By Joanna Keane Lopez
September 30, 2015
My experience with the Four Corner Resource Extraction site was very powerful and influential. We stayed with Dr. Larry Emerson, Diné, on the Navajo Nation near Ship Rock, New Mexico in an area called Tse eaa k’aan. We traveled to different resource extraction sites with Diné activist, Anna Rondon of old uranium mines, coal mining and active fracking areas on the Navajo Nation. We also went to Monument Valley and a place called Dinosaur Tracks near Tuba City. I got this Pocahontas plate there. I find it to be really bewitching, somber & eerie.
At Monument Valley, there was a gift shop. The “selling out” of Native American imagery and culture was very palpable. I came across this scene of the “Native American Wisdom” book next to the cash register and I felt this summed up the atmosphere of the place.
At a coal mining facility on the Rez were these strange pop art 50’s propaganda signs everywhere. They were all of white men pointing at the viewer (most of the mine workers are Navajo/Diné) in a disciplinarian posture advocating for safety.