Guided by the Mountains: Navajo Political Philosophy and Governance

Guided by the Mountains: Navajo Political Philosophy and Governance

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Author/Contributor(s): Lerma, Michael
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Date: 10/01/2018
Binding: Paperback
Condition: NEW
What do traditional Indigenous institutions of governance offer to our understanding of the contemporary challenges faced by the Navajo Nation today and tomorrow? Guided by the Mountains looks at the tensions between Indigenous political philosophy and the challenges faced by Indigenous nations in building political institutions that address contemporary problems and enact "good governance." Specifically, it looks at Navajo, or Diné, political thought, focusing on traditional Diné institutions that offer "a new (old) understanding of contemporary governance challenges" facing the Navajo Nation.

Arguing not only for the existence but also the persistence of traditional Navajo political thought and policy, Guided by the Mountains asserts that "traditional" Indigenous philosophy provides a model for creating effective governance institutions that address current issues faced by Indigenous nations. Incorporating both visual interpretations and narrative accounts of traditional and contemporary Diné institutions of government from Diné philosophers, the book is the first to represent Indigenous philosophy as the foundation behind traditional and contemporary governance. It also explains how Diné governance institutions operated during Pre-Contact and Post-Contact times. This path-breaking book stands as the first-time normative account of Diné philosophy.