Letters: No need to dismiss classes

On Aug. 21, a full solar eclipse will cross the northern states from Oregon, Montana, Wyoming and down into North and South Carolina. The Navajo Nation is expected to experience about 70 to 75 percent of the solar eclipse.

Parents, schools and Navajo citizens have expressed concerns on how schools should observe the upcoming solar eclipse. There are questions about what our ancestors did to observe this natural phenomenon. For many of us there is fear, confusion, amusement and awe.

Our ancestors, as well as our Diné spiritual leaders, say there is no need to fear. This is a natural occurrence that has been happening for millions of years and our people have found ways to acknowledge it. What to do is actually quite simple.

Navajo protocol requires a pause in normal activity to observe the solar eclipse. A solar eclipse can bring out negativity, suffering and misfortune, and at the same time it cleans the world with positive energy. Showing respect and reverence during an eclipse is very important.

Other things that should be done are:

  • Take shelter in a house or building.
  • Do not look at the eclipse.
  • Abstain from food, drink, sleep, cooking, going to the restroom, and other daily activities.
  • Show reverence and respect by being quiet and still. Cease activities.
  • Children should be taught to sit still, to refrain from arguing, crying and pouting. Adults should observe the same behavior. Proper respect is very important.
  • Our ancestors offered prayers and songs during the duration of the eclipse. The songs and prayers bring protection and hope for positive renewal. It is therefore, important to show respect by being quiet.

The Department of Diné Education encourages students to attend school. While in class they should observe a period of respect by being still and quiet until the eclipse passes. They can learn about solar eclipses prior to it happening so they can understand what is happening.

DoDE encourages schools to remain in session on Aug. 21. The actual eclipse will last only about 30-40 minutes at the most.

Our ancestors observed the eclipse with respect for its duration and then resumed their normal activities. Therefore, there is no need to dismiss classes and send students home.

Tommy Lewis
Superintendent of Schools
Window Rock, Ariz.

Trying to reconnect with Bacone classmate

I am trying to reconnect with a man that attended Bacone College in 1968 and was the recipient of a scholarship set up after my grandfather’s death.

When we corresponded with him in the summer, we addressed the letters to Burning Tree Trading Post. His name is Charles Ashley.

I would very much appreciate any help you can give me.

After finding my mother’s address book, I found it was Burnt Water Trading Post near Sanders, Ariz. The only other thing I remember about him was that he was in the Army and stationed in Germany in the early 1970s. I have located the chapter in Sanders and have sent them an email.

My mother’s name was Margaret Herberger. That is whom Charles corresponded with for a number of years.

My phone number is 972-771-3892 and my email address is d-lindley@sbcglobal.net. I would rather be connected by email first.

Cindy Lindley
Rockwall, Texas

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2 ideas for jobs, beso

My name is Richard Anderson Jr. I’m 4/4 Diné and registered voter for Eastern Agency.

As a voter I’m so upset that our leaders are weak, sell out to non-Natives and they desecrate and destroy our water, land and air.

I have two ideas that would make a lot of beso for the tribe that every registered voter would get a decent check every year for life. These plans will make everyone enough money to create jobs that protect the land, air, water and aquifers that really protect them for generations to come and with this plan we wouldn’t need the U.S. government or the state government. They would be our customers.

1. Tribe invest in a 100 percent tribally owned water-bottling plant. Sell the very best drinking Diné water to the world because it’s a billion dollar market. Many states have no good water and lots of people need water. Billions of beso and jobs.
2. Medical marijuana dispensary. Labs and growing fields, this market would be in the millions to supply and help sick people all over the USA and Diné medical herbs.

With these two ideas out tribe can be really self-sufficient and not depend on the government or the state. If you really think about it in reality the Navajo tribe is just a welfare of the state and government. They give the tribe a budget every year. That’s welfare.

Richard Anderson
Gallup, N.M.
(Hometown: White Cone, Ariz.)


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Categories: Letters
Tags: eclipse