Navajo Youth Film Tribute to Conservation Service

Hollywood Better Get Ready

by Tomas A Quezada, SCA Field Leader

When some of the high school students on the SCA crew that I led at Canyon de Chelly National Monument with Adesbah Foguth wanted to make a short film about their service experience this summer, who were we to deny their Spielbergian dreams?

SCA’s Canyon de Chelly program is unique in that it recruits students entirely from the community surrounding the monument, which is located within the boundaries of the Navajo Nation in Northeastern, AZ. Watch the film and you’ll see that it’s as unique as the crew itself—maybe even more so.

The purpose of the program is to build a profound connection between local youth and the Monument’s spectacular landscapes through hands on service, while also pointing clearly towards a public lands stewardship career path for those who are interested. It’s evident from the film that at least the first part of that mission was accomplished, though honestly I was often unsure whether I was helping strengthen my student’s connection to the land, or they were helping strengthen mine. Regardless, we definitely strengthened our connections to each other’s cultural heritage, theirs of the Navajo Nation, and mine of a Latino American from Laredo, TX.

CREDITS:
Starring: Caleb Duncan, Santiago Hardy, and Vernon Chee
Camera man: Adesbah Foguth
Editing: Caleb Duncan, Santiago Hardy, Vernon Chee, Adesbah Foguth
Finishing touches: Natasha Wauneka, Jason Greyeyes, Drew Whiney
Special thanks: Tyisha Begay and Braydyn Smith