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Diné Virtual Book Talk: “A Diné History of Navajoland” by Co-Authors Klara Kelley and Harris Francis
The authors will pre-record their book talk and will be available for questions. The authors shows for the first time, a sweeping history of the Diné that is foregrounded in oral tradition. Authors Klara Kelley and Harris Francis share Diné history from pre-Columbian time to the present, using ethnographic interviews in which Navajo people reveal their oral histories on key events such as Athabaskan migrations, trading and trails, Diné clans, the Long Walk of 1864, and the struggle to keep their culture alive under colonizers who brought the railroad, coal mining, trading posts, and, finally, climate change. The early chapters, based on ceremonial origin stories, tell about Diné forebears. Next come the histories of Diné clans from late pre-Columbian to early post-Columbian times, and the coming together of the Diné as a sovereign people. Later chapters are based on histories of families, individuals, and communities, and tell how the Diné have struggled to keep their bond with the land under settler encroachment, relocation, loss of land-based self-­sufficiency through the trading-post system, energy resource extraction, and climate change. Archaeological and documentary information supplements the oral histories, providing a comprehensive investigation of Navajo history and offering new insights into their twentieth-century relationships with Hispanic and Anglo settlers. For Diné readers, the book offers empowering histories and stories of Diné cultural sovereignty. “In short,” the authors say, “it may help you to know how you came to be where—and who—you are.”

Sep 13, 2022 05:30 PM in Mountain Time (US and Canada)

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Klara Kelley, Ph.D.
Cultural Resource Consultant (CRM)
Klara Kelley received a PhD in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico in 1977. She taught anthropology and economics at Navajo Community College (now Diné College) in 1977-78, then worked for the Navajo Nation Archaeology and Historic Preservation Departments. Since 1993, both Harry Francis and Dr. Klara Kelley have worked together as independent cultural resources (CRM) consultants for various Navajo Nation government programs and enterprises; federal programs, and private companies. These projects involve consulting Diné elders all over the traditional Diné homeland to protect and preserve Diné oral tradition and Diné sacred and historical places. We take pride in having worked with the Diné Medicine Man’s Association in the late 1990s, including making coffee at meetings! Our books, Navajo Sacred Places (Indiana University Press, Bloomington IN, 1994), Navajoland Trading Post Encyclopedia (2018), and A Diné History of Navajoland.
Harris Francis
Cultural Resource Consultants (CRM)
Harris Francis is Táchii’nii clan, born for Tábąąhá clan, from Teesto, Arizona. He served in the US Army, 1973-76, and graduated from the Navajo Paralegal School Program, Flagstaff, AZ, in 1979. Then he worked for Navajo Nation social services, Navajo Tribal Legal Department (Navajo Nation court system), and the Navajo Nation Archaeology and Historic Preservation (now Heritage and Historic Preservation) Departments. Harris’s family is rooted in land partitioned to the Hopi Tribe in 1974 and has refused to give up family lands there. Harris has been active in relocation issues for most of his adult life.