Native language symposium planned for Nov. 19-20

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The Hozhogo Iina Institute, founded by Dr. Harold G. Begay, will host a two-day critical appraisal of Native language, culture and promising directions in contemporary Native education on Nov. 19-20 at the High Country Conference Center on Northern Arizona University's north campus.

Major presentations of the conference will highlight Diné philosophy of Life, "Reclaiming Hopi: Hopilavayi," Traditional Indigenous Philosophy, Space Science, Mathematics, and Bioastronomy, Diné Philosphy of Teaching, Learning and Standards, Ontology and Epistemology of Diné Philosophy of Life, among others. The primary focus of the conference is to invite scholars, research scientists and students to join in a positive initiative to explore causes, consequences and prospects of education renewal with Native students.

Noted Native scholars such as Dr. Sheilah Nicolas of the University of Arizona, Luz Maria Da la Torre/Traditional Inca Scholar from UCLA, Dr. Herbert Benally, Adair Klopfenstein, MA, Dr. Harold G. Begay will be the primary presenters.

The presenters were chosen by the Hozhogo Iina Institute as each has exhibited in their academic practices proven methods of utilizing and creating education environments that move Native students to achieve greatness in all facets of contemporary lives today, from families to tribal councils, governmental institutions and private businesses.

Begay states, "We are indeed fortunate that there are many educators among us who show remarkable vision, energy, courage and optimism and the resiliency to support, understand and live our cultural worldview to this day. It's up to us, as architects and keepers of dreams and promises to continue to link together the hopes, dreams of the past, present and future ... that are inextricably linked with our deep Native cultural attachments and enduring qualities. We must promote, support [this] evolving education, inter/intra-cultural education."

Presenters will emphasize the responsibility of teaching a strong, complimentary package of traditional Native knowledge along with western science ideals, that each educator must understand the importance

of the transmission of cultural knowledge, the migration of human knowledge from one generation to the next generation.

Proven academic statistics for Native students has shown that conventional schooling has left too many culturally weak and academically poor. This conference hopes to add that powerful humanistic Native philosophy and education to the scientific and technologically advancement in a cross-cultural setting, increasing both academic and long term self-esteem building skills for students and instructors.

Begay is a prime example of this method of academic success, having been raised on the Navajo Nation amidst poverty, welfare and a deep cultural chasm between his Diné culture and western society education. After graduating from Tuba City High School, Begay entered with honors admission to Arizona State University, but dropped out to complete a USMC tour of duty in 1968.

After his tour of duty, Begay returned to school and graduated within three years with a BA in psychology, completed his MA in guidance and counseling and then completed his Ph.D. in school finance and education administration from the University of Arizona.

Begay has also served as a visiting scholar to various noted academic institutions such as UC Berkeley, and was named 2003 Gifted Educator of the Year in the state of Arizona, and has presented published materials to Beijing Institute in China, Oxford University in Manchester, England, Hawaiian Immersion Schools and Washington State Annual Gifted Leadership Symposium.

As principal organizer for the conference, Begay is anxious to create infusion of exceptional education resources into historically underserved Reservation area schools.

For more information or to register for the conference, send an e-mail request to or call (928) 221-7001.


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