Needed Every Day (language)

Andre Cramblit andrekar at NCIDC.ORG
Thu Apr 1 16:09:28 UTC 2004

03/17/2004 - WINDOW ROCK AZ
By Jim Snyder/The Daily Times

Every Navajo child should receive daily Navajo language and cultural
instruction from kindergarten through their senior year of high
school, Leland Leonard, acting Navajo Division of Diné Education
director, said Tuesday.

Leonard, the former chief executive officer of the Phoenix Indian
Center, said he will meet with the Central School District
administration in Shiprock to discuss bilingual education issues
raised by parents in Shiprock and other Navajo communities.

"This is 2004. Things have to change," he said. "People forget it's
the children, the Navajo children, the kids we're talking about. It's
their future. This stuff about territorialism needs to stop."

The former Marine said the key to Navajo education is for children to
learn their language and culture while "embracing the dominant white

"We're a double-edged sword," he added.

Leonard has the support of Navajo Council Education Committee Vice
Chairman Wallace Charley and other committee members to be endorsed
by the full Council during its spring session April 19-23 in Window
Rock. He was appointed by Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr.

"We have somebody we can work with," Charley said last week.

Leonard has a bachelor of science degree in education from the
University of Arizona and a master of art degree in education from
Northern Arizona University.

"They told me when I landed in Window Rock to come running and that's
exactly what I've been doing," Leonard said since he began his job
March 1.

Jim Snyder: jims at

Copyright © 2004 Farmington Daily Times, a Gannett Co., Inc.

André Cramblit: andre.p.cramblit.86 at is the Operations
Director Northern California Indian Development Council NCIDC
( is a non-profit that meets the development needs
of American Indians

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