A message from Miss Navajo Nation 2007-2008, Jonathea Tso

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

Yá'át'ééh, shi k'é doo shi dine'é. Shi éí Jonathea D. Tso yinishyé. Naadiin ashdla' shinááhai. Kin?ichíi'nii nishl?', Tódích'íi'nii bashishchíín. Táchii'nii dashicheii, áádóó Nát'oh Dine'é Táchii'nii dashinálí. Shimá Irene John Tso wolyé dóó shizhe'é Jonathan D. Tso wolyé, Tó dínéeshzhee di daa bighaan. Shimásání Mae N. John wolyé doo shicheii Lee N. John wolyé, K'aabiizhii Neest?'ah d??'. Shinálí asdzání doo hastiin Francise doo Fred Russelle wolyé ?'t??' Dzi? laj??n d??'.

Greetings! My name is Jonathea D. Tso from Cove. I am of the Red House Clan, born for the Bitterwater Clan. My maternal grandfather is of the Red Running into the Water Clan and my paternal grandfather is of the Tobacco Red Running into the Water Clan. My parents are Irene and Jonathan Tso who reside in Kayenta. My maternal grandparents are Mae N. and, the late, Lee N. John of Cove and my paternal grandparents are the late Francis and Fred Russelle of Black Mesa. I have five younger sisters. I reside in beautiful Cove with my grandma and her sheep crew.

In 2000, I graduated from Aztec High School with honors and also completed the Math and Science for Minority Students (MS^2) summer enrichment program at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. Prior to the being crowed Miss Navajo Nation, I was taking Navajo language courses at Diné College.

I graduated from Dartmouth College (Hanover, N.H.) in 2004 with a double major in Native American Studies and Environmental Studies. When I was at Dartmouth I found myself reaching back home to Diné College asking the instructors about myself as a Diné individual-our stories and history. That experience lead me to pursue a solid foundation as a Diné citizen first before continuing on my career journey.

My platform as Miss Navajo Nation 2007/2008, is to be a strong advocate for our Diné language and way of life. I will do this by asking each individual, á?chíní doo hwóyáaíí ji', to take leadership for yourself and make a positive change in your life. Students, if you want to finish the highest level of education -to be a doctor-it is possible. If you want to speak Navajo like Paul Jones on KTNN-it is possible. It is also possible to be next Miss Navajo Nation but you have to make the effort to change your life in a positive way. As Miss Navajo Nation, I understand our children are struggling day to day with so many negativities such as methamphetamines, drugs, alcohol, and domestic violence. Why? Because our corn crop has been deserted.

Our elders teach us that our children are like the growth of corn. They need constant attention-water, air, sun light, soil, and prayer. Our Diné teachings and values, from our parents and relatives, are essential nurturing tools to insure strong corn stalk to withstand all types of weather.

This inner strength and strong sense of self identity is to protect our children from all types of obstacles they may encounter in life.

These teachings begin at home. I ask for each individual to think "nitsáhákees" about using your individual leadership "nahat'á" with in yourself to nurture the livelihood "iiná" of our people to ensure the survival of our people today and in the future "siih hasin."

Let us all nurture our children through words of wisdom, prayer, song and knowledge of our elders. Our children struggle today with many negative influences but with the support of our people "k'é" we can help them overcome these obstacles. This is my motivation as Miss Navajo Nation, to demonstrate my community service for the well being of our Diné Nation.

To contact or invite Miss Navajo Nation for presentations, please send all correspondence to P.O. Box 2860, Window Rock, AZ, fax information to (928) 871-6385 or e-mail missnavajonation@yahoo.com.

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