Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Pride of Navajo Nation: Diné College works to rebuild rodeo program amid the pandemic


January 11, 2022

Ed Hoylan took over the job of rodeo coach at Diné College on Aug. 17, one day after the school closed registration for the 2021 fall term. That meant he was unable to recruit. Photo by Ryan Blank / Cronkite News

TSAILE, Arizona - Far from the red rocks of Sedona and the bright lights of Phoenix sits a small college in the heart of the Navajo Nation. In Tsaile, Diné College has served as a higher education institution for the Navajo people for over 50 years.

A part of its identity is a rodeo program rooted in success and tradition. Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, it has taken a major hit, but a top-ranked bull rider and a world champion coach are trying to return the school to its status as one of the premier programs on the college rodeo landscape.

A Navajo tradition

Livestock and rodeo events have long been a part of Navajo culture. As people grew up on ranches, they searched for ways to pass time. They created activities and events with the livestock they were around every day.


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