IAIA - Institute of American Indian Arts

19th Navajo Studies Conference at IAIA’s Center for Lifelong Education

Santa Fe, NM | Feb 22, 2012 –

The 19th Navajo Studies Conference will be held at IAIA’s Center for Lifelong Education (CLE) March 14-17, 2012.

The conference, Iiná náhoodleełdóó ałtaʼanáhooʼnííł; Náásgóó biniiyé anoosééł, or Cycles of Life and Seasons of Change – Cultivating the Seeds of our Future, will feature Navajo philosophy, politics, film and culture. The conference mission is to embrace and uphold Diné culture and language, promote and facilitate ethical and responsible research, provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, and inspire critical reflection on Diné life.

“It allows for certain discussion and critical reflection on contemporary issues facing Navajo life and culture,” said Lloyd Lee, Conference Board President and assistant professor of the University of New Mexico’s Native American Studies. “For the past five years, it’s been Navajo people themselves as the target audience to talk about issues that are important to them regarding history or culture, and engage with other Navajo or non-Navajo people who are interested or concerned about the well-being of our people.”

More than 200 scholars, lawyers, artists, politicians, poets, youth and elders are expected to attend the three-day conference that will feature panel discussions on several topics, including Navajo “brain drain” and sources of authority of the Navajo Supreme Court. Speakers include:

  • New Mexico Indian Affairs Secretary Arthur Allison
  • Dr. Gayle Diné Chacon, associate professor in UNM’s School Of Medicine, Department of Family and Community Medicine; Associate Vice President for Native American Health at the UNM Health Sciences Center; and Medical Advisor and Chief Medical Officer to the Navajo Nation’s Division of Health
  • Luci Tapahonso, poet and UNM professor of creative writing and Native American literature

The conference will also feature a film festival, the “Navajos Film Themselves” project, which includes works by contemporary Navajo filmmakers Velma Kee Craig, Bennie Klain, Blackhorse Lowe, Camille Manybeads Tso, and Ramona Emerson.

“The Center for Lifelong Education is pleased to be a conference co-sponsor as our mission is to provide outreach and support to tribal communities,” CLE Director Hayes Lewis said. “As IAIA celebrates its 50th anniversary and continues to intertwine indigenous education and community, it’s crucial to provide a forum for symposiums like these as a way to preserve and strengthen our communities.” 

Conference registration is $50 and $25 for students, and available online at www.iaia.edu/cle/events/event-registration. A separate fee of $15 will be charged for the banquet on Friday.

Visit the Navajo Studies Conference website at www.navajostudies.org.

For more information, contact Lloyd Lee at 505- 277-1822 or navajostudies@gmail.com, or

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