Navajo Nation Defend Water Security, Chase Off Sen. McCain (w/ Interview) – Deprogram Ep. 16

Unicorn Riot spoke to Janene Yazzie, a human rights advocate and local community activist from the Navajo Nation. The interview starts by reviewing a recent viral video showing Navajo communities members chasing off Sen. John McCain.

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Translation: “No Mccain. Water is life.”

Janene states,

“John McCain is just a single actor of a larger structure of power that we’re up against based on exploitation promoted by capitalism and the continued colonization of our lands.”

Janene sees the action of running off McCain as a call to action for the Navajo Nation to not entertain this type of treatment or these politicians anymore. McCain was on the Navajo Nation to open up conversations about water rights under the guise of honoring the Navajo code-talkers.

The Navajo Nation has bared the brunt of supplying the southwest with power and water so westward expansion can continue. She states that “water security is our [Navajo nation] biggest issue.” She continued that the nation has faced a legacy of “resource extraction and corporate and political privilege” that has allowed for “the exploitation of the resources and our lands and our people, in terms of human labor and in terms of baring the brunt of this environmental destruction.”

When we asked Janene Yazzie what indigenous solidarity looked like she said,

“The solidarity between indigenous peoples is organically emerging out of our shared histories and shared experiences with colonization.”

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She feels that native peoples have the ability to create real alternatives to the destruction that they are seeing in the modern systems of power and that all the issues that Deprogram highlights from

“the military industrial complex, the prison industrial complex, to climate change and issues it’s creating–They’re all rooted in the systems of colonization and monopolization of resources that were once held by the common good.”


Full Interview in above video.