Senior Papers

Navajo Common Law Zine

Author Full Name
Elana Begay


This zine on Diné bi Beehaz’áanii supplements my Sociology honors thesis: How Navajo Tribal Judges Understand Crime Control and Accountability Through Diné bi Beehaz’áanii. My thesis’ focus is to contribute to the growing literature of Indigenous Peacemaking frameworks, and show that these frameworks work best to combat conflict and crime in tribal communities as opposed to the adversarial legal system. The goal of my genre project is to provide a resource for Diné bi Beehaz’áanii learners who want to understand what it is and why it is important to the Diné culture. Diné bi beehaz’áanii is difficult to conceptualize, especially for non-Navajo speakers. I argue that the revival of Diné bi Beehaz’áanii amongst younger Navajo people also requires the revival of Diné Bizaad (Navajo Language) and Diné Bahane (Navajo Creation Stories). By adding to the scholarship of Indigenous peacemaking, I hope that both my thesis and zine will help ensure my culture and community’s survival.

As an additional note: Please know that this project is my interpretation of Navajo concepts. My interpretations may be different from other Navajo individuals. There is no right or wrong interpretation, or one way to understand these concepts.

Read the zine here.