Traditional Cultural Summit to promote balance and longevity

May 2019 28

“Diné Bina’nitin Béé’ As’ah Oodááł” – Be in balance and harmony with nature

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – The Navajo Nation Division of Behavioral and Mental Health Services is hosting its annual Traditional Cultural Summit focusing on “Diné Bina’nitin Béé’ As’ah Oodááł” or “Be in balance and harmony with nature,” to promote mental, physical and spiritual balance. The four-day summit will take place on June 11-14, 2019 at Summit, Arizona (west of St. Michaels, Arizona) closing with a Native American Church ceremony on the last night.

The summit is a free event that is open to all ages. Focused on promoting healthy lifestyles through cultural teachings and spiritual healing concepts, sessions are intended to empower individuals to confront everyday life issues and challenges in a holistic manner rooted in Navajo tradition. These approaches to life’s challenges can help individuals avoid negative behaviors such as substance abuse and domestic violence.

Gerald King, traditional practitioner coordinator with the Division of Behavioral and Mental Health Services (DBMHS), hopes attendees will get in touch with themselves and nature during the outdoor summit. King wants the community to know that there is still traditional knowledge about Navajo lifeways and that it’s important to educate the youth about Navajo ways of life, self-awareness, language, and spirituality.

“Through the teachings of the ‘Diné Lifeway’ we become empowered to overcome all challenges, and we are able to cope with everyday pressures,” King explained. “These sessions are intended to instill the many generations of traditional cultural teachings in the youth and the adults too. To revitalize and rejuvenate those teachings. It’s not gone, it’s still here.”

Navajo Nation DBMHS promotes balance and harmony in native communities through inward healing and personal growth. By integrating traditional lifeways into its clinical programs, behavioral and mental health services are both effective and culturally appropriate. The upcoming Traditional Cultural Summit is a way to further the mission to provide comprehensive behavioral health services to Native families.

“DBMHS is promoting the importance of individuals to know themselves, where they come from, why they are here and where they are headed,” he explains. “We want to motivate individuals to better themselves and live a healthy lifestyle.”

The summit will also include faith-based teachings and messages. King says, “We don’t want to be bias against one another, we want to come together and unite.”

For more information about the Traditional Cultural Summit, contact Karina Watson at (928) 729-4012 or