Four Navajo scholars meet to discuss Navajo sovereignty.
Lloyd Lee speaks about his new book, Navajo Sovereignty, with Jennifer Denetdale, Leola Tsinnajinnie, and Colleen Gorman.
The last few decades have given rise to an electrifying movement of Native American activism, scholarship, and creative work challenging five hundred years of U.S. colonization of Native lands. Indigenous communities are envisioning and building their nations and are making decolonial strides toward regaining power from colonial forces.
The Navajo Nation is among the many Native nations in the United States pushing back. In this new book, Dine author Lloyd L. Lee asks fellow Navajo scholars, writers, and community members to envision sovereignty for the Navajo Nation. He asks, (1) what is Navajo sovereignty, (2) how do various Navajo institutions exercise sovereignty, (3) what challenges does Navajo sovereignty face in the coming generations, and (4) how did individual Dine envision sovereignty?
Contributors expand from the questions Lee lays before them to touch on how Navajo sovereignty is understood in Western law, how various institutions of the Navajo Nation exercise sovereignty, what challenges it faces in coming generations, and how individual Dine envision power, authority, and autonomy for the people.
A companion to Dine Perspectives: Revitalizing and Reclaiming Navajo Thought, each chapter offers the contributors' individual perspectives. The book, which is organized into four parts, discusses Western law's view of Dine sovereignty, research, activism, creativity, and community, and Navajo sovereignty in traditional education. Above all, Lee and the contributing scholars and community members call for the rethinking of Navajo sovereignty in a way more rooted in Navajo beliefs, culture, and values.
Contributors include Raymond D. Austin, Bidtah N. Becker, Manley A. Begay, Jr., Avery Denny, Larry W. Emerson, Colleen Gorman, Michelle L. Hale, Michael Lerma and Leola Tsinnajinnie.