Navajo elder scheduled to speak at Heritage Center


James Peshlakai, a Navajo elder, storyteller, teacher and artist who successfully bridges cultural gaps, will share his insights at 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 30, at the Anasazi Heritage Center.

Peshlakai taught applied indigenous studies as the elder-in-residence at Northern Arizona University, where he can apply his passion for Navajo cultural preservation to teach students about native plants, geology, self-reliance and cultural values.

He also helped found the Navajo Arts and Crafts Cooperative, one of America's first native arts cooperatives, and the Peshlakai Dancers troupe, which performs across the country.

As a singer, he released an album entitled "Songs of the Navajo" in 2009.

Peshlakai was born near Wupatki National Monument north of Flagstaff, Ariz., where his father, uncles and grandfathers were all hatathli (medicine men).

This event is part of the 2013 Four Corners Lecture Series, "Knowing the Greater Southwest," a cooperative community project.

The Anasazi Heritage Center (27501 Highway 184 in Dolores) is headquarters for Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission to the museum is free on the day of the lecture.

For more information, contact the museum at 970-882-5600 or go to