Place:  Red Rock Park

Location:  Gallup, New Mexico   

Person interviewed:  Janene Yazzi, (Dine’) Sustainable Development Consultant

Land and Water Conservation Fund
Land and Water Conservation Fund

How this site benefits you and your community: “Red Rock Park is a sacred place where native tribes from around the country still gather and share traditions,” says Janene Yazzi. To her, preservation is as much about her own Diné culture as it is about the biodiversity of the landscape.

“These lands are part of our ancestral territories. It has always been connected to the different tribes that are located around here as it’s part of their lived experiences in terms of resisting colonization and expansion. But Red Rock Park also protects a lot of historical sacred places and a lot of the tribes still come here for reconnecting to ’Himanis San,’ our Mother Earth.”

Yazzi and her family come to Red Rock Park often as a way to reconnect to the natural world. “It’s a great way to balance out our perspectives and to reconnect to our mind and spirit in a world that is overrun by unsustainable development and greed and values that have caused a lot of turmoil for our people in particular, but for people all over the world.”

“These spaces aren’t important for us because they’re merely symbolic. They play very important roles in maintaining water quality and maintaining biological diversity. We have always known the importance of living in balance with the natural world and what that provides for all of us and for future generations. So it’s extremely vital for us to continue to build collaborations to work to protect these spaces. For that reason, I’m grateful to the work of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.”

Land and Water Conservation Fund