Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

December 24, 2022

Danny Blackgoat Soars to Spirit World

Danny Blackgoat, son of Roberta Blackgoat, longtime resister to relocation and government oppression, soars to Spirit World

Danny's wife Liz Blackgoat said, "It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my beloved husband, Danny Blackgoat. He left this world sometime Sunday night, Dec 18. His transition to spirit occurred on the land, at the place that he loved the most."

Danny K. Blackgoat passed away peacefully on Monday, Dec. 19, 2022, at the age of 70. He was born in Dinnebeto and grew up in the Big Mountain area. He attended Northern Arizona University (NAU) in Flagstaff, completing his bachelor’s degree.

Danny began his career in the Flagstaff Unified School District (FUSD) as a counselor at Flagstaff High School. After a few years he transitioned to teaching the Diné language, acting on his deep commitment to preserving the Navajo language which he saw as fundamental to the traditional Diné cultural and spiritual practices. Over the course of his career, he taught and mentored several generations of students at NAU, Coconino Community College, Dineh College and at the Pinon School. He was an active member of the Circle of Youth and Elders for many years. Danny will be remembered for his devotion to family, his dedication to teaching, his efforts to stop coal mining, and to prevent forced relocation under PL-93-531.

He loved to travel, meet people and share his culture. Danny had a generous heart and was a distinctive figure of a man. He was always available to help others and to listen. He exemplified determination, integrity, personal independence and resilience. He was dedicated to preserving his family home and assisting the elders on the land. Danny treasured families, stories, and sharing experiences. He was a generous and charismatic presence that will be missed by many.

Danny is preceded in death by his parents, Hosteen Benny Blackgoat and Roberta Dinehyazzie; his brother, Harry Blackgoat; his sister, Betty Sargent; and his son, Benjamin James Blackgoat.

He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Blackgoat; children, Amanda Blackgoat (Kwame), Brandon Blackgoat (Rene), Kyla Blackgoat, and Mackenzie Blackgoat; his grandchildren, Micaela, Morgan, Elijah, Piper, Cooper and Benjamin; his sisters, Vicki Blackgoat (Don), Bessie Manygoats (Roy), Sheilah Keith (Chuck).

Danny’s family and friends will gather for a viewing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 27, at Greer’s Mortuary, located at 316 W. 2nd St. in Winslow; a memorial service will follow at 2 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, located at 411 N. Warren Ave. in Winslow. The memorial service from 3 to 5 p.m. will be followed by a reception at the First Baptist Church Auditorium. In lieu of flowers, there will be a donation table set up at the reception for those who attend. For those who cannot attend and wish to give can do so via Zelle: or via Venmo: @dezbah-palmer.

Greer’s Mortuary of Winslow handled the arrangements.

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