177745669-S-1DZ John H. Lasso 2003

The ‘Navajo Way of Life’ is something I believe everyone should be exposed to.  John Henderson exemplifies the idea of ‘Living Like You Mean It’ by working to share his culture with the young people of his community and to outsiders who wish to learn.

I sat down for an extensive conversation with John the last week of May 2013.  It had been almost 6 years since we’d last been in each other’s presence and so it was good to have time with he and his wife Emma.

405830-R1-16-16ADZ Dinetah John H. Explains 5 2005

For over 30 years, John & Emma have given of their time every summer to act as hosts for groups of people traveling to the four corners area of New Mexico.  The Navajo Work Camp Program is sponsored mostly through regions or individual churches affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Back sometime in the early 1980’s, John Henderson met Angie Murdock while he was teaching a cultural studies course at the Univ. of Indiana at Bloomington.  Angie was so enthralled with the what she learned that she decided to go New Mexico and she became at teacher at the tiny, Dzilth-na-o-dith-le Community School just south of the Bloomfield area of San Juan County; this was the community John & Emma lived in.  John was also a teacher at the school.  Angie and her father, John Hart began the idea of the Navajo Work Camp Program because of John Henderson’s deep-rooted commitment to education of his people and of anyone else wishing to learn about the Dineh people of the Navajo Nation.

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I first met John on a trip that my wife Kim and I participated in during the summer of 2002.  We’ve helped start groups and lead groups since our first trip 12 years ago.  In that time we’ve heard many wonderful, spiritually uplifting stories from many people who have met John over the years.  John and I have forged a great friendship for one another as we recognize each others commitment to sharing the Navajo Way of Life with others.

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As I indicated, the interview is long and unedited.  I initially planned to do it a different way, to save time, but to do that would not be in the true spirit of something called ‘Navajo Time’.  So, I divided the interview into two sections.  Part 1 is about 35 minutes in length and the Part 2 is a bit longer at approximately 42 minutes.  I concluded the interview by asking John if he would take us to the place most sacred and spiritually inspiring to him.  For that last part of our conversation I broke out the video camera.  All of this is now posted on YouTube and I have linked it here for your enjoyment.

John Henderson Audio Interview (Pt 1 & 2- Recorded May 2013)

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nL6ic_16d9A

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jnNTXTxSBE

 

Conclusion- John Henderson Interview (Video Closing) May 2013 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9M9YiAfrsSc

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot from this man.  He is an inspiration to me.  John lives his life everyday like he means it.

Please take some time to listen to his words as I know they will be inspiring to you.

Peace,

Ray

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