Navajo Nation 2017

Navajo Nation 2017

The primary focus of our seminar is to experience what it means to live, work, and worship as a Dine (Navajo) person by participating in daily life and by hearing from many different people who will introduce us to the rich history and culture of the Dine and the ongoing social realities that affect them.

We will take a close look at their history of forced relocation from ancestral homelands, eventual settlement on reservation land and then forced assimilation through boarding schools and other means. We will hear about how the Dine way of life was radically changed over the centuries to accommodate the demands of settlers and then the federal government of the United States. We plan to spend several days in Flagstaff, AZ, visiting museums and Navajo tribal and Arizona State political offices, hearing from Navajo representatives, senators and other leaders.

We will also explore environmental justice issues on the reservation, particularly related to uranium mining and water. We will look at contemporary social issues including socio-economic realities, land and resource management and climate change. We plan to visit sites related to historical uranium mining and events like the Shiprock disaster and the recent Gold King mine waste water spill.

We will take a specific look at the history of Navajo and Hopi (another native population within the reservation) engagement with each other and with Christians (including Mennonites) related to mission, schooling, and native religions. We plan to visit Hopi Mission School, Kykotsmovi, AZ to connect with the Mennonites serving there and for a brief introduction to Hopi history and culture and the long-standing relationship with the Navajo Nation.

Finally, we will explore Arizona’s impressive natural landscape. Among other sites, we will visit the Grand Canyon, Canyon de Chelley and other points of interest.


This program is FULL. No new applications will be accepted.

Seminar Leader: Gloria Rhodes, Dept. of Applied Social Sciences and Jim Yoder

Dates: May 19 – June 9, 2017

Estimated Cost: $4,200

CCSSC 201 Cross-Cultural Social Science: Navajo Nation 3 SH


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