TS’AH BII KIN CHAPTER HOSTED THEIR 8TH ANNUAL (IGC) INTERGENERATIONAL CONFERENCE.
The Ts’ah Bii Kin Chapter on June 10th and 11th hosted their 8th annual intergenerational Conference where their theme was, “The Resilient and Enduring Dine”. This event that originated in 2013 has been a part of the community to celebrate being Dine (Navajo) bringing together generations for days of learning from each other.
In accordance to our elders our history as Dine people we are taught to believe that all things on this earth were created and placed by the Diyin Dine’e for specific purpose. That we must live in harmony and have respect for the sacredness of the universe. Such understandings and history is orally brought down generation-to-generation in hopes that is all lives on with no end.
The Ts’ah Bii Kin Chapter understands that there is an importance in keeping out culture alive to preserve the identity of our people. By hosting the annual Intergenerational Conference the Ts’ah Bii Kin Chapter provides a space for our elders and youth to come together for a couple of days to listen to age old customs and traditions. These days are a time to help explore different ways to allow our older generation to pass on valuable life lessons pertaining to Dine ways of life. Such lessons help all to understand how their people were, what their ways consist of, and most of all teach them to be compassionate, generous, and brave. Such a time that helps to reinforce the Dine values and way of life for our youth to carry on.
Each year, the Ts’ah Bii Kin Chapter sets aside the first week of their Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) to instill in their youth culture and tradition by hosting the Intergenerational Conference. This is the time that students are taught about the processes of producing foods that the Dine people have long live on. The students were taken outside on Tuesday 10, 2021 to start the preparations of digging a hole for the baking of the baking of the Navajo Cake. While, doing so they were taught about how these preparations are done and what ceremonies might require making a cake. The following days they helped to get the place ready for the event while ensuring that the fire in the cake pit continued.
On Thursday, June 10, 2021 sheep was delivered for the butchering demonstration. Miss Navajo Nation, Shaandiin Parrish arrived prepared with her knives and knife sharpener to help demonstrate the processing of sheep to the SYEP students. Starting with the cutting of the sheep’s neck, Miss Navajo Nation was able to demonstrate in accordance to age old traditions. Afterwards the students continued to preparing a meal for the community members whom came to be a part of the audience. During such, the process of kneel down bread was started. The students were shown by the Chapter staff on how to prepare the husks, cut the kernels of corn off the cob, grind the corn, how to prepare both blood sausage and regular kneel down bread. This went into getting the Navajo Cake batter prepared. The students were given the task of getting the batter prepared to put into the cake pit for the cake to cook underground over night. After the cake batter was prepared it was time to put the batter into the ground, the students again were shown the process that went in placing the husks in a certain manner and making offerings for success before covering the cake batter to be covered to cook for the night. After this the kneel down bread was also put into a pit to cook. After an hour the kneel was uncovered and set aside to cool. More food was prepared for the community in preparations for the starting of traditional singing and dancing by Mr. Joe Tohannie and his Apache Crown Dancers. Many participants enjoyed themselves the rest of the night.
On Friday, June 11, 2021 Chapter Staff demonstrated the cutting out of the Navajo Cake. After successfully getting the cake out of the ground, blue corn mush and chilchin (sumac berries) were demonstrated by the chapter staff. Food preparations continued to provide a meal for the community at noon.
All in all, the Ts’ah Bii Kin Chapter had another successful event. We can only hope that our students retain the knowledge brought forth to them. The Chapter Officials applaud the Chapter Manager and Administrative Assistant for teaching the Summer Youth knowledge that was passed down to them by their elders. All staff go above and beyond to make sure any and all community related events are successful. As Chapter Officials we appreciate their services and commitments to the Ts’ah Bii Kin Community. Thank You.