Diné College students to update econ textbook


For their capstone project at Diné College, students aren’t just going to read or study from a book on tribal economics — they’re going to update a book on the subject.

In their “Tribal Economic Issues and Development Strategies” class with professor Al Henderson, students will compile data to create a possible new edition of a book by a former economics professor at the school.

In 1981, University of New Mexico Press published Philip Reno’s book, “Mother Earth, Father Sky, and Economic Development: Navajo Resources and Their Use,” after he had served as an economics professor at Navajo Community College (before it was renamed Diné College). “Philip Reno is a very interesting person,” Henderson said.

Henderson didn’t call the book a seminal work or the pinnacle of writing on the subject of tribal economics, but he pointed out that it tied together the concept of sovereignty and economics. “It hinges on that the Navajo Nation is an independent nation,” Henderson said. “In other words, they shouldn’t have to go ahead and be subjected to federal control.”

A quick web search shows more than one reference to Reno’s book in articles and books on the subject of tribal economics. However, Henderson noted that the book was published in 1981 with information from that time. “It’s been over 40 years now and a lot has changed,” he said.

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Categories: Education
Tags: Dine College

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Christopher S. Pineo

Reporter Christopher S. Pineo's beats include education, construction, the executive branch, and pop culture. He also administers the Navajo Times Facebook page. In the diverse neighborhoods of Boston, Pineo worked, earned a master’s in journalism, and gained 10 years of newspaper experience. He can be reached at Chrisp@navajotimes.com.