"Shi" - Child of the Holy People

byJoyce Tsinijinnie

In this unit Diné children will learn to properly introduce themselves. The importance of Dinéway of introduction connects a child to their family, culture, and language. Their Diné name makes a connection to the Holy Beings.  Their parents are the vessels of bringing them into this world, their clans identify how they connect to their immediate family and non-immediate family members, and how they can make a connection to where they are from.  Simply introducing yourself may sound so basic to by non-Natives, but within the Diné culture it creates the balance and harmony between you as a human being and with the Holy Beings. We need to teach our children today how their self-identity is very unique.  The understanding of their history, language, culture, and disciplines will balance them; without that balance they will wander, or become lost psychologically.  Overall, if you know your clans then you are a rich Diné, because now you have disciplines that will get you far; you will see how big a family you have and that you can reach out for help when you are in need psychologically and physically. Introduction of this unit will also include children books on the Diné Emergence story, ’Asdzą́ą́ Nádleehé Changing Woman, Diné Twin Warriors, and the creation of clans.  These readings are related to the importance of how a Diné person introduces himself.

(Developed for Elementary Social Studies, grade 3; recommended for Social Studies and Navajo Culture, grades 3-5)

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