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Veteran's Day Part Two: Navajo Perspective on being a Warrior


Chief Manuelito

After I posted my previous post about Yankton Chief White Swan and the difference between a Soldier and a Warrior, I remembered a story recounted by my Navajo grandmother's aunt, Tiana Bighorse in her book Bighorse the Warrior.  So, here is a second entry on Veteran's Day, this time from my Navajo side of the family.

When Mr. Bighorse is a boy, he goes with his father.  His father teaches him everything that a boy should do to become a man.  And what he shouldn't do.  And his father tells him, 'You will be a brave and be a warrior some day.'  
In Navajo, a warrior means someone who can get through the snowstorm when no one else can.  
In Navajo, a warrior is the one that doesn't get the flu when everyone else does--the only one walking around, making a fire for the sick, giving them medicine, feeding them food, making them strong to fight the flu. 
In Navajo, a warrior is the one who can use words so everyone knows they are part of the same family.  In Navajo, a warrior says what is in the people's hearts.  Talks about what the land means to them.  Brings them together to fight for it. 

Jacqueline Keeler
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