I received a very important statement from a group of Dine’ (Navajo) medicine people, elders, philosophers that go by the name of Nohooka Dine’ Leadership. Leland Grass, who is the spokesperson the group, has explained that the group speaks though him because their only language is Dine’ (Navajo). During the past year, many of you may have heard about Nohooka Dine’ Leadership through their very strong stand against Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly’s support of feral horse round-ups across the Navajo Reservation.
The Nohooka Dine’ Leadership based their opposition of feral horse roundups on Dine’ teachings about the horse as a sacred and holy being. And it is in that manner of Dine’ teachings that the Nohooka Dine’ Leadership issued the following statement regarding the critical need for true Dine’ leadership that is based on the “minimum” standards of a Dine’ leader, and not the qualifications of a Navajo politician, which the Nohooka Dine’ Leadership says is why the Dine’ homeland and Dine’ people are suffering physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
“For decades we have been warning our leaders, if our Dine’ Way of Life is lost then we will become lost,” the Nohooka Dine’ Leadership stated. “Time and time again this warning has not been taken seriously…The health and conditions of the Earth is being reflected in our own health and the health of our children. We’ve seen the toxicity associated with mining, desecration of our sacred places, the commodification and destruction of our sacred waters and more.”
According to the Nohooka Dine’ Leadership, the Navajo Nation needs Dine’ leaders that have the following minimum standards:
Knowledge of the original way of life that the Holy Ones instructed.
Fluent in Dine’ Bizaad because the language carries sacred knowledge that maintains harmony with Creation, clear direction on how to maintain that harmony.
Hold themselves to the highest moral and professional standards.
“The Dine’ way of life acknowledges and respects that the insects, animals, vegetation and all Creation are the original headsmen provides us with guidance,” the Dine’ Nohooka Leadership stated. “Dine’ leaders shall respect, uphold and defend Mother Earth and Father Sky as sacred elements for teaching, learning and Life…We seek a leader that will not participate in any criminal activity, either under the modern law or the Holy Ones’ established Law.”