February 07, 2022: Navajo Traditional Teachings – Elder Wally Brown shares Indigenous ways of knowing through digital stories to preserve Navajo culture.

Navajo Traditional Teachings strives to teach culture untouched by anthropologists and archaeologists. Their teachings are based on a pure understanding of the Diné language and oral history passed down from generation to generation. Inside this Indigenous educational website, we won’t find popular theories about Navajo’s traditional teachings and retelling of stereotypical portrayals of Indigenous peoples. Navajo Traditional Teachings motto is: “Without Identity, There is no power”; preserving Navajo (Diné) culture is their mission and they do that by sharing Indigenous digital stories told by Elder Wally Brown.

Navajo Historian, Wally Brown, and his team are committed to sharing Diné culture. Travelling the Navajo Nation, digging through old records, interviewing elders… Getting and documenting as much as possible. When all is gathered, it is then shared responsibly. Navajo Traditional Teachings mainly shares Navajo culture with digital videos available to everyone. They do it hoping that people will like and share the videos on social media with the purpose of sharing and maintaining Navajo culture. In the video below, Elder Wally teaches about where the name Navajo came from. 

Navajo Traditional Teachings is a story of two-man: Shane Brown, Navajo (Diné) and his father Wally Brown, a Navajo historian. They started Navajo Traditional Teachings by accident one special day, the day just before the 2017 total eclipse… Shane asked Elder Wally, “Dad what are the traditional beliefs about the eclipse?” Shane recorded the video and decided to start a Facebook page and to share the teachings. After uploading the video,  it went VIRAL in a matter of hours with more than tens thousands views… Watch below the viral video that started it all: The one where Elder Wally talks about what the eclipse means to Navajo people.

Elder Wally knew there was a need for accessible teachings. When he was a young boy he was taught and encouraged to learn the traditional ways of knowing and being. Trained as a medicine man early on by his grandfather, Elder Wally became a Navajo teacher and has been teaching culture for the better part of his life… Elder Wally’s work has always been to tell the stories of Diné. Always trying to reach more people and get more information about his people out there. In the following video, Elder Wally explains Diné and other Native American teachings on bullying- He remembers that when young, Diné people are taught never to bully and that this teaching started around the age of 3 or 4 years old. Watch below!

Elder Wally teaches about what it means to walk a path to make one a better person. Passing through the “beauty way path” by the four cardinal directions principles where beauty exists within us and around us. The principles placed within the four cardinal directions are blessing way teachings translated to English as “the four corn-pollen footsteps”: child-youth-adult-elder. In the videos below, Navajo Historian Elder Wally Brown teaches about “the four corn-pollen path” and a little about harmony in life with all of the living world through the term: Walking in Beauty. Listen and subscribe to Navajo Traditional Teachings to get the most updated content.