Melvatha R. Chee
Melvatha R. Chee, Ph.D., is Tsé Nahabiłnii, Kin Łichíi’nii, Hooghan Łání and Áshįįhí. She comes from Lake Valley, New Mexico. As a Diné speaker, she has over 15 years of experience working with her language in a professional capacity. Dr. Chee’s linguistic work includes an analysis of Navajo child language data. Her primary research looks at how Navajo children learn to use the morphologically complex Navajo verb. Her research interests include morphophonology, polysynthesis, semantics, morphology, first language acquisition, language sustainability, and the intersection between culture and linguistics. Her secondary research work focuses on building a Navajo language corpus. Dr. Chee is a United States Marine Corps Veteran and she maintains a connection to her culture to enrich her Navajo language skills, knowledge and wellbeing. She is Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Director of the Navajo Language Program at the University of New Mexico.
Lorraine Begay Manavi
Lorraine Begay Manavi is Mą’iideeshgiizhnii, Tł’ááshchí’í, Táchii’nii and Ta’neeszahnii, a Diné woman from Tósidoh, New Mexico. As a Navajo Language university instructor, her primary goal is to foster a deep appreciation and understanding of the Diné language and culture amongst her students. She believes that language is not only a means of communication but also a gateway to heritage culture. Her teaching style emphasizes active participation and practical application, so students feel empowered not only within the classroom but within their household and community.