by John Aldrich
As we gathered for the annual Winter Stories night at the warehouse on Sunday, we were again invited to imagine that we were in a large hogan, part of a large Navajo family, gathered for a traditional winter evening of story telling and sharing about culture. Rodger Williams was once more the organizer and emcee of the event.
Eileen is coordinator for the Title VII program in the Nebo school district and brought with her a group of students who performed a Yupik dance.
Last year we were introduced to Emerson Bill and his group of singers. They were very popular with the audience, so we were delighted that they returned.
The last speaker was Julius Chavez who spoke of the importance of corn in Navajo culture. His remarks were particularly addressed to the Navajo children in the audience. Julius has been dismayed to find that many young Navajos don't know the difference between corn meal and corn pollen.
The different colors of corn each have their own significance.
Julius also spoke about the warehouse where we were gathered. He views it as the heart of the program, the place from which the many blessings of ANE extend out to the Elders. He likened the center of the warehouse to the center of a corn field - the focal point from which these blessings emanate.
After another song from Emerson's group, we disbursed with a great sense of enrichment.