Ya’at’eeh (hello), my name is Donovan, I’m originally from a community called Tsin Nasbąh Si’ąh (Smith Lake), which is located on the Eastern Agency of the Navajo Nation.
Much of my journey began with great curiosity of technology at a young age, that soon revolved into creating graphic design work, creating websites, but all that I have done has Diné Bizaad (Navajo language) in mind.
For as long as I can remember it was emphasized to me to get my education and to help others because the greatest good is helping others succeed too.
I grew up constantly being around Diné Bizaad (Navajo Language), I’m considered passively bilingual, dii Diné Bizaad nizhoni da’iinlata ba a’jooltaa (I want to learn and teach others the Navajo language).
It has been a part of everything I do, regardless of being trained in various roles as a graphic/web designer, librarian, archivist, and now, a linguist.
I realized there is a great need to find various means to sustain tribal culture and knowledge in some shape or form. I feel that there is cohesion and balance that can be achieved so that language may persist in cultural heritage institutes as well as through servers and databases of the internet.
Language and culture are often one and the same, and through language revitalization, maintenance, documentation, and education, it can greatly assist.
Assist Diné Bizaad secondary learners by emphasizing how sounds work, how sound interact in a word, how sentences are created, why certain words have meaning in sentences, and in what manner one speaks.
Document and create usable metadata for language learners to easily securing and utilize digital language materials effectively.
Assist tribal archives, cultural centers, libraries, and museums in figuring out what to do with language archival material and creating language spaces.