Daniel Vandever, a Navajo from Haystack, NM, comes from a long line of educators and is the grandson of Navajo Code Talker Joe Vandever Sr. Currently, he works as the Communications Director at Navajo Technical University (NTU) in Crownpoint, NM where he also serves as an adjunct instructor. Vandever’s undergraduate degree is from the University of Missouri in Strategic Communication and his graduate degree is from the University of New Mexico in Community and Regional Planning.
Fall in Line, Holden! – Fall in Line, Holden! follows Holden, a young Navajo boy, through his day at boarding school. Although Holden is required to conform to a rigid schedule and strict standards of behavior, his internal life is led with imagination and wonder. Whether he is in art class, the computer lab, or walking the hall to lunch, Holden’s vivid imagination transforms his commonplace surroundings into a world of discovery and delight.
Explore the world through Holden’s eyes. Join him for the day, and celebrate the strong spirit of a boy who rises above the rules surrounding him.
Fall in Line, Holden was written with the intention of promoting creative thinking and originality, but also to begin conversations about a grim period in American history. Boarding school education has many connotations to different people, but to an entire generation of Indigenous people it was a militant term of conformity and an attack on language and culture. Thus, a generation of individuals were detached from their sense of identity resulting in a generational disconnect that has exacerbated the negative social and economic conditions that exist in many Indigenous communities today.