12 Sep 2022


Culture Diversity: How To Respect & Celebrate Differences

Format: APA

Academic level: High School

Paper type: Essay (Any Type)

Words: 1135

Pages: 4

Downloads: 0

The Navajo nation has preserved its traditional cultural practices over the ages. The nation has as such remained not fully assimilated into the modern culture which is characterized by modern education, teachings, and way of life. Those who are educated in the community find it a challenge to blend Navajo and modern philosophies in doing their work. The Navajo maintain their traditions through oral stories and traditional religion, aspects which describe their culture (Eagleton, 2013) . They still observe traditional rites of passage and believe in traditional medicine and witchcraft. Elite members of the community are encouraged to go back after their education and live in the community so as to preserve cohesiveness and the traditionally conservative nature of the nation. Their professions and careers represent the blending of the contemporary world and traditional Navajo life. They also influence Navajo life, a practice which occurs via the doorway of the Navajo nation. The Navajo medicine men and women are the custodians of the traditional faith, the wisdom and the philosophy of life in the nation (Eagleton, 2013) . Educators encourage children to go after modern education and knowledge. 

The Navajo have been through years of struggle, years of turmoil and years of change, from the traditional to the modern ways of living and knowledge. As the time passes through, compelling challenges, both old and new, keep arising on the Navajo reservation and the communities in it. Issues that constantly bog the mind of Navajo leaders include obesity, the crime rate, environmental exploitation, alcoholism and the mining of uranium, among others. One of the issues these leaders overlook is the education in schools on the reservation. Many Navajo people are aware of the modern ways of life yet still hold on to their traditional practices. Unlike the modern growth stages of adolescence and adulthood among others, the Navajo hold their rites of passage which qualify one into adulthood or some other stage, with the responsibilities thereof. The Navajo faith rides on the language as well (Tara, 2015) . Each of their different deities has a name and the people pray together to these gods. The medicine men and women place responsibilities on the young.The Navajo philosophy and religion survives on the parents’ teaching of the rituals, the language, the philosophy, and the stories. The Navajo have many traditional practitioners on the reservation. The place of gender is well specified among the people. Certain roles are ascribed to each gender and women especially are not traditionally allowed to hold leadership positions. The traditional faith drives all aspects of life and is firmly embeddedin the peoples’ minds, hearts, and souls (Eagleton, 2013) . Life is taken as full of evil and bad, and the people are encouraged to ward off the bad and think positively. This faith is very unlike modern faith which is diverse. 

It’s time to jumpstart your paper!

Delegate your assignment to our experts and they will do the rest.

Get custom essay

It has been argued that the object of education is to horn the young with skills and knowledge to educate themselves further throughout their lives. The truth of this is, however,relative to the schools on the Navajo reservation. Students attending schools in the reservation are not receiving the kind of education that they should receive. This is because the schools have limited resources and a lack of qualified and certified teachers (Pack, 2011) . There is also alack of parental awareness and student desire to attend school. This situation may be attributed in part to the Navajo culture which recognizes traditional rather than contemporary education. All involved parties and stakeholders should work hard to resolve this issue. 

In laying the foundation and the backbone of the Navajo Nation, 242 schools had been constructed on the Navajo reservation, which covers an area of about 25000 square miles, which is a vast geographical expanse. This was a significant improvement, given the high population of school age children. The real problem, however, lies in what occurs in the schools themselves. The schools have no clubs for the students to join, have an inadequacy of textbooks and other reading materials, and offer no college classes. The schools are not able to give as much to the available students. They are isolated, low income, run down and unknown, and as such open the eyes of any observer to the reality of education on the reservation. Navajo culture does not prioritize contemporary education and this is the partial cause of underdevelopment in the schools (Pack, 2011) . Finances to replace dusty chalkboards, damaged and old books and old buses are not provided. It is hard to get to school in Navajo especially when gas prices are raised or when it snows or rains. Schools are not a priority and, therefore, it is hard to get to school at that time. Children go to school without books because they do not have them, attend classes irregularly, skip practice and miss school because of one reason or the other. Modern education is not developed, and the people value their traditions more. 

Getting up early to go to school is one thing, but receiving parental confidence and support is another. The parents who should be the ones that children look up to are not available to play that role which is important in modern education. Most parents are not educated themselves and fight for the Navajo culture. The behavior of children reflects cultural and parental influences as well as the child’s developing values and beliefs. Children grow up and adopt the same mannerisms they observed with others in their growth, acting as they had been raised to act culturally, socially and in all aspects of life. Many parents on the Navajo reservation only have the basic education (Eagleton, 2013) . A higher education is not a priority and therefore only kindergarten through high school education is emphasized. A young child who is easily manipulated therefore believes that it is okay not to acquire a higher education because their parents as well did not obtain it. Parents do not emphasize the importance of higher education and expect less than what is neededfrom their children. A study of parental expectationon their school going children, done at Montezuma Creek all parents said that they expected ‘a good job’ from their children. This research revealed that the reason for the schooling of children was to acquire a secure survival or to receive a good job. An educator at Red Mesa Elementary stated that the parents have a low self-esteem, with the situation being worse among parents who did not go school. They are not involved in the education of their children andtherefore, there are many cases of early pregnancies, school dropouts and drug abuse (Tara, 2015) . This is unlike the modern approved practice of unlimited parental support in children’s life and education, which is helpful in assisting these children pursue their career and dreams for a stable life. 

It has therefore become a question of whether or not to attend school, a situation which has caused many dropouts and low graduation rates. Of the overall population of American Indians living on reservations, only a quarter of them has graduated from high school. This is to say that the number is even less when you consider the Navajo reservation on itself. Students in Navajo have no regard for modern education but instead, value the traditional values and teachings of their community. Students have no desire to be in school to learn becausethe school environment is not one for learning, but one for wasting time. They prefer their traditional education over modern practices in education (Pack, 2011)


Eagleton, T. (2013). The Idea of Culture. Malden: Blackwell Publishing. 

Pack, S. (2011). From Either/Or to Both/And: Between The Traditional and The Modern. Journal of Indigenous Research, 1 (2). 

Tara. (2015, November 17). Navajo Indian Culture and Traditions . Retrieved March 23, 2016, from Navajo Indian: http://www.navajoindian.net/navajo-culture-and-traditions/ 

Cite this page

Select style:


StudyBounty. (2023, September 17). Culture Diversity: How To Respect & Celebrate Differences.


Related essays

We post free essay examples for college on a regular basis. Stay in the know!

17 Sep 2023

Group Facilitation: Engagement and Authority

PART1 This was a part of the first group therapy session of a group of individuals. The group had both men and women of different backgrounds and personalities. The observation parameters that govern this sort...

Words: 883

Pages: 3

Views: 123

17 Sep 2023

Micro Client System

Discussion 1 In my career as a social worker, I have worked with client systems of all sizes. In their career and daily work, social workers interact with all client systems in assisting individuals suffering...

Words: 789

Pages: 3

Views: 176

17 Sep 2023

Food Policy and Habits

The survival of human being depends on the food. Globally, food is known to be more than a source of nutrients and energy for human well-being. The food we eat, how we eat, who we eat with, when we eat, and what we...

Words: 382

Pages: 1

Views: 148

17 Sep 2023

Culture, Ethnocentrism, and Cultural Relativism

Since the middle Stone Age, human beings are considered as social creatures, from those days people have identified and associated with each other as a community to live and survive. Common behavior and habits unite...

Words: 1321

Pages: 5

Views: 72

17 Sep 2023

Client Population and Problem Addressed by the Program

A considerable number of Americans are not consuming the right amount of vegetables and fruits. As of 2013, about 13% of the entire USA population was consuming the required daily intake of fruits (one and a half to...

Words: 1367

Pages: 4

Views: 155

17 Sep 2023

Community Observation: How to Get Started

The meeting attended was a legislative meeting of the Board of Directors of the School District of Cheltenham Township. The meeting was held on Tuesday, February 19, 2019, at 7:16p.m in the Administration Building,...

Words: 1513

Pages: 5

Views: 115


Running out of time?

Entrust your assignment to proficient writers and receive TOP-quality paper before the deadline is over.