July 28, 2021

A Dialogue with Lyla June on Restoring Connection, Gaining Wisdom, & Localizing Justice Movements

HMM producer Anna Steltenkamp speaks with Lyla June for her podcast series, “Indigenous Voices at the Intersection of Environmental & Social Justice” (www.mediasanctuary.org/project/indigenous-voices-at-the-intersection-of-environmental-social-justice-podcast-series/). Lyla June is an Indigenous musician, scholar and community organizer of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne), and European lineages. Her dynamic, multi-genre presentation style has engaged audiences across the globe towards personal, collective, and ecological healing. She blends studies in Human Ecology at Stanford, graduate work in Indigenous Pedagogy, and the traditional worldview she grew up with to inform her music, perspectives and solutions. She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree, focusing on Indigenous food systems revitalization.

In this dialogue, Lyla speaks about the role that the creative arts have played in her own life, as well as the impact of the creative arts in movement spaces for environmental and social justice. She reflects on the value of community-level organizing, as well as the negative consequences of the notion of private property and the need to challenge this idea in order to act in a manner that acknowledges and respects our connectedness and interdependency throughout space and time. The conversation then transitions to a discussion about Lyla’s own learning journey and the lessons she has learned about food systems, land stewardship practices, and reciprocal relations with(in) the natural world, in which she shares tangible examples discovered through her journey and emphasizes the importance of prioritizing Indigenous wisdom traditions.

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We use art and participatory action to promote social and environmental justice and freedom of creative expression.

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