Coloring book helps teach Navajo alphabet to kids | KOB 4

Coloring book helps teach Navajo alphabet to kids

Colton Shone
November 06, 2017 05:22 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A Native American businesswoman is trying to keep the Navajo language alive by teaching it to children through coloring books. She's getting a lot of attention for it.


Vanessa Bowen owns Bowen Creative in Nob Hill. She's using her Navajo background to create "Hózhó, A Dine Coloring Book," featuring the alphabet along with Navajo words attached to the pictures.

"I have two small children and we're not on the reservation anymore. We live here in Albuquerque," Bowen said. "Since they're removed from learning in an environment where everyone speaks it, I really wanted to make it available for my children to learn and color and enjoy it and have a fun way to do it."

Bowen said the reviews have been positive, especially from educators who teach heavily Navajo-populated classrooms.

"What my mom was telling me was when she was teaching, it was really difficult for her to find materials to use. And every time she found something, it wasn't really culturally appropriate -- like it would illustrate something but it wasn't necessarily traditional Navajo," she said.

There is a multimedia aspect to the book as well, Bowen said, with recordings of how to pronounce the words on her website. She hopes to expand this project in schools across the state.

"I could work with them to provide this need that they have," she said.

For more about the coloring book, click here.


Colton Shone

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