When I was affected into boarding academy in Arizona I was one of the contrary accouchement who got their aperture done by the billet aides abounding times for speaking my Dine or Navajo language.
As a aftereffect of this approved punishment, I generally would bite a allotment of bar soap to accumulate my aperture accessible for what would appear about on a circadian basis.
It’s adverse today that Navajo adolescence are accident their accent back it is no best forbidden.
An estimated 30 percent of Navajo acceptance in the 1st brand allege the Navajo accent as against to 90 percent in the aboriginal 1940s. I appraisal that below than bisected of all our adolescence allege the Navajo accent today.
It was our accent that helped the U.S. win Apple War II through the Code Talkers, who acclimated accent codes as an apparatus to defeat the Japanese, Nazis and the Axis powers. The Code Talkers were accustomed this anniversary at the White House for their service. They stood appreciative and apprehensive as the admiral acclimated a ancestral accusation to asperse Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenOvernight Regulation: Net neutrality supporters adumbrate boxy cloister action | Watchdog to investigate EPA chief’s affair with industry accumulation | Ex-Volkswagen exec gets 7 years for emissions cheating Overnight Tech: Net neutrality supporters adumbrate boxy cloister action | Warren backs bid to block AT&T, Time Warner alliance | NC canton refuses to pay bribe to hackers Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should abandon MORE (D-Mass.). Such comments are no best hasty from Trump who has connected to insult Warren with this accusation that has been accursed by Built-in Americans.
To add insult to injury, Trump accustomed our bodies below a account of Andrew Jackson, who active the Indian Removal Act in 1830 that led to the Trail of Tears.
Some may say that the Navajo bodies surrendered during the “long walk” but the accuracy is they bravely fabricated sacrifices so that we would be actuality today. They bidding adventuresomeness in impossible means back they could not allege the English accent or break on their land.
The best way we can action stereotypes and racism is to ensure that our accent and ability are preserved and respected.
Although our schools are awful encouraged to advise the Navajo Language, it is not a requirement. We additionally apperceive from the Navajo Adolescence Risk and Resiliency Survey administered in accord with the Center of Disease Control that acceptance who allege and convenance their traditions were below acceptable to appoint in chancy behaviors that advance to anguish and bloodshed such actuality corruption and suicide.
So why doesn’t the Navajo Nation advance in agreeable traditions and attention accent to abound airy communities?
In best workplaces on the Navajo Nation, the Navajo accent is a claim or preferred.
The accent claim came up during our aftermost presidential acclamation on the Navajo Nation in 2014. A adolescent candidate, Chris Deschene, was butterfingers because he could not allege the accent fluently. The voters approved to apostle for Deschene but the Navajo leaders accounted him clashing for Navajo Nation President.
But back the election, we accept yet to apprehend of any accurate affairs to bottle our Navajo language. Just like the Built-in agents who activated the banned accent rules in the dormitories, it was our own bodies who activated the accent belief aloft a young, vibrant, atonement adolescent man who capital to accomplish changes on our nation. Although, I can allege calmly in Navajo, I did not apprentice to apprehend and address the Navajo language, so I apparently would be butterfingers as well.
The Navajo Nation claims to be a absolute nation, a affiliated nation that governs itself but we apperceive our government replicates the U.S. Government. This is axiomatic in our academy systems which are run by the State, Bureau of Education (BIE), and churches. The Navajo Nation does not accomplish a school, except for the Head Start Program, on the Navajo Nation. They do accept a Department of Education which has apart blank but no jurisdictions to accomplish accurate changes. If the Navajo Nation operated their own schools, would accent and attitude be the amount component, or would we afresh chase boilerplate educational bureaucracy?
Many atonement leaders are accomplished with the Dine language, belief and values. We apperceive this because back they run for board seats, their platforms are able-bodied advised with attention Dine accent and traditions. Messages of achievement and inspirations are heard throughout the acreage about harnessing our ethics and traditions through our language.
It is easier said than done. Best bodies will say it’s the parents’ albatross to advise their accouchement Navajo and it should be abstruse in the home. We charge be reminded that best grandparents today are boarding academy survivors whom may accept been banned to allege their accent so they accept tugged the accent so abysmal not to be reminded of the trauma. Therefore, they did not advise the accent to their accouchement who are parents today.
We apperceive that to beat one’s actuality is to band them of their accent and way of life. The Navajo conception belief accept been anesthetized through our language, this should be the Navajo Nation’s top antecedence or that of every Built-in communities.
Instead of throwing about ancestral slurs during what was declared to be anniversary the Code Talkers; Trump could accelerate the Navajo Nation allotment to bottle the Navajo Language. He additionally could account all Built-in Americans by alert to them and answer for agony inflicted by the U.S. for centuries.
“Nihizaad taalai siliigo aaji nihoogha,” or “When the accent becomes one, the apple will end,” my grandmother would say.
This is one of the abounding belief told by the elders.
One ancient stood by in a association affair and said, “Tell us in our Dine accent because it is clear, in addition accent it is like fog.”
With backbone and backbone as the keepers of our stories, we charge to footfall up and bottle our Built-in language.
Darlene Begay is a affiliate of the Bitterwater Clan, of Red Mesa, Utah and is chatty in Dine.
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