Navajos Change Name to Diné College

May 15th, 1997 | By | Category: 9-1: Honoring Our Native Knowledge, Tribal College News

The nation’s oldest tribal college, Navajo Community College, has changed its name to Diné College. Diné means “Children of the Holy People,” according to the college president, Dr. Tommy Lewis. Dine is pronounced din-eh. The change was approved by the Navajo Nation Council and the Diné College Board of Regents in April. The college was established in 1968.

“The time had come that the name of our institution needed to be changed in order to accommodate the continued growth and progress of the college for the Navajo people. This was done so that the college would not be limited to only offering two-year degrees,” Lewis said. Last year NCC entered into a partnership with Arizona State University to create the Diné Teacher Education Program, which will provide 4-year bachelor’s degrees. The name change allows for possible graduate and post graduate courses and degrees in the future, once they are accreditated.

The new college charter also changes the make-up of the governing Board of Regents, reducing the 10-member board to 8. The board includes five members representing each reservation agency, a student representative, and two appointees from the tribal government.

President of the Board of Regents Phillip Bluehouse said, “The board has spent many hours putting together this charter. We believe this document will allow the people to move forward into the next millennium without having to return to the council with new amendments every other year.”

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