Super Bowl 2023 put on a sign language interpretation of a special cultural significance — North American Indian Sign language — and it was performed by Colin Denny, a deaf person of the Navajo Nation.
So, who’s this Indigenous language interpreter? Keep reading this “Colin Denny Bio” to find out.
Colin Denny At The Super Bowl
In the 52nd Super Bowl, where Kansas City Chiefs faced off against the Philadelphia Eagles, the musical performances saw three different sign language interpreters who gave performances of their own. While two interpretations amongst them were understood by almost all specially abled people, the third one from Colin Denny was only known to the Indigenous people.
However, he did use a mix of ASL and North American Indian Sign Language to perform language renditions of “America the Beautiful” so it’s not completely incomprehensible.
According to Colin, he wanted his performance to educate folks on the existence of the beautiful North American Indian Sign Language. “A lot of people aren’t aware of [North American Indian Sign Language] and that it has always been here, even if we don’t see it,” he said. “That’s something I feel needs national recognition and revitalization for the community.”
His performance also came after the NFL’s efforts to eliminate the appropriation of Native American culture that once ran rampant throughout the sport. However, the Chiefs in particular have always tried several aspects of their team imagery — for instance, the mascot pinto horse, Warpaint.
Now, after the successful performance, Colin is set on using his newfound platform to spread awareness of North American Indian Sign Language which is composed of several different forms of sign language used among various Indigenous tribes. As per the University of Arizona, these regional languages are made up of Arctic Sign Language from Canada, Mesoamerican Sign Language in Northern Mexico, and several other tribe-specific variations. Some of them were even lost during colonization when children were to learn English or ASL at the expense of their culture.
The other two sign language performers alongside Colin were Troy Kotsur and Justina Miles.
Colin Denny Job
It’s clear that Colin Denny is a sign language interpreter specializing in North American Indian Sign Language. But he’s also an ASL tutor who worked at New Mexico School For The Deaf for almost 3 years.
He himself also comes from a school for specially able kids, ASDB – Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind. Later, he then graduate with a fine arts degree from Dine College in 2016, studied Art, Design, and Media at Gallaudet University, and also got his Master’s in Sign Language Education from the same university in 2020.
Now, as of 2023, Colin also works a research assistant at the University of Arizona and is studying Native American sign languages at the Department of Disabilities and Psychoeducational Studies.
In his free time, Colin likes to travel places, find new running trails, and spend time with his family.
Did you know: Colin was in the NMSD’s ASL Service Corps program. He served the communities from 2021 – 22 in Rio Rancho, Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and Cobre.
Does Colin Denny Have A Girlfriend?
Colin Denny didn’t reveal his relationship status. Let alone his girlfriend’s info, we don’t even know if the sign language interpreter is into girls or not. Why? Well, back in 2015, Colin celebrated pride month by highlighting his FB profile with colors from the rainbow flag.
Colin Denny Family
The sign language interpreter comes from a family dedicated to teaching. His parents, Gloria (born: Jun 1972) and Victor Denny (born: Dec 1970) were both teachers within the Navajo community — teaching the Navajo language.
No wonder, he was surprised that there was no Navajo sign language (mostly reduced just down to a gestural language) when he wanted to learn it. But he knew “that there was language here, there always has been language. And American Sign Language was not the first language to be here.” So, he started researching Navajo sign language.
Reportedly, his family comes from the Red Running into Water Clan and his paternal grandfather comes from the Many Goat Clan.
The last we checked, his mother Gloria presented an evening’s Diné Stories and teaching night on the topic of “Béeso Baahane” at Pinon Unified School District in Feb 2021.
Colin Denny Age
Colin Denny was 32 years of age when he made history as the first North American Indian Sign Language performer in Super Bowl in 2023.
He was the youngest of the three sign language performers that year.
Colin Denny Height
Colin Denny stands tall at a height of under 5 feet 9 inches (175 cm).
His distinct features include — brown eyes, dark hair, and a healthy body.
When Is Colin Denny Birthday?
Colin receives his birthday wishes on December 27 and is of the Capricorn zodiac.
Is Colin Denny On Instagram And Facebook?
Find him on Facebook @colin.denny.35.
Sadly, we couldn’t find him on Instagram.
Where Does Colin Denny Reside?
Colin resided in Chinle, Arizona in 2023.
But originally, he was born in Shiprock, New Mexico, and raised in Pinon, Arizona, within Navajo Nation.
Was Colin Denny Always Deaf?
No, Colin only began to lose his hearing at the age of five. By 13, his hearing loss progressed a lot and within a few years, he was completely deaf.
Fortunately, his parents immediately put him in ASDB – Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind where he acquired the language he needed.