Jennifer Denetdale is a citizen of the Navajo Nation and from Tohatchi, New Mexico. A Professor of American Studies at UNM, she received her Ph.D. in History from Northern Arizona University. The first Diné to receive a Ph.D. in History, she is the author of Reclaiming Diné History: The Legacies of Navajo Chief Manuelito and Juanita (2007) and two Navajo histories for young adults. She has authored numerous articles and essays that focus on Diné nation-building, Indigenous and Diné feminisms, Indigenous gender & sexuality, and settler colonialism and decolonization. She served as the director of UNM’s Institute for American Indian Research (IFAIR) and is currently the chair of the American Studies. Read more
She is also the chair of the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission. She has been recognized for her scholarship and community advocacy with several awards, including the Rainbow Naatsiilid True Colors for her advocacy on behalf of the Navajo LGBTQI2S, the UNM faculty of color award for her teaching, research and service in the academy and the UNM Sarah Brown Belle Award for Community Service. In 2017, she was awarded the UNM Presidential Award of Distinction. She is currently working on a book manuscript that features the photography of Milton Snow, who took over 12,000 of Navajos and their land in the 1940s and 50s.