Land, Wind and Hard Words: A Story of Navajo Activism

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In the early 1990s anthropologist John Sherry lived with Leroy Jackson and Adella Begaye, leaders of Dine CARE, a Navajo organization dedicated to protecting the environment and its links to Navajo culture. Land, Wind, and Hard Words is his account of the founding, activities, and evolution of Dine CARE, whose original mission was to protect the Navajo forest from the ravages of industrial logging. Sherry's intimate account of the daily lives of this group of activists reminds us of the threats facing local communities and the people trying to defend them. Not least among these threats are the many demands of the outside world. From meetings with lawyers or do-gooder environmentalists to the cutthroat world of fundraising, every encounter with outsiders affects the work, draining time and resources away from direct participation with the community and even affecting the way activists think.