A History of Navajo Nation Education

Disentangling Our Sovereign Body

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A History of Navajo Nation Education: Disentangling Our Sovereign Body unravels the tangle of federal and state education programs that have been imposed on Navajo people and illuminates the ongoing efforts by tribal communities to transfer state authority over Diné education to the Navajo Nation.

On the heels of the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Department of Diné Education, this important education history explains how the current Navajo educational system is a complex terrain of power relationships, competing agendas, and jurisdictional battles influenced by colonial pressures and tribal resistance. An iron grip of colonial domination over Navajo education remains, thus inhibiting a unified path toward educational sovereignty. In providing the historical roots to today’s challenges, Wendy Shelly Greyeyes clears the path and provides a go-to reference to move discussions forward.
“Wendy Greyeyes makes a compelling and historically grounded argument regarding the difficulties inherent in developing a sovereign education system for the Navajo Nation that is ultimately to be controlled by the Diné. This book describes the ongoing journey to untangle competing educational jurisdictions with ongoing federal support for tribal sovereignty to benefit the education of Navajo students living in reservation communities. A History of Navajo Nation Education is essential reading for policymakers and advocates for self-determination in the education of Indigenous people.”―Harvey Rude, Director of the Colorado Center for Rural Education

“Well written and well thought out, this book illustrates what is happening within the Navajo Nation School System. I would strongly recommend this book be added to your personal or professional library.”―Geraldine Garrity, Provost of Diné College

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