‘Diné’ zine asks settlers to unlearn and show solidarity

Diné: Our Survival is Bound to Theirs

Compilation Zine, ed. by Kuwajasiri Tyombe Indomela, Authentic Creations Publishing Apothecary, 26 pgs, [email protected], $5

Insight into an Indigenous community is a gift that colonizers should receive graciously and do what they can to respond in return. Diné is truly a gift, as is all the information and knowledge it shares.

The zine is extensive, providing an in-depth look at the Diné, the Indigenous people of the American southwest, and the challenges they face. It’s bursting with information, but it asks the reader to take their time, take it in, and appreciate it — especially for settlers looking to unlearn dominant narratives and decolonize their minds.

This zine’s aesthetic is a classic black-and-white xerography, with cut and paste elements throughout, and a combination of handwritten and typed sections. It’s divided into sections that discuss language, the creation story, ways of living, resistance, concerns of the people, and the support needed to revive a Nation. Each section provides so much information for the reader to take in. There is also Diné language throughout the zine to show traditional ways of speaking and writing.

There is a seed bundle attached to a page about halfway through the zine. It’s wrapped inside a note about the plant’s uses, cultivation advice,and ways to gather and spread more seeds to help the Earth grow. Having an interactive element with the seeds is such a nice touch in a zine about growth and re-growth through teachings supporting each other.

The final section is potentially one of the most important for an outsider to this community, as it is a series of concrete ways to provide support, engage and learn more. In particular, they warn against outsider projects or studies that claim to help, but don’t meaningfully benefit the community. The Diné people need support and understanding to move forward and rebuild. The reader is invited to visit the sacred homeland of Big Mountain, in what is known as Arizona, and come to the table to unlearn anti-Indigenous thoughts and exchange food with the people — a pretty incredible offer.