In what way has language helped the Navajo people?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that like all languages and the communities to which they are indigenous, language has helped the Navajo communicate with one another.  The Navajo language has enabled the community to possess a means with which information can be shared, thoughts can be transmitted to one another, and a way in which people can feel connected to one another.  The language of the Navajo people has helped them in a political element, as well.  As there has been greater marginalization of the Navajo people in the face of changing social conditions, the language they use to communicate with one another has been a constant.  This has enabled the Navajo people to be able to speak with one another and act in a manner of political and social resistance by continuing their own mode of communication.  The language of the Navajo people has helped to create a type of barrier or force field that White society is unable to penetrate and take over for themselves.  This helps the Navajo people survive in a setting where so many other tribes have not been as fortunate.  I think that the effects of the use of the Navajo language both within their community and outside of it has demonstrated the ways in which the language has helped the people.


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