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The memories I’m about to share are most likely from two or three Christmases—from when I was about six through eight. Sixty years later, they seem to have rolled themselves into one very full Christmas.

When I was six, I attended the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) school on the hill above the mission at Teec Nos Pos. That was where I learned the Christmas song “Up on the Rooftop” with my Navajo classmates. I learned it in Dummitawry English, and that’s still how I sing it to myself around the house these days. “Gib en a dolly dat laffin’ an’ cryin’, One dat openin’ and closin’ his eye.” And so on. My mother tried to correct me when I came home singing it, but her corrections, as with so many attempts to correct my Nava-glish, just sounded wrong. And I was stubborn. After all, I’d learned it in school. Read More 
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