Doreen Garlid was chosen as an Individual Adult Winner at the City of Tempe's 2020 MLK Diversity Awards on January 17th for her ongoing, free community presentations called, "My Mother's Navajo Stories." Doreen has been a part of these Navajo talks for 45 years now, presenting alongside her mother when she was a child and into adulthood, and then continuing on her own after her mother passed in 2016. Over the years, Doreen has presented these talks to dozens and dozens of community groups, including local Girl Scout troops, Kiwanis Clubs, retirement communities, churches, schools, the Tempe History Museum and more. The nearly half-century of dedication to telling her family's story is part of Doreen's commitment to keeping Navajo heritage alive and continuing the tradition of education and visibility started by her mother and the Navajo storytellers who came before her. Audiences come away with a new appreciation for the indigenous people of our state, their role in U.S. history, and the importance of verbal storytelling to preserve Navajo culture for future generations. The stories Doreen shares are not the ones you typically read about in the history books, but stories as told from a tribal family perspective in a personal and intimate way. Hearing them helps audiences reframe their understanding of history, how we can learn from our past and heal from it, and how we can appreciate and elevate tribal cultures as a critical part of our society moving forward.
Congratulations to Doreen and all of the 2020 MLK Diversity Ward winners!