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  • Randy Kritkausky

Connor Chee, Navajo Pianist and Composer

Supplemental Materials for Broadcast # 17 – March 2022

“Indigenous Perspectives” program


A photo of the Navajo Nation flag on a flagpole with blue sky in the background
Flag of the Navajo Nation

The Navajo Nation’s flag has many symbolic elements; studying the flag can help you to identify some important parts of Navajo culture and history. For each image listed on the next page, find it on the flag, and then match it with its meaning.

The first match is completed already, to start you off.

Images on the flag

A. Large orange shape

B. White triangles to the right of the orange shape

C. Blue triangles below the orange shape

D. Yellow triangles to the left of the orange shape

E. Black triangles above the orange shape

F. Rainbow

Inside the white circle:

G. Green curvy shapes_

H. Yellow-orange little flowers above each green curvy shape

I. Black multiple triangle shape

J. Black animal figure

Meanings (answers are on page 16)

1. Land of the Navajo Nation today (including much, but not all, of

Dinétah, the traditional Navajo homeland) ____A_____

2. Sign of protection and harmony for all of the traditional Navajo _________


3. Sacred mountain in the northern part of Dinétah (Mount Hesperus) ________

4. a sheep; source of food and wool ________

5. corn stalks; source of food and symbol of renewal of life each spring ________

6. Sacred mountains in the western part of Dinétah (San Francisco Peaks)_______

7. Sacred mountain in the southern part of Dinétah (Turquoise Mountain)________

8. Oil derrick; indicates mineral resources and source of tribal income _________

9. Corn pollen; considered sacred and used in healing ceremonies _________

10. Sacred mountain in the eastern part of Dinétah (Mount Blanca) ________

II. Vocabulary – match each word from the discussion with its best definition (answers are on page 16)

words about people being excluded (kept out) of a larger group:

disenfranchisement _____ tokenism _____ micro-aggressions _______

A. casual words and actions by people in a dominant group, that enforce a sense of inferiority in others

B. losing the right to vote; losing a say in things happening around you

C. when someone from a minority group is chosen for an honor, mainly to make a prejudiced dominant group look like they are being fair

words about people gaining strength and confidence despite hardships:

balance _______ emergence ________ resilience _________ revitalization __________

D. bringing new life and energy to something that has been declining

E. bouncing back stronger in response to set-backs

F. growth and change from one form to another; becoming visible to others

G. achieving harmony between different, often conflicting, elements

references to particular events, places or people:

Dinétah ___ Indianist movement _____ Standing Rock _____ Water Protectors ____

H. American classical musicians (1880s – 1920s) who used elements of Native American traditional music in their own compositions as part of a new trend

I. Indigenous people who organize to defend their land and keep it healthy and free from pollution; often led by women building on traditions that connect women to water as a source of life

J. The Lakota Sioux reservation which became a rallying point for people from many tribes, joined by non-Natives, in support of the Sioux in their protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline. That pipeline would run underground, through Sioux land protected by treaty, to transport natural gas from North Dakota to Texas. The protests started in 2016 and are ongoing.

K. Navajo language term for the traditional homelands of the Navajo (“Diné” means “the people” in Navajo)

Flag of the Navajo Nation Image credit: Gerd Müller, Creative Commons


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