A Legacy for the Next Seven Generations

0 Flares Filament.io 0 Flares ×

Yá’át’ééh. Shi éí Charlotte Davidson yinishyé. Tó’
aheedliinii éí nishli dóó Waterbuster Clan
báshíshchíín. Áádóó Kinlichíi’nii éí da shichei dóó
Flint Knife Clan éí da shinálí.
Flows-Together and I am born for the Waterbuster Clan.
My maternal grandfather is the Red House People and my
paternal grandfather is the Flint Knife Clan.
In the spring of 2006, Project C.E.D.A.R., (Community
Empowerment through Discussions about Respect,
Responsibility and Recognition) was established on the U
of I campus. It emerged as a space for indigenous women
to critically examine ourselves and to reflect about how we
have come to know and understand the world.
My mother, Nora Wilkinson, and my aunt, Myra Tso-
Kaye were invited to facilitate the last discussion of this
four-part series, Changing Women: Weaving Ways of Being
into Scholarship. They both reside on Diné Bikéyah (Navajoland)
where my mother is a rug weaver, while my aunt is
a potter and middle school teacher. They are neither academic
professors, nor have they published scholarly pieces,
however, they have remained my teachers in “ways of
They shared their knowledge about Asdzáá Nádleehé
(Changing Woman) and how we, as women, embody her
in how we live for others selflessly. She informs how we, as
women, need to conduct ourselves. When we have insight
into our own power, it is recognition of how it is lightening
and thunder when we speak. We can make things
grow and when we talk, we will things into creation. As
human beings, we possess the ability to hurt or heal,
humor or humiliate, torture or inspire.
Indigenous scholarship is beyond defending a paper, it
is about defending truth and tradition and producing
work that doesn’t create suffering. It is our responsibility
to ensure that the next seven generations remember and
trust their histories, stories, and ceremonies, as we are still
arriving. Our stories and knowledge are still arriving. The
last session of C.E.D.A.R. was, in fact, not our last session,
but became a site of renewal.
In May of 2006, I received a Master’s degree at UIUC. I
chose to wear traditional Navajo regalia that included a
rug dress that was woven by my maternal grandmother,
Sally Yazzie, and a sterling silver concho belt that once
belonged to my great, great maternal grandmother. I
acknowledged the day as a way to remember those who
were here before us, as I listen to the voices of my mother,
grandmothers, great grandmothers, and their grandmothers—
for we are our mother’s stories.
Hózhó náhásdlíí’ In beauty, it is restored.
Hózhó náhásdlíí’ In beauty, it is restored.
Hózhó náhásdlíí’ In beauty, it is restored.
Hózhó náhásdlíí’ In beauty, it is restored.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.