The Navajo are a matrilineal society, meaning women own the land and pass it down to their daughters. When Navajos introduce themselves, they will name their maternal clan first. The stories told in cultural ceremonies revere women. But today rape and domestic violence rates surge. There are few female council delegates, and the Navajos have yet to elect a woman president. So what happened? That’s what we set out to answer in this series. We’ll learn about the many attempts to eradicate the Navajo culture and quash the matriarchy. We’ll also meet several women — a historian, a leader, a mother, a healer and a punk rocker — who prove that despite generations of cultural genocide, the heart of Navajo culture still beats.
Episode 5: The Healer
Like thousands of other Navajos, Haley Laughter was raised Mormon and had to seek out her people’s spiritual teachings. Today she bridges that cultural gap that so many young Navajos are trying to leap across.
Episode 6: The Punk Rockers
The Nizhoni Girls are redefining what it means to be Navajo. They're shaking down their assimilated ways in their songs and holding onto key Navajo beliefs in their activism.
Episode 4: The Mother
Jeneda Benally is making music that empowers indigenous youth because she wants her daughters to grow up in a world where they feel strong and powerful. She and her brother just released an album called “Fight Like A Woman.”
Episode 3: The Leader
Meet Navajo Council Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty. Crotty, whose middle name means “warrior,” has started her own #MeToo movement — without the hashtags. She’s confronted her colleagues and has written policies about the violence against women that pervades her culture.
Episode 2: The Historian
Meet Navajo historian Jennifer Denetdale. Through her story and the book she wrote about her great-great-great grandparents, better understand how the power of Navajo women has been repressed.
Episode 1: Kinaaldá
The first episode of Changing Woman focuses on the Navajo coming of age ceremony for girls, one of the most important and sacred rituals is experiencing a resurgence today. Hear parts of the songs and the rituals from the kinaaldá and learn how powerful an impact it can have on a young woman.
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Changing an Urban Dine’ Woman
This warms my heart and it gives me hope to learn and teach for my future generations!!!