NavajoWOTD will return on Monday!

I am excited to announce that regular postings will return after a months-long hiatus.

Navajo Word of the Day began at my home, as a small way to spread understanding of Navajo culture. Posts were scheduled every morning at 2 AM so that east coasters would wake up to a new word. It wasn’t long until messages came in demanding pronunciations, which I started recording on my old iPhone and uploaded to SoundCloud, where they could be easily played and downloaded. The Twitter account followed, and the Facebook page, not long afterwards. It wasn’t until a year later that I had made enough money from advertising to invest in a good microphone for clearer audio, which I bought off of Craigslist (risky, I know; in fact, I bought a bad microphone but the company graciously exchanged it).

As I started to understand the issue of language perpetuation (I prefer ‘perpetuation’ over ‘preservation’ since it implies an active effort from within, as opposed to an external effort), I saw an opportunity to apply my background to the issue to see what could be done. But I developed a fast-growing cancer and began chemotherapy treatment in an effort to save my lungs and to slow the metastases. I had made a huge commitment to a lot of people, and I failed until now to follow through completely. Looking back, I see an even greater need to continue this website than before.

Here are a few things you can look forward to:

  • new daily words
  • a Navajo Language explorer mobile app
  • your perks (for the crowdfunding backers)
  • a revamped ClanMaker app
  • a revamped Lexicon app
  • new opportunities for you to help spread awareness of Navajo issues (such as cancer awareness, historical events, and Navajo education)
  • and more.

Having just turned 22, and having to deal with cancer, it’s important that I fulfill my obligations. I am thankful for your support, which has made this a website nothing but a joy and healthy challenge. I realize now the meaning of the word “hózhóó’ógo” – not ‘slow’ but ‘with care’.

Ahéhee’!

-Byron