Fighting to Build on Tradition
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Fighting to Build on Tradition

When Dot Teso, the president of St. Michael Indian School on the Navajo Nation, wanted to expand her campus, she turned to Notre Dame’s School of Architecture. After years of partnering with Notre Dame’s ACE program and American Indian Catholic Schools Network, she had witnessed Notre Dame’s commitment to Catholic education, and she was confident the architecture faculty and students would bring the same commitment to design.

She, along with Deswood Etsitty ’93, invited a group of undergraduates to the 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 are trained in Classicism and were eager to incorporate Navajo art, culture and values into their designs. Several of those designs will serve as the basis of the school’s upcoming construction.

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