Louva Dahozy, recipient of Doctor of Science Degree from U of A in 2022
Nihitaa’ Binaanish and White Rock Presbyterian Church promote Diné education at all levels through mentoring and guidance, scholarships (http://julieshelpers.com/), school supply support and prayer.
We are proud to highlight the accomplishments of two family members of one of our Nihitaa’ Binaanish volunteers this month: Louva Dahozy and her great granddaughter, Mariah Platero.
Louva McCabe Dahozy, age 95, the mother of Nihitaa’ Binaanish’s volunteer and Board Member, Eva Platero, was recently awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from the College of Agriculture at University of Arizona for her life work in promoting nutrition, homemaking and community service with a Navajo perspective.
She is of the Hashk’aahadzohi Clan (Yucca Banana Fruit) and born for the Kinyaa’aanii Clan (Towering House People) clan. Her maternal clan is Tlizi lani (Many Goats People) and her paternal clan is Tachii’nii (Red Running into the Water.) She was born and raised at Tolani Lake near Leupp Arizona.
Mariah Platero, 2022 honors graduate of Gallup Middle College HS and UNM Gallup
Louva’s great-granddaughter, Mariah Platero also graduated this spring, as the family tradition of embracing education continues. Mariah graduated with honors from Middle College High School at UNM Gallup and received not only her high school diploma, but an AA degree in Liberal Arts as well. She plans to continue her studies at UNM and study film and digital arts.
Louva Dahozy is a Diné knowledge holder, health educator, cultural teacher and voters' rights activist who joined the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension system as a community educator in 1958. Louva has blended her interest in helping others with her Navajo cultural values. She organized 4-H clubs, teaching hundreds about livestock, home economics, and cultural awareness. She established the first Navajo Homemakers radio program, which was broadcast in the Navajo language on eight stations for ten years. She helped secure federal funding for radio programs in the Diné language which focused on healthy foods, nutrition and the diverse knowledge and skills of home economics.
She developed the first Navajo Cookbook and helped analyze the nutrient value of Navajo native foods.
Louva has extended her advocacy beyond nutrition education to other issues, including voters' rights, voter registration and the needs of women and older adults in Indigenous communities. She has served as founder and ex-officio member of both the National Indian Council on Aging and the Navajo Nation Council on Aging. She also was a founder and ex-officio member of the North American Indian Women's Association in 1970 and a representative at the White House Conferences on Aging in 1971 and 1973. As a devoted Christian, Louva has provided spiritual guidance and teachings to her family and community. She learned early on that using media and technology is the most effective way to educate people on any subject. Her advice to youth is her philosophy , “Having two cultures is better than one, so learn other cultures and use the best of that culture’s’ teaching to make your life better.”