Navajo Cultural Art Certificate, 2020-21, Silversmith
Since I was young, my parents instilled in me the importance of getting an education. They explained that my education would provide for me in ways that I never imagined. This is most telling in my recent educational endeavor at Diné College.
Amid our global pandemic, I was challenging myself to adapt to the unprecedented circumstances that many students were facing. I am not claiming that it was easy - the first time my hammer struck silver was intimidating. However, finding it within myself to be confident in each hit of the hammer allowed me to live in the moment. I like to think of myself as a planner and my meticulous attention to detail has allowed me to create events within my job title to be successful. But that type of personality always has me thinking 3-4 steps ahead, never really just sitting in the moment. So, this past year, as I sat at my bench looking at the silver, taking deep breathes, and connecting with my hammer. With each stamp impression, I found myself living in the moment. My mind was not consumed by the future. It was a new phenomenon. I was hooked.
Over the course of the certificate program, the renewed and revitalized attitude about my culture has been the biggest benefit. My instructors embraced Navajo culture and taught, unapologetically, what it will take to be a successful student at Diné College. This has provided balance and harmony back into my life and all it took was some silver and my own creative imagination.