Knowledge Exchange with Navajo & Hopi Conservationists
By Andrea Stanley, Borderlands Restoration Horticulturist
On October 29, Borderlands Restoration, Deep Dirt Farm Institute, and Native Seeds/SEARCH Conservation Farm hosted The Hopi Tribe Water Resources Program, ToLani Enterprises, and Paper Rocket Productions. The purpose of the tour was to demonstrate types of projects and collaborations that could be incorporated on tribal lands to help native water systems and sustainable agriculture. The visit focused on watershed restoration, food security, and biological wealth. The tour was organized by WaterRock L3c, who “is committed to reintroducing rainwater harvesting on Native American Reservations using Ancient Indigenous Water techniques.”
The work and commitment that BR and fellow partners in the community put forth in restoring the watershed is deeply rooted in my cultural background of valuing water as a sacred resource. Tó éí ííńá át’é, “water is life” in dine bizaad (Navajo language). I am devoted to conservation and restoration work in the southwest, especially in tribal communities, and was thrilled to network with Navajo and Hopi leaders in natural resource management and tribal community health this month.
One of the results of the tour was an opportunity for water resources people from both Navajo and Hopi to get together & talk about how to collaborate for the health of their shared watershed. It was empowering and inspirational to meet with fellow Natives who are invested in protecting and coming up with solutions for long-term water supply availability for tribal members and their multifaceted needs for water.
Andrea Stanley, a Dine tribal member, is the latest edition to the Borderlands Restoration nursery team, and is very excited to contribute her work ethic and growing knowledge of native plants to the plant propagation efforts.