Published July 9, 2017
WINDOW ROCK – Cheyenne Antonio, from Torreon/Pueblo Pintado, New Mexico, was attending the University of New Mexico when she first met Marissa Naranjo from Santa Clara Pueblo in a Native American studies class.
The pair talked on and off for nearly two years about creating what would become the Diné-Pueblo Youth Solidarity Coalition.
“We would like to see unity between Diné and Pueblo people because of our past,” Antonio said. “How we can move forward and work together?”
Historically there has been conflict between Navajos and Pueblos. The coalition came to fruition in early June and is comprised of Diné and Pueblo youth from across New Mexico who oppose energy development in the greater Chaco Canyon region.
“Save the sacredness of our land and our water and our air and our soil. With fracking, all of those components in life are at a threat,” Antonio said.
The group recently held a “consent dinner” for the communities of Torreon and Pueblo Pintado, New Mexico, to thank elders and organizers from the community who have been opposed to energy extraction in greater Chaco Canyon.
The group thought it was important to ask community members’ permission to begin helping raise awareness about fracking in Eastern Agency.
“The Dine Pueblo Youth Solidarity Coalition is really about coming together as Pueblo and Diné youth to send a clear message to our leaders, our community members, BLM, BIA, the extractive industry that we stand together in this struggle to protect our lands,” said Naranjo.
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the Navajo Times. Used with permission. All rights reserved.