November is Native American Heritage Month. This month-long celebration invites us to recognize and honor the unique cultures and contributions of our nation’s many indigenous communities. Native American Heritage Month also challenges us to learn about the history and experiences of Native Americans, including their struggles, resilience, and the many challenges they continue to face today.
As a friend of St. Bonaventure Indian Mission and School, YOU have a unique opportunity to learn about and touch the lives of the Navajo people. In honor of this Native American Heritage Month, we are delighted to share small insights into the Navajo culture and way of life with you.
Thank you once again for caring deeply about the Navajo people whose lives you touch with love and kindness through your generous partnership with St. Bonaventure Indian Mission and School. You are helping the people of the Eastern Navajo Reservation develop self-sufficiency through education, employment, housing, and vital outreach services. Your goodness and charity touch their lives with hope and the promise of a better tomorrow.
The Diné, Navajo people, have a rich culinary tradition that reflects their cultural heritage and connection to the land. One of the key aspects of Navajo cuisine is the use of locally sourced ingredients. Traditional Navajo foods often include ingredients such as corn, beans, squash, wild game, and various herbs and spices. Corn, in particular, holds a special place in Navajo cuisine and is considered a sacred staple in their diet.
Frybread is a popular and iconic Navajo dish made from a dough of flour, water, salt, and sometimes baking powder. It is then deep-fried until it becomes golden brown and puffy. Frybread can be eaten on its own or used as a base for other dishes, such as Navajo tacos, which consist of frybread topped with seasoned ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese.
Other traditional Navajo foods include mutton stew, also known as Navajo stew, which is made with chunks of tender mutton, potatoes, onions, and various vegetables. The stew is slow-cooked for several hours, allowing the flavors to meld together and create a hearty and comforting dish.
Mutton Stew Recipe
Overall, Navajo cuisine is a reflection of the Navajo people’s deep connection to their land, culture, and spirituality. It is a celebration of locally sourced ingredients, traditional cooking methods, and the sharing of food as a way to bring people together.