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Navajo Colin Denny provides sign language during Super Bowl LVII pregame festivities


Colin Denny, a deaf Navajo man, performed a mix of American Sign Language and North American Indian Sign Language for Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in Glendale. During the pregame show on Sunday, February 12, he provided an interpretation of “America the Beautiful,” performed by singer, songwriter, and producer Babyface.

Now 32 years old, Denny grew up in the Navajo Nation, and his hearing loss was noticed at age 5. He attended the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and Blind. He went on to earn an associate’s degree in fine art from Diné College and a bachelor’s degree in art and media design from Gallaudet University. 

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He’s now a research assistant on the study of North American Indian Sign Language with the University of Arizona’s College of Education. He also works as an American Sign Language interpreter from his home in the Navajo Nation and is pursuing a master’s degree in sign language education from Gallaudet University. 

During a press conference before Super Bowl LVII, Denny said he was honored to represent the Navajo, deaf, and hearing communities.

“All three of those communities I mentioned have three things in common: language, culture, and diversity. All these communities are still here and I’m so happy to be representing them,” Denny said through an interpreter at the press conference.

Denny also expressed hopes during the press conference that his appearance would help raise awareness of North American Indian Sign Language. He is working to preserve this language which is at risk of getting lost over time. “I just want to be able to inspire,” he was quoted in a press release. 

You can see a recording of Denny’s performance below!

Congratulations to Colin Denny for his efforts to keep North American Indian Sign Language alive, and for his performance on the international stage of Super Bowl LVII!

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Carolyn Sostrom is a long-time Arizona resident who loves desert sunsets, warm weather and zumba. As a writer, she’s covered technology, medical and travel topics.

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