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Program using storytelling events to save Navajo language

Gallup, NM by Wolfgang Staudt.JPG
Posted at 5:45 PM, Jan 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-13 19:45:31-05

GALLUP, N.M. (AP) - A group of Navajo Nation elders is using traditional storytelling to try to pass down their native language to the next generation.

The Gallup Independent reports the Dine Council of Elders for Peace is beginning to hold storytelling events in Gallup, New Mexico, as a way to keep youth in New Mexico and Arizona engaged in the Navajo language.

Organizers plan events around storytelling, games and star-gazing.

Group member Mary Jane Harrison says the younger generation has lost much of the Navajo language. She says storytelling is important because the stories also contain real-life lessons.

Noreen Kelly is the program coordinator for the Dine Council of Elders for Peace. She says the group hopes to expand the events and make them more convenient for younger tribal members to attend.