DECLARATION OF DINÉ IDENTITY
Submitted by Chili Yazzie, Dineh
We, the Diné People across Earth Mother declare this statement of Diné Identity In our creation, the Great Creator made us Diyin Nohookáá Diné with our songs, language, cultural ways and identity in our homelands on this our Earth Mother.
- As Diné People, we are indigenous to these lands, our relationship with the land is intrinsic and sacred; to separate us from the land is loss of spirit and living.
- We honored our original instructions and lived our lifeways through hardship and times of happiness, a life of balance with nature; until the great intrusion.
- Under the vile banners of the Doctrine of Discovery and Manifest Destiny, the newcomers imposed upon us a foreign and contradicting way of life purpose.
- The time of war between our indigenous world and the newcomers ended with our imprisonment at Hweeldí. We fought to defend our lifeways and our land.
- After years of captivity we were freed to come home within our four mountains upon X-ing the Treaty of 1868 written by bilagaana through bilagaana eyes.
- The Treaty did not establish nor create our sovereign status; the Treaty only confirmed the sovereignty bestowed us by the Creator. This truth must prevail.
- The Treaty was not done in full good faith, as it was imposed on us under great duress, we did not fully understand its intent. We only wanted to come home.
- The Treaty said we will not bear arms, but our Diné Warriors served in greater ethnic ratio in America’s military with courage and honor; defending the land.
- We’ve adopted and adapted in our 2 worlds for 150 years. And still we cherish and celebrate our Dinéness; the Creator did not err in making us who we are.
- We revere these lands blessed to us. The notion that our land belongs to the government, that we are its wards contravenes the Creator’s original intent.
- We declare we will remain Diné in perpetuity and we declare that we belong to the land and that the land belong to us in the way the Great Creator intended.