen

Second Generation Diné Relocatees: Experiencing and Coping with Land Loss, Cultural Dispossession, and Displacement

Aresta Tsosie-Paddock, Ph.D. (Diné), Assistant Professor, American Indian Studies, University of Arizona

What do fences represent on Navajo Nation?

Kelsey Dayle John, Ph.D. (Diné), Doctoral Candidate, Syracuse University


Session Nineteen 

Teaching Diné and Indigenous Studies to Non-Native College Students: Experiments in Decolonial Thinking

Andrew Curley, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, UNC - Chapel Hill

Changes in Navajo Ethnography Over the Past 25 Years

Kimberly J. Marshall, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Oklahoma

Cultural Knowledge

Session Twenty

Turquoise Trot: Navajo cultural Arts program (NCAP) Emerging Cultural Artisan Showcase

Brent Toadlena: Moccasin Making;  

Heather Williams: Cinch Weaving;  

Aaron Begay: Sashbelt Weaving;  

Delia Wauneka: Silversmithing; 

Waycee Harvey: Basket Making. 

Moderator: Chris Ami, Ph.D. (Diné)

Session Twenty-One

Cultivating Diné Learning Spaces through Workshops

Panelists: Sam Slater, Navajo Cultural Arts Program Alumni, Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary List College; Crystal Littleben, 2017 Miss Navajo Nation; Roberto Nutlouis, Black Mesa Water Coalition and Zefren M., Historical Weaver

Session Twenty-Two

Nat’oh Ba Hane: How Tobacco Saved the World from Destruction and Healed the People

Avery Denny (Diné), Adrian Lerma (Diné), and Michael Lerma (P'urhépecha)


Diné Cultural Activities

Session Twenty - Three

Workshop: Miniature Moccasin Making

Sam Slater (Diné), Alumni, Navajo Cultural Arts Program


Session Twenty - Four

Workshop: Leading with Fire: Silversmithing Workshop

Crystal Littleben (Diné), 2017 Miss Navajo Nation

Session Twenty - Five

pRESENTATION: Navajo Language and Culture revitalization

James McKenzie (Diné)

Session Twenty - Six

Workshop: A Hozhójií (Blessing Way) Ceremonial Song

Homer Hubbell (Diné) and Lorene Legah (Diné)

Business Meeting (9 a.m., Saturday, October 27, 2018)

The business meeting agenda includes statements from board candidates and presentations on several resolutions.

Awards Banquet (6 p.m., Saturday, October 27, 2018)

The awards banquet is a recognition of Navajos and non-Navajos working to improve the lives and future of our people.

  • Excellence in Diné Studies: Bihóneedzáago na’askáá’

  • Community Service & Leadership: Yił kééhat’ínígíí yil naha’á

  • Navajo Innovation in Practice: T’áá Diné bá éé’deitánígíí bee oonish

  • Navajo Language Leadership: T’áá Diné Bizaad bóhoo’aah yee sizį́

Updated 05/21/2019. Questions can be directed to dine.studies@gmail.com. Please give us feedback on these videos and take a short survey. Click here.