ERIC Number: ED415078
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
An Initial Exploration of the Navajo Nation's Language and Culture Initiative.
Bachelder, Ann; Markel, Sherry
This paper presents some preliminary findings from an opinion survey on the nature and depth of language and cultural studies to be included in school curricula as required by the Navajo Tribe's Language and Culture Mandate (1984). A 10-question survey was sent to 20 elementary and secondary schools in the Navajo Nation in New Mexico and Arizona. In addition, 21 attendees of the Navajo Studies Conference in Albuquerque participated in the survey. The 37 respondents included community members and teachers ranging in age from 14 to over 65. Respondents felt that Navajo or tribal elders should teach Navajo language and culture and that language arts and social studies were the top choices for curriculum expansion. Sixty-two percent felt that daily instruction was necessary and that students should be competent or fluent in Navajo. Most participants felt that parental/clan involvement was necessary and that parents should be taught Navajo language and culture so they could support and teach their children. They also felt that religion and ceremonial instruction were best taught outside of school. Although the survey showed that members of the Navajo nation are very concerned with the education of their children, opinions on the means and goals of education are not consistently shared. An appendix includes the survey questionnaire. (SAS)
Descriptors: American Indian Culture, American Indian Education, Bilingual Education, Community Attitudes, Cultural Education, Cultural Maintenance, Educational Attitudes, Elementary Secondary Education, Language Attitudes, Native Language Instruction, Navajo, Navajo (Nation), Questionnaires, Surveys
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Teaching Indigenous Languages; see RC 021 328.