Fighting to Build on Tradition

Author: Mary Beth Zachariades

Now in its 13th season, the University’s What Would You Fight For series highlights the impressive work of Notre Dame students, faculty and staff. This week's story highlights a unique partnership between the School of Architecture and St. Michael Indian School on the Navajo Nation in Arizona. Together, they’re designing and constructing a future for Native American children. 

Website Fighting To Build On Tradition

Notre Dame architecture students are classically trained in architecture, with an emphasis on shared building traditions of the world, respecting regional and cultural expression, so when Dot Teso, the president of St. Michael Indian School on the Navajo Nation, wanted to expand her campus,  Notre Dame was excited to engage with the community.

Ms. Teso, along with Deswood Etsitty, a  1993 architecture graduate, invited a group of undergraduates to their campus in Arizona to learn about Navajo culture, to meet the community members, and to start designing the campus’ first new building, a gym where the community can congregate. The students worked to incorporate Navajo art, culture and values into their designs for the building and several of the student designs will serve as the basis of the school’s upcoming construction.
At Notre Dame we value partnerships like the one with St. Michael Indian School which offer our students opportunities to put their education into practice, and to see how that knowledge can serve others.