Youth and Community Workshops
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 some projects and workshops we've conducted to educate our youth.
Navajo skirt Making
Students learned the basic skills of making tłʼaakał (Navajo skirt). We provided 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
Navajo Moccasin Making
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, Rough Rock, AZ
Navajo Documentary: Cultural Grit
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. The documentary is forthcoming.
Filmographer: Wayfinder Media (Hondo Louis, Owner)
Producer: Wendy Greyeyes
Register for Upcoming Workshops
Navajo Cotton Skirt making workshop
Friday, August 24 at 5 p.m. & Saturday, August 25 at 9 a.m.
Students will learn the history of the Navajo skirt and its impact on Navajo fashion. You will learn the art of measuring, cutting, sewing, and the gathering stitch for your skirt. The workshop will be hosted at Ann Silva's Sewing Center, 4520 Alexander Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM. Cost: $75. Contact Wendy Greyeyes at firstname.lastname@example.org. Register at Eventbee here.