The Diné Studies Conference, Inc. was awarded the First Nation's Development Institute's Culture and Youth Grant on May 2017. The funding has helped us create workshops to educate youth about Navajo history and contemporary challenges confronting our communities. Since then, we have developed several projects to engage Native American students and community members. This page shows the results of these projects, videos, and workshops we've conducted to educate our youth.
Learn about the experiences of youth as they created their own tłʼaakał (Navajo skirt) and watch the video. This workshop provide readings and discussed the history of the first three tier skirt which was shared to Navajo women at Bosque Redondo. Navajo did not have enough wool to create their traditional rug dresses and were given tools to stitch their skirts. These skills were brought home and eventually, the introduction of velveteen enhanced these early skirts. Students learned to measure their body, cut the material, gather their material, and sew.
Instructor: Ruby Lee, Window Rock, AZ
Learn about the experiences of youth as they created their own kélchí (moccasin). The video and reflections summarizes the experiences of youth learning about the moccasin. In this four-day workshop, students learned the foundational skills of making kélchí, Navajo low-cut moccasins, by completing a miniature version and their own personal pair. Students learned the philosophies inherent in moccasin making and wearing. The lessons they gained examined the historical and cultural stories that have shaped the contemporary role of moccasins in Diné society.
Instructor: Sam Slater, Round Rock, AZ
With the help of Wayfinder Media, a Navajo owned filmographer, we interviewed youth and elders on the importance of their culture growing up in the community of Kayenta, Arizona, which was the site of the Navajo Symposium. We interviewed community members to describe their concept of what it means to be Navajo in an era of economic transformation and social change. Check out the documentary.
Filmographer: Wayfinder Media (Hondo Louis, Owner)
Producer: Wendy Greyeyes
This video shows students how to create a silver bracelet. This workshop was taught by Crystal Littleben, former Miss Navajo Nation 2017-2018.
The Navajo language and culture revitalization presentation by James McKenzie provided his experiences addressing language loss. This video provides an overview of his lecture.