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Graduate inspired by commencement speaker Oprah

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.

Navajo Times | Bobby Martin

Zunneh-Bah Martin receives her diploma from graduation speaker Oprah Winfrey at Colorado College’s commencement ceremony Sunday.

“It is all still sinking in,” said Zunneh-bah Martin, who graduated from the Colorado College on Sunday. “I am thankful to our commencement speaker, Oprah Winfrey, for sharing an empowering speech,” she said.

Martin, 22, completed four years at Colorado College and received a bachelor’s degree with a major in Southwest studies and a minor in Indigenous studies. “I grew up watching her talk show, reading her magazines, and watching ‘The Color Purple’ over and over again with my mom,” she said in amazement.

Zunneh-bah is from the community of Tohlakai, New Mexico, and grew up on the Navajo Nation. Martin is Tsenahabi?nii (Sleeping Rock Clan), born for Naakai (Mexican, Aztec, and Mayan ancestry); her paternal grandparent is Tabaaha (Edgewater Clan), and her maternal grandparent is a? a’ Dine’é (Modoc Tribe).

She admits that, going to college far from home and with few Native Americans on campus, she struggled but with support systems she did not quit.


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