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Nadia's Song

Nadia's Song

Friends –

I had some experiences over the past 8-9 months that have had a powerful impact to my soul. A recent redistricting ruling, a connection made, my activism in human rights and public lands protection all combined to give me this. I feel so fortunate.

In short, I had been putting a lot of effort into helping register voters for the November elections. When in Utah that focused on San Juan County where the redistricting took place. Removal of the crooked gerrymandered boundaries finally gave the population in that area – primarily Navajo -- their own voice.

Yet, the accomplishment that hundreds of new voters made it to the polls pales in comparison to the wealth I felt in meeting so many who live there – Aneth, Monument Valley, Montezuma Creek…... I observed a sweet, intelligent generosity, sense of humor and an absolute kindness that I was not expecting. I needed to commemorate that in my mode of keeping a diary – painting.

It was heart-warming to see the photograph of elder John Kinsel, Sr. – a Navajo Code Talker – proudly hanging in the Monument Valley Visitor Center. But I painted young Nadia because to me she seemed to embody so much of Navajo pride and beauty. I had a chance to meet her at a Voter Registration event held in Monument Valley in September. There were candidate speeches, dancing, mutton stew, voter registration tables and lots and lots of attendees.

All of that ceremony started with Nadia Armago. Her beautiful strong voice surrounded the crowd with the Star Spangled Banner sung in Navajo. I cried.

There is power in the Original People. I was honored to have witnessed that first hand, however briefly.

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