On Saturday, November 22, 2014, The Navajo Kentuckians met in Washington, D.C. to present at NCTE’s (National Council of Teachers of English) National Convention at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. The group, made up of Food Lit. students and teachers from Fern Creek High School and Window Rock High School along with Rex Lee Jim and Dixie Goswami, shared the powerful ways that the study of Food Literacy is helping them to cultivate creative, critical thinking and powerful connections to self, family, and community. The group also had the great privilege to meet with Dr. Claudine Brown, the Assistant Secretary for Education and Access at the Smithsonian Institution, at The Castle Building.
Click on the following link to listen to Fern Creek High School’s Irvin Shaifa explain the metaphor about education and planting/cultivating seeds: Irvin’s_Seed_Project_001
The NavajoKentuckians recently traveled to Billings, Montana for the International Indian Health Service Conference. As young adults we love to travel, view, visit, and tell people about who we are as NavajoKentuckians, and many people told us how inspiring our message was. We were also inspired by stories of change many had achieved–or strove for–in their communities.
I will keep the people I met and their stories in my heart, but one in particular stuck in my heart and mind: The Alaskan Teenage Suicide Prevention Help Line (ATSPL). This help line got 1,130,192 calls from teenagers in need of help. Projects like this left me with a sense of encouragement to do ANYTHING in order to create positive change in our communities. And just for those of you who are thinking will you keep in touch with this movement? No worries, as the NavajoKentuckians are keeping in touch with the ATSPL with hopes to have a full on collaboration!
As always, good things have to come to end. Now, I don’t feel sad–The NavajoKentuckians left Billings with a change of heart and new ideas. We left with new knowledge to teach our communities about positive change relating to health. I’ve had a lot of time to think about this trip, and this is why I’m writing this to you all now. I’ve come to a conclusion or final thought that no matter the age, ethnicity, gender, who you know or who you don’t know is NOT AN EXCUSE or reason to stop you from wanting or helping your community, your people, and even yourself as a person…
-Courtney Jones, student at Window Rock High School (AZ)
This is a compilation of 4 food stories we gathered at Cultivating Food Literacy.
Thank you guys so much for attending, and continuing this conversation with us.
Question 1: Tell us your food story.
Question 2: Why is food literacy important?
Question 3: What is good food?
Also feel free to ask us questions, and we will respond.
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Saturday, October 5, NavajoKentuckians will be presenting at Middlebury College in “NavajoKentuckians Food Literacy Across Cultures”. Teachers Brent Peters, Joe Franzen, and Paul Barnwell will speak about the philosophy behind food lit., and lead conference goers through a mock lesson. Four students from the Navajo Nation (Darla, Twila, Avery, and Tyson) and four students from Kentucky (Courtney, Spencer, Irvin, and Devin) will be sharing the impacts of food lit. on their lives.
Come join us at 9:30 a.m. in the McCullough Social Space to hear the day’s presentations. NavajoKentuckians will begin presenting at 10:15 a.m. If you are unable to attend, an audio recordings of our presentation will be posted on the blog.
Thank you for all the support!
On June 27-29 the Students from the Navajo Reservation went on a trip to Navajo Nation Twin Arrows Resort near Flagstaff Arizona. The conference was based on what the Navajo Kentuckians did in the past few workshops. Darla Fred, Twila Lee, Avery Charley, Tyson Yazzie, Eva Nez, Danielle Joe, and Harleigh Descheney presented to representatives from multiple schools on the reservation, as well as parents and school administrators about what the students learned and about how much more aware they have become since discovering that drought and health concerns were not just in one place and have a great effect on the community but also how the community can come together and make a difference.