k’émmunity: quite simply, the notion that our functions within communities are tied with k’é.
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Yá'át'ééh shik'éí, shidine'é. Tł'ógi nishłį, Tódich'iinii bashishchiin, Táchii'nii da shicheii dóó Tł'ááshchi'í da shinalí. Andy Nez 'éí shízhi' dóó Tséhootsooí dóó náhookosjigo Ts'idiilyisiitah dahojiní, 'aadi ch'ishikee' dóó kééhwinishtį. I am of the Weaver Clan born for the Bitter Water People. My maternal grandfathers are the Red Running into the Water People and my paternal grandfathers are the Red Bottom Cheek People. My name is Andy Nez, and my maternal roots and current residence stem from a community north of Fort Defiance, AZ, called Rabbitbrush, NM. My mother is Geraldine Nez and my late father was Andrew Nez. My maternal grandparents are the late John and Esther Harvey and my paternal grandparents are the late Julius and Margaret Nez. My paternal lineage stems from Blue Canyon, AZ. I currently work in the field of education, own a consulting business geared toward K-12 Diné language educational content, and serve as a member of the Fort Defiance Chapter Business Management Committee.
'Ahił nidadiilnish - Let's work together!
Education is limitless and is not defined and confined based on institutions of Western academia. Yes, our schools can benefit from more advocacy, but they could also be surrounded by additional resources because Navajos thrive in varying ways – thus, working to establish community resources, using our community members, enhancing grassroots, investing in our youth, providing ongoing opportunities, and capacity building. Everyone has something to offer – and it is about time we take advantage of it.
Nihizaad dóó nihi ‘ó’ool’į baa hasti’. Collectively, let’s enrich our community schools, programs, organizations, and environments to become more responsive to Diné bizaad by advocating for support, building curriculum, setting expectations, celebrating diversity and increasing community involvement.
Not only must we omit discrimination against our LGBTQ+ relatives, but we need to ensure equal opportunity to the Nation’s vision and mission is visible. NN employees, NN organizations, programs, departments, Veterans, and other populations deserve equal access, treatment and expectation. We should not tolerate barriers and parameters that limit Navajo citizens from having equal opportunity, personally and professionally. For example, housing should not be limited to certain populations based on a criterion but available for our people who seek to make a living in their communities, especially our students who have desires to contribute to our Navajo economy – every seed should be nourished.
Whether we celebrate or face obscurity with challenges, k’é is a powerful tool. Our communities face distinct challenges, but we also have lots to celebrate. We have a degree of challenges with roads, infrastructure, housing, access to internet, ARPA funding allocations, or other means that directly affect our families – and k’é is a powerful tool. A tool to use and strategize so that we see progress supported by evidence, that our affected community members are informed, and we build toward celebration. Oh, the possibilities when working together!