O'odham himdag begins in the home, with parents talking to their young children in the early morning hours, repeating life lessons. On cold winter nights, grandparents and other elders tell stories to pass on the values of our people. Traditionally, O'odham parents have always thought ahead to their children's futures, even when this meant speaking English at home so that children could succeed in school.
Today, we as a Nation need to return to a view that puts learning at the center of childhood. Studying at school, learning through play and family life-this is the work of childhood.
In the same way that learning is central to childhood, education is key to our Nation's success. At this time when our economy is in the beginning stages of diversifying and maturing, our commitment to education is paramount.
Nationwide, studies have proven that higher education brings higher income, lower unemployment, and better health for individuals, and higher tax revenues, lower crime rates, and improved civic life for the community.
Thus, investing in education will improve the quality of life for our people, which is what the Tohono O'odham tradition of governing is all about.
Investment in education → Learning outcomes → Higher quality of life