A poem by Jacqueline Holiday, Ph.D.

Author:Haggerson, Nelson L., Jr.
Position:Poem
 
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Dr. Jacqueline Holiday, who recently received her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Arizona State University. I chaired her dissertation entitled, A Heuristic Inquiry of Three Navajo Women in Educational Leadership. She concluded her research with: "The researcher described how three Navajo women were spun by their culture, language, and teaching of life that equipped them with the tools for becoming successful and highly effective leaders." Subsequent to finishing her degree she has been contemplating its many meanings, one of which is "Peace is the only way" and one is the role of teachers in the process of inspiring peace-makers. She has written the poem, My First Teachers which is included here

My First Teachers Her soft voice told me you are breaking life into pieces Dissecting your being The whole has de Chaos began to grow roots Roate memorization, recitation in English My Dine bizaad, my native tongue slowly removed Teaching me to be a shamed of my Navajo speaking mother She was a symbol of a fading culture Lacking sophistication and scholastic aptitude A formal education would discard a primitive life Poverty and illiteracy would vanish Knowledge and intellect would abound Through their eyes material accumulation defined an abundant life Confusion stirs my heart An ache touches my being Then mother's quiet words remind me of iina Where happiness begins with self respect An abundant life is dependent on Ke', Family relations that define who you are and where you come from Imparted from the old ones, my elders Teachings of iina, a disciplined life Iina is education Education is iina A cycle, Each draws upon the other Becoming one Words spoken by...

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