An Intimate Portrait of Canyon de Chelly


SCA began fielding Native American crews at Canyon de Chelly National Monument in Arizona in 2011. Canyon de Chelly, located on Diné, or Navajo, tribal lands, is a vast expanse of 800’ precipices, jaw-dropping cliff dwellings, and prehistoric rock art. In fact, there are more archaeological artifacts at this site than any other in the National Park system.

SCA crews not only help protect this remarkable realm, they also strengthen their ties to their lands, history, and culture with the aid of tribal elders, park officials, and others. 

Jury Rubeling-Kain, a documentary photographer from Missoula, MT, led one of the SCA crews at Canyon de Chelly in 2016. He says those five weeks were “one of the best experiences” of his life, and in this slide show he shares images that will make you rethink the scale of humans on this planet. 

The photos are set to a soundtrack featuring both original and traditional Navajo songs by SCA crew member Joshua Dixon. 

Finally, here is a poignant account of the 2016 crew based on a report filed by Jury and co-leader Adesbah Foguth.