Naataanii'

Lucille Mitchell-Gagnon

My Students learn through the Dine' Educational Philosophy, the essence of the Navajo outlook on life. At the core are concepts and values associated with natural operations identified with the four cardinal directions, including the daily cycle of day and night and the annual cycle of the seasons, these are: Thinking, Planning, Living, and Assuring.

For the Dine' to be balanced, they must have equal development in the four values of life. Just as corn needs four things: sunlight, water, air, and soil to grow, a Dine' needs the four values: life, work, human relations, and respect with reverence to grow.

The Dine' Naataanii relates to the American President as they both lead the people. In Dine', "the local Naataanii, or leader, was the head of a deliberative body of leaders consisting of Hastoi, or elders, and Hataali, or medicine men. Two types of Naataanii existed, a peace Naataanii in time of peace and a war Naataanii in time of war. The leaders enforce the economic laws of the tribe as well as enforcing moral and ethical conduct among community members. Like the United States the adult population of a naturalize community chose the Naataanii who was of great moral and ethical character. The War Naataanii needed to know several the logistics of war while the Peace Naataanii needed to know the peaceful harmony way of life and be a loyal person. The Naataanii's had no absolute powers, their effectiveness depended entirely upon the quality of their personal character. (Dine' College)


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