Navajo

Tina Garnanez grew up in Farmington and Oaksprings on the Navajo Nation. She was recruited into the military right out of high school where she spent time as a medic in Iraq. Upon her return to the U.S., she started advocating for peace and veterans issues.

Tina Garnanez, a young Navajo woman, begins a personal investigation into the history of the Navajo Uranium Boom, examining its lasting impacts and the potential for new mining in the area. Looking at the cost of cheap energy and the future of the industry, Tina becomes an advocate, lobbyist, and a vocal proponent for environmental justice.

Recently, Vision Maker Media executive director Shirley Sneve (Lakota) caught up with Sydney Freeland (Navajo) after a screening of her movie Drunktown's Finest at imagineNATIVE. The two talked about the representation of Native Americans in film, the struggles and rewards of being a filmmaker, and how Sydney got to where she is now.

Injunuity is a collage of reflections on the Native American world, our shared past, our turbulent present, and our undiscovered future. From Columbus to the western expansion to tribal casinos, we are taught that the Native way, while at times glorious, is something of the past, something that needed to be replaced by a manifest destiny from across the ocean. But in a world increasingly short of real answers, it is time we looked to Native wisdom for guidance. It is time for some Injunuity.

“The early bird gets the worm,” my dad would always say. He is notorious for waking up between four and four-thirty in the morning. In those early dark hours, you can hear his steps, the smell of coffee brewing, and the sound of newspaper pages turning. I’m not going to lie. I was incredibly annoyed by this, much like the rest of my siblings. Admittedly, I took a lot of my parents’ teachings for granted at an early age. Today, I have a deep appreciation for my dad and the lessons he offers.

From Tohatchi, New Mexico, on the Navajo Reservation, Ramona Emerson (Diné) is a filmmaker who received her degree in Media Arts from the University of New Mexico in 1997 and has worked as a professional videographer, writer, and editor. Over her thirteen-year career, Emerson has received support from the State of New Mexico, National Geographic, Sundance Institute, and the Ford Foundation.

Rhiana Yazzie has been entertaining people with her creative writing since the third grade—just ask her mother.

“My mom tells me that my teacher said the whole class would always look forward to the story that I had written,” said Yazzie (Navajo). “It was sort of like, oh yeah, I have been writing stories for a very long time.”

So when it came to choosing a profession while attending the University of New Mexico, Yazzie already had a good idea of what she wanted to do.

The following are video chapters created to match with lesson plans outlined in the educational guide for Sousa on the Rez.

Click the title of the chapter to see video.

Derek served as Production Associate on many of the field shoots for Urban Rez. He is Diné. He loves to make videos and is a founding member of Cafe' Cultura, a poetry slam organization.

In the rugged canyon lands of Northern Arizona, Navajo and Hopi cross-country runners from two rival high schools put it all on the line for Tribal pride, triumph over adversity and state championship glory. Win or lose, what they learn in the course of their seasons will have a dramatic effect on the rest of their lives.

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Should tribes like the Shoshone and Arapaho attempt to bring back beautiful ancestral objects—drums, pipes, eagle wing fans, medicine bags, weapons, and ceremonial attire that ar