Approximately 200 Navajo men and boys recently attended a “Hero Twins Workshop” held at the University of New Mexico-Gallup campus. Students, family members and other supporters were encouraged to attend to learn about their Navajo traditions and culture within a supportive environment.
The attendees were instructed in native traditions through a series of interactive workshops, demonstrations and lectures offered by the Miss Navajo Council, Inc., a non‐profit group comprised of former Miss Navajo Nation title holders who encourage local communities to become educated in their native traditions and preserve the Dine/Navajo language and culture.
One of the event organizers, Jennifer Wheeler, an assistant English professor at UNM‐Gallup who promotes educational endeavors both inside and outside the classroom, and a former Miss Navajo, noted that presenters had volunteered their time for the event.
Faculty associate at Arizona State University, Dr. Lamont Yazzie was the keynote speaker for the morning session and spoke on “The Value of Navajo Heritage, Language & Culture in Education.” The afternoon session included a presentation by Professor Joe Kee, Jr. on the “Adaptation & Dubbing Process of the Navajo‐Dubbed Star Wars Movie.” Professors Kee and Wheeler were instrumental in the translation and production of the Navajo Star Wars movie.
Life principles and Navajo traditions were woven throughout all the lectures and demonstrations as presenters emphasized the importance of learning, recognizing and appreciating the culture and history of the Navajo people.
This was the fourth workshop conducted by the Miss Navajo Council, Inc. and the first one held on the UNM‐Gallup campus.