Help me learn more of the Dine
July 22, 2008 11:28 AM   Subscribe

I'm wanting to learn more about the Navajo Nation. Any recommendations for good resources?

I've always been fascinated by the Navajo Nation. I cross it a few times a year on my way to see Family in the Four Corners area. The land is massive, open, empty, and beautiful. The people have always been friendly when I've come across them. I've just always been interested by what I've seen. And reading Tony Hillerman's books, set in places that I recognize, has only made me more curious.

So recently I decided to make an effort to learn more. I read The Navajo Nation by Peter Iverson, and I'm almost done with The Book Of The Navajo by Raymond Friday Locke. I'm also party way through The Navajo by James Downs. I've picked up Navajo Trader by Gladwell Richardson for some more perspective. Thing is, the more I learn, the more I want to learn. Iverson's book is a great read on Navajo government, but it only goes to 1980, and a lot has happened since then. All the books cover subject that there is obviously a great deal more to learn about.

Any recommendations on books, websites, whatever? Thanks!
posted by azpenguin to Society & Culture (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Looks like you already know more than what was covered in it, but the most recent episode of 30 Days was spent in the Navajo Nation and gives a pretty good picture of a-day-in-the-life.
posted by phunniemee at 11:57 AM on July 22, 2008

For current news on Navajo Nation government, look at the newspapers both from on and around the reservation.

The Navajo Times

Navajo Hopi Observer

An article on the Dinéh Tribune, which is a print only publication

The Gallup Independent

If you want to travel in the area and get to know the people, learn to speak a bit of Navajo. I´ve traveled through the area with someone who does and people will treat you in a different way if you do. Of course, many Navajo don´t speak Navajo at all, and it would be rare to meet someone on the reservation who does not speak English, although there are quite a few older people who speak only Navajo.
posted by yohko at 1:36 PM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

I strongly recommend you visit the Heard museum in Phoenix.
posted by wigglin at 3:26 PM on July 22, 2008

Like yohko, I'd recommend keeping up on current news. There are some good radio stations out there, though I'm not aware of any that focus on the Navajo (they probably exist, but I've just not run across them in Northern Cali). The daily news from Native News is good, and there are many other sources -- maybe some Navajo focused? -- listed here and here. You can always keyword search to get Navajo-specific programs. Also, if you like movies, I'd recommend watching for what'll be shown at the American Indian Film Festival (it's in San Francisco, and maybe there's something similar in Tucson?).
posted by salvia at 3:28 PM on July 22, 2008

KTNN 660 AM broadcasts online as well. They have programming in Navajo and English.
posted by yohko at 4:17 PM on July 22, 2008

If I could piggyback on this... could someone suggest resources for underingstanding the navajo "morning run"?
posted by phrontist at 5:06 PM on July 22, 2008

Navajo Code Talkers
posted by SuperSquirrel at 5:10 PM on July 22, 2008

If you're interested in the language, check out some of the works listed here.
posted by knile at 8:45 PM on July 22, 2008

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