Saad K’idilyé is a grassroots organization working to address the need for Urban access to the Diné language and culture. The Foundations of Saad K’idilye (FOSK) family program welcomes prenatal families to participate in a long-term 5-part program developed to support holistic wellness practices rooted in Diné cultural teachings.

The absence of illness is not true wellness – it is a culturally-supported process of living a more balanced life. Families that join our Family program are looking for a tight-knit community mutually supporting one another’s spiritual, emotional, and physical wellness during the journey into parenthood.

Diné families in our program are supported throughout the journey into parenthood: from preparing to conceive, pregnancy, birth, postpartum, infancy, and early childhood development. Families can expect culturally-guided support from their baby’s journey from pre-conception into grade school provided by Saad K’idilyé Caretakers at our Diné Language Nest in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Saad K’idilyé has plans to expand this program to continue to support children into highschool and on.

The Family program focuses on five (5) essential pillars to support a new family’s development:

Starting August 1st, 2022, the Saad K’idilyé Diné Language immersion Nest (SKDLN) is a central urban hub located in Albuquerque, New Mexico where Saad K’idilyé meets with families, babies, caretakers, and its community. A language nest is a community site-based language program for children from birth to five years old where they are immersed in their Native (heritage) language. A language nest is a safe, home-like environment for young children to interact with speakers, often elders, through meaningful activities.

Families in our program are expected to attend 80-100 hours of Diné language classes per year. Our goal is to support families who wish that their child’s first language be Diné Bizaad sustaining an environment to nurture their holistic wellbeing and balance. The language nest is the foundation for a more robust urban Diné community. Prenatal families will be supported to utilize Diné Bizaad in their homes and become fluent speakers. A language support kit including resources such as books, flashcards, games, posters, and more will be provided

Prenatal parents participate in a 6-part training program after the onboarding process, upon acceptance into the program. Diné cultural teachings regarding weddings, pregnancy, birth, infancy, adolescence, and puberty are explored in-depth during 1:1 lessons. Each session ranges from 90 minutes to 2 hours and covers the following topics in this order:

  • Traditional Diné Weddings

TCDR training begins with an in-depth overview of traditional Diné wedding ceremonial practices and our wellness wheel model, hajinea hane’, I’diki’ dóó.

  • Conception and Pregnancy Laws of the Holy People

In this lesson, families will learn about Diné beliefs and practices associated with the maternity cycle. This in-depth lesson describes the critical roles and responsibilities of both mother and father during pregnancy. 

  • Traditional Home Births

In this lesson, families will learn about traditional birthing protocols, including the purpose of Hozhooji before giving birth and the importance of the cradleboard story.

  • Infancy Laws of the Holy People

In this lesson, families will learn the importance of the word “shiyazhi”, protocols following a baby’s 1st laugh, protocols relating to the cutting of hair, as well as other lessons essential to supporting their child during the early childhood years.

  • Adolescence

In this lesson, families will learn the traditional roles of boys and girls and ways to guide proper growth & development. Diné families will learn about traditional beliefs regarding tattoos, piercings, wearing torn clothing, clothing featuring skulls, etc.

  • Male and female puberty ceremonies

The final TCDR training lesson covers both male and female puberty ceremonies. This lesson ties back with TCDR training #1 regarding traditional wedding ceremonies in a full-circle approach.

Guided by a traditional wellness wheel model, we seek to support families in their lives’ spiritual, emotional, physical, and community-based aspects. Every month, the entire SKLDN community will meet to check-in. In these 30-minute sessions, language support kits & resources will be reviewed. How are they doing with the goals they set for themselves

Quarterly, families will have a 1:1 meeting to check-in and perform a holistic assessment of their spiritual, emotional, physical, and community wellness. Caretakers will work with families to develop actionable plans to enhance wellbeing.

Families receive assistance to acquire all necessary materials, guidance and referrals to carry out protocols relating to traditional Diné weddings, home births, and other ceremonies.

Support and guidance are offered to families through the traditional birthing process in collaboration with the Changing Woman Initiative (CWI). 

CWI’s White Shell Woman (WSW) homebirth program is committed to establishing a safe and warm environment where traditional birth practices and access to birth services are possible. Learn more here.