We are the children, descendants of Navajo shepherds who grew up on the northeast rim of the Grand Canyon. To survive, we were physically stronger than the dark granite rock. We survived dust storms, snowstorms, hail, rain and heat.
About the only force we could not escape were government policies. They include the Navajo-Hopi land dispute and assimilation. The latter caused many of us to attend federally operated boarding schools during the 1940s through the 1980s.
Our jobs and opportunities took us away from our home but we never left the land we knew, not as Grand Canyon East, but as Bidaa, the Edge, or Tse Taa, among the fields of sagebrush.
We never moved to far away from the land. We continue to return to the land to restore our mind and soul.
Many of us belong to the earth-based faith. We journey to Bidaa, where we take our fine yellow corn pollen, sprinkle into the deep chasm of the rim that falls off into multi-tiered shadows. We pray to the Colorado River, the Little Colorado River, we know as a holy deities and ask for blessings.
These are some of our stories. Continue reading