Navajo Nation concentrates on roots

A new green jobs initiative stands to reinstitute weaving and caring for the land

Last week, the Navajo National Council made a decision that will lead its members back to the earth-friendly ways of its ancestors. The council enacted the Navajo Green Economy Commission, which will devote money to creating green jobs.

“We’re encouraging our people to come back and create weavers’ co-ops and farmers’ markets and revitalize our agriculture,” Nikke Alex, who organizes young people for the Navajo Green Jobs Coalition, told the Los Angeles Times.

The initiative might also have the effect of keeping Navajo youth near the reservation—the largest in the United States, occupying 26,000 square miles in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah—rather than moving to big cities after graduating high school.