Diné College Professor Receives NEH Faculty Award

Diné College Professor Receives NEH Faculty Award

Award is a step towards creating a Navajo Research Hub from within the Navajo Nation.

August 15, 2022

TSAILE, AZ — Diné College Native American Studies Faculty, Dr. Christine Ami (Diné), was one of 25 professors nationwide selected to receive a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Award for Faculty. This award will support the completion of her first book that re-writes the significance of sheep and the practices of traditional sheep butchering in Diné history and culture from Diné perspectives.

Grounded within the Diné practice and philosophy of Dibé éí Diné be’ iiná át’é (Sheep Is Life), Dr. Ami’s book will explore the nuances of sheep butchering techniques, stories, and teachings to understand how sheep actively co-construct Diné identities, histories, and ways of sensing the world even during the dismembering process of traditional butchering.

In addition to the book manuscript, Dr. Ami will create three new courses associated with the book project: (1) Indigenous Butchering Practices of the Americas; (2) Introduction to Traditional Ecological Knowledge; (3) Indigenous Perspectives of Animal Studies, all of which will contribute to the growth of the Native American Studies program at Diné College and food sovereignty initiatives of the Navajo Nation.

“I am venerated and extremely grateful not only for this award but for the support from Diné College and our Navajo community members who allow me to research projects that speak to the realities of our Navajo ways of knowing,” Dr. Ami acknowledged. “This book project recognizes rich practices, like sheep butchering, which continue to flourish within our communities. Our home butchered meat is much more than food – it is a representation of how we carry ourselves and how we care for ourselves and those around us.”

Diné College Provost, Dr. Geraldine Garrity added that “Diné College is honored to have aspiring professors to publish about the Navajo People and the Navajo way of life. As the Nation’s College expands to become a university, professors are encouraged to contribute to much needed professional resources. Grant support for professors, such as the NEH, are greatly appreciated. Currently, Diné College is seeking creative ways to be the professional publication hub of the Navajo People. ”

The NEH Faculty Award supports advanced research in the humanities by scholars, teachers, and staff at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities.

For more information about the Native American Studies minor or NAS classes at Diné College, please visit https://www.dinecollege.edu/academics/school-of-business-and-social-science or email Dr. Christine Ami at cmami@dinecollege.edu

Dr. Ami is an Associate Professor in Diné College’s School of Business and Social Sciences and teaches Native American Studies, Navajo Cultural Arts, and Anthropology courses.

As a postsecondary educational institution, Diné College awards Associate degrees, Bachelor’s degrees, and Certificates in areas important to the economic and social development of the Navajo Nation. To comply with the College mission, personalized instruction is guaranteed to each student because of the low student-faculty ratio. All are welcome to apply.


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