Opinion

Larry Emerson: Call to action by Navajo Nation women activists





Larry Emerson discusses activism by youth and women on the Navajo Nation:
Shouldn't we Diné older folks be saddened that our precious youth and grandchildren are now driven to “protest” regarding our collective need to honor and protect our sacred land, air, water, plants, animals, and, therefore, ourselves?

Shouldn't we perhaps be ashamed or embarrassed to see our children and grandchildren resort to such actions? What does this reveal about Diné culture that is supposed to nurture disciplined and healthy intergenerational relationships?

One Diné youth activist says our relationship to seventh generation principles of sustainability has been disrupted as shown by broken youth and elder relationships. It is heartbreaking, she says, to witness and feel the brokenness because we aren’t carrying on the strength and discipline of our tradition.

Another Diné activist writes: “I am thinking about the devastating effects of how the elders and my generation (I'm getting to elder stage) keep wringing our hands and moaning about language and cultural loss, blaming our young for it while averting our gaze regarding the consequences of colonialism.”

Diné youth struggle to contend with a legacy of tribal political corruption, the pain and irony of cultural contradiction, and an apparent future of more plundered land, water and air.

Get the Story:
Larry Emerson: A Call to Action by Dine Women Activists (Indian Country Today 2/15)