Diné College Students Photographs Catch National Attention

May 10th, 2015 | By | Category: Online TC News, Tribal College News, Web Exclusive
By Lori Tapahonso

Diné College’s Tribal Eye Photo Workshop. From left: Lyle Bitsoi, Kayla Hubbard, Mariah Mariano, Willson Atene, Allison Lee, John Berggren (CIRES), Margaret Mayer (Diné College Instructor), and Jenny Nakai (CIRES).


Erosion, as captured by DC student Elphonso Curley, is just one of the growing problems facing the Navajo Nation.

Five Diné College students traveled to the University of Colorado, Boulder (UC-B) on April 24th for a gallery show of their photography work. Enitled “Tribal Eye Photo Workshop,” the exhibition was the culmination of a yearlong environmental research project that examines the changing world on the Navajo Reservation due to climate change. Students chose research subjects related to environmental issues, such as erosion, illegal dumping, and overgrazing. Students then created photo research projects to capture climate change as they see it.

The project was sponsored by the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at UC-B. In all, 22 Diné College students submitted work to the project, and 13 were selected for the show at UC-B. Of those selected, five students traveled to Boulder for a gallery show exhibiting their work.

The Tribal Eye Photo Workshop is part of an ongoing environmental research program funded by CIRES. The group has a long-standing relationship with Native nations to provide scientific advice and support with various environmental issues. The project at Diné College is part of a yearlong collaborative effort with CIRES. Students received guidance from Diné College environmental science instructor, Margaret Mayer and digital photography instructor Karen Willeto.

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