FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. —
The first opportunity to see the film in Navajo will be during the tribe’s Fourth of July activities in Window Rock and later in the year during the Navajo Nation Fair. Wheeler said he then plans to take it on tour across the reservation, which stretches into New Mexico, Utah and Arizona, and metropolitan areas with large Navajo populations at no cost to viewers. The Navajo Parks and Recreation Department is funding the project but wouldn’t say how much it costs.
Anyone who doesn’t understand Navajo can read English subtitles on the film as another tool to learn the language, Priesz said. More people — nearly 170,000 — speak Navajo at home than any other American Indian language, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, but it is being lost upon younger generations.
“You could have a grandmother that speaks Navajo, and she understands it but is sitting there with her grandson who doesn’t speak Navajo,” Priesz said. “He could be reading it, so they both can enjoy it.”