Improving research to understand the link between holistic wellbeing of Diné children and families, and Diné bizaad

2023 Recipient of the College of Arts & Sciences Community-Based Research Initiative

In an effort to sustain the Diné language and cultural heritage, this project seeks to identify the key indicators of thriving in a "t’áá Diné", or nurtured cultural environment, to ensure the wellbeing of Diné children, strengthen the connection between language learning and wellbeing, and advocate for the value of "t’áá Dinéjí" through empirical data.

Led by Professor and Chair, Tiffany S. Lee, and her colleagues in the Department of Native American Studies, data from listening sessions with educators and families will be analyzed and shared with participants. These listening sessions highlighted the interconnectedness of language learning and cultural identity, emphasizing that language reinforces a sense of identity.

To strengthen relationships with Diné communities, a Diné song has been created with the guidance of cultural consultants, symbolizing the bond between the team and community partners. The song will be integrated into the research methodology, reinforcing kinship and relationships. 

This project aligns with the UNESCO-declared International Decade of Indigenous Languages and aims to benefit Indigenous language communities worldwide. It is part of the CBRI's effort to address contemporary challenges in New Mexico and the Southwest region. 

Read more about this project here.