By: Christine M. Willie
As a recipient of the Social Science Research Council Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship (SSRC DPDF), I began my summer attending the SSRC Spring workshop held in Monterrey, California. There, I met my Global Indigenous Politics cohort. With the help of our two research field advisors, Dr. Tony Lucero and Dr. Brett Gustafson, we spent four days further developing our proposals, preparing for preliminary fieldwork experience, and explored the beauty of Monterrey.
Once back in AZ, I visited with my grandparents, aunties, uncle, and cousins in Tolani Lake, Winslow, Phoenix, and Tucson. Then, I headed to Tsaile to attend a Traditional Diné Sheep Butchery Workshop that was part of the yearly Sheep Is Life event. During this weeklong event I met many members of the sponsoring organization Diné be’ Iiná: The Navajo Lifeway, Inc (DBI). We learned about the Churro Sheep, its role to Diné, and enjoyed everyone’s company and stories. During this week, I also began the journey of tracking down the process of securing the Navajo Nation’s approval to conduct research (NN HHRB).
Following the workshop, I drove to Tucson to visit my bizhí and cousin. While down there I hung out at cafes near UofA, ate sushi for the first time, read Craig Womack’s Red on Red, andvisited Biosphere 2.