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New Children's Show To Feature Navajo Language, Culture

A little girl and a puppet rabbit stand in the desert
Shawna Begay
The upcoming kids show "Diné Bí Ná’álkid Time!" features Navajo language and characters - including a little girl named Nanabah and Gah (Navajo for "rabbit").

The creators of a brand-new children’s television show are hoping youngsters will flock to a casting call Saturday on the Navajo Nation. The program is not just trying to entertain kids, it’s trying to teach a language that’s in danger of dying out.

The show will feature puppets and music and life lessons — but it will not be a “Sesame Street” clone. Expect it to be steeped in Navajo culture and sensibilities, with a Navajo name.

“So, ‘Diné Bí Ná’álkid Time!’ means 'Navajo Movie Time' in the Navajo language,” explained Shawna Begay, a co-writer on the show, which she hopes will have a finished pilot by the end of the year.

Begay says the show will be in both English and Navajo and will highlight important aspects of Navajo culture.

Begay wants the show to be relevant, “not only for the little kids but for, you know, people who are older, who want to learn the language, as well,” she said. “We definitely want to relay those concepts to them.”

Begay encourages Navajo and English speaking youngsters ages 4 to 18 to try out for the show. She’s also looking for Navajo puppeteers, singers and traditional dancers.

For more information, visit their Facebook page.

Stina Sieg was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2013 to 2018.