Trip Description

“Students from Dr. Kristina Jacobsen’s class, “Diné (Navajo) Expressive Culture,” on Carson Mesa, Many Farms, Navajo Nation, helping to build a shadehouse (cha’a’oh) as part of a service-learning project and cultural immersion camping trip to the Navajo Nation, September 15-17, 2017. The class focuses on music, language, poetry, film and expressive arts in the context of sovereignty and contemporary politics on the Navajo Nation.

Student Responses/Testimonials

“Many Farms, Az Trip, 2017!!  Another great weekend in the books for me. I enjoyed my time with new company, beautiful sights, and remembering slight memories of my past about living on a ranch. I, especially loved the hiking in Canyon De Chelly. I am labeling the hiking experience as the challenging part of the trip because Canyon De Chelly is a sacred place and having to walk & climb that canyon made me think of my own life. I live through struggles and challenges in my life (like everyone else) and although it gets very rough & sometimes, I end up feeling like giving up, but I get encouraging words from my support system, or I say a prayer, and I laugh here and there to overcome it. Even though the sand was hard to walk in, I kept going. I kept telling myself, it’ll all be worth it. After saying a prayer in the canyon (because my uncle told me to), I slowed down to take a few pictures, I heard the beautiful soft winds and a distance eagle cry. Right then, I knew everything in my life was going to be alright. Saying a prayer in a sacred place, where my grandmother the Spider Woman resides was a very powerful experience for me. As I pick my book bag back up and continue on with my goals and my everyday struggles, I want to thank Dr. Jacobsen for allowing me to experience that powerful visit. I’m thankful for your wonderful idea of taking students, this semester, to experience a once and a lifetime opportunity. You have no idea what this trip has done for me, as an individual. Also, you have a beautiful singing voice. I enjoyed your song, I concur.  I’m even thankful for this soreness that I have in my legs. I’m feelin’ the burn today, guys! haha! I also enjoyed Luke on his guitar! Keep up your awesome talent, Luke! Some of your jams went with the beautiful scenery of Arlando’s Ranch. Thanks for the memories, guys! & It was fun laughing with some of you.”

-Vina Chavez, Bachelor of Liberal Arts, Torreon, Navajo Nation


“This weekend’s trip to Many Farms was an incredible experience for me. I think being physically immersed in the culture gave me a better understanding than I could ever get through class discussions alone. It was amazing to see exactly what Navajo people have to do to even have water in their homes. I think people in cities (including me) take things for granted, and it really made me appreciate that long shower I took when I got home. But I felt so happy and at peace on the reservation, and everything was so beautiful. I will never forget those discussions around the fire and riding in the back of that pickup truck on the way to see the sunset. I really enjoyed getting to know all of you better, and as many of you could tell, I also enjoyed the food! I am so thankful that I decided to enroll in this course and I feel like I have learned so much already.”

-Amy Rosendall, Master of Music in Flute Performance, Michigan




Photography Credit: Kittipat “Film” Vareenil, BFA in Film, Bangkok, Thailand.

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Dr. Kristina Jacobsen wins award for an article

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Dr. Kristina Jacobsen wins award for an article The article ‘Don’t Even Talk to Me if You’re Kinya’áanii [Towering House]’: Adopted Clans, Kinship, and ‘Blood’ in Navajo Country” was awarded “the most thought-provoking article in Native American and Indigenous Studies...

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