From 2007 until 2010, Dr. Peterson Zah and Dr. Peter Iverson met in the Labriola National American Indian Data Center to record talks for their new book We Will Secure Our Future: Empowering the Navajo Nation.
In this interview, Peterson Zah reveals personal experiences about his childhood, the struggles of growing up, and how those experiences shaped his life today. Zah reflects on living close to Keams Canyon, trying to keep family traditions, farming, obtaining water, and the hardships of family going to war, scarcity of food and water, and having to relocate multiple times due to the Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute. He recounts his personal experiences attending Tuba City Boarding School, Phoenix Indian School, Phoenix College, and finally Arizona State University. Zah recalls various aspects of his education including his class schedules and routine at Tuba City Boarding School and the goal of Phoenix Indian School being more concerned about vocational training than college preparation. He also takes a moment to address his mentors that helped him throughout the different stages of his education.