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Restoring Relations Through Stories - From Dinétah to Denendeh

Restoring Relations Through Stories

From Dinétah to Denendeh

Paperback : 9781779400031, 356 pages, May 2024
Hardcover : 9781779400062, 356 pages, May 2024
Expected to ship: 2024-05-15
Expected to ship: 2024-05-18
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A unique contribution to literary and film analysis of Diné orature, Diné film, and an introduction to Dene literary arts

Restoring Relations Through Stories introduces, synthesizes, and analyzes traditional stories by Diné and Dene storytellers in orature and film. The book conceptualizes narrative autonomy as hane’tonomy and visual storytelling from a Diné perspective, offering a map for re-storying that resists inauthentic and misappropriated stories. Watchman centres Indigenous narratives and examines how these narratives are tied to land and relations.

In the book’s final movement, the author explores the power of story to forge ancestral and kinship ties between the Diné and Dene, across time and space, through re-storying of relations.



“Watchman shows how the old stories, maintained over centuries . . . tie together the Diné and Dene through ancestral and linguistic connections. The works that are surveyed herein reinforce the import of remembering, retelling, and revising the old stories so that they are germane today.” —Luci Tapahonso, inaugural Poet Laureat of the Navajo Nation

Restoring Relations Through Stories shows how land-based storying among Diné and Dene peoples is strong and continues in the twenty-first century and beyond. It demonstrates how Indigenous peoples continue to remain connected to the land and sustain distinctive ways of life through their narratives, lands, and filmmaking.” —Lloyd L. Lee, author of Diné Identity in a Twenty-First Century World

“Renae Watchman’s Restoring Relations Through Stories introduces readers to the powerful force of ‘Hane’tonomy’ and the work of Diné creatives who refuse misappropriated and inauthentic views by advancing decisive versions of their world. Hane’tonomy provides us all with a new framework for understanding complex works such as Sydney Freeland’s Drunktown’s Finest, Blackhorse Lowe’s 5th World, or Hollywood’s deracinating obsession with the Navajo Nation and Shiprock as a backdrop. It moves toward a meaningful, though potentially daunting, provocation in forging new connections through restorying with ancestral kin of the Diné in present-day Canada.” —Jeff Berglund, co-editor of The Diné Reader: An Anthology of Navajo Literature

“An affirmation of our continued connections to the Mother Earth through prayers, songs, and stories. The connections to each other as Diné and Dene are remembered in Watchman’s stories of placemaking.” —Jennifer Nez Denetdale, professor and Chair of American Studies, University of New Mexico