WAYS OF KNOWING
A NAVAJO NUCLEAR HISTORY
Ways of Knowing is a multimedia project about Navajo resilience to protect health, tradition, and land after enduring extensive uranium mining, beginning in the late 1940s and lasting until the 1970s.
Started as a collaboration between Navajo storyteller Sunny Dooley and nuclear nonproliferation expert and founder of Bombshelltoe Lovely Umayam, Ways of Knowing is a creative attempt to bridge policy and humanity in examining the United States’ nuclear weapons production legacy.
By engaging artists and community to develop an immersive film, photography, and written prose, Ways of Knowing serves as a reminder that nuclear weapons are not just made of secrecy, science, and steel; their power is in part derived from a naturally occurring element extracted from the Earth at the expense of Indigenous lives.
NAVAJO PREMIERE 2019
Ways of Knowing was made with and for Diné community. In advance of screening the film to the rest of the world, we are presenting it to audiences across Navajoland.
Wed Sep 4
Diné College | Tsaile Campus
GCB Rm 110
Thu Sep 5
University of New Mexico
Mitchell Hall Room 104
Fri Sep 6
El Morro Events Center
210 S 2nd St.
Mon Sep 9
Diné College | Shiprock North Campus
Large Conference Room, Rm 132
Diné College | Shiprock South Campus
ITV Classroom, Rm 115
Tuba City, AZ
Tue Sep 10
11:00AM – 12:30PM
Diné College | Tuba City Campus
The centerpiece of Ways of Knowing is an immersive, 360 film directed, shot, and edited by Kayla Briët. Featuring footage of landscapes affected by uranium mining throughout Navajoland, as well as intimate encounters with families and communities, the film is guided by a range of voices from Diné nuclear experience.
Although situated in a topic deeply associated with destruction, Ways of Knowing is ultimately a story of healing – of how enduring knowledge and resilience have addressed trauma with agency, action, and high regard for the land.
who describes how mountains of the Southwest have been important sites long before the nuclear age
who recalls growing up near mines, and the effect it continues to have on her family
who exposes how the environmental impact of uranium mining continues to impact local health and well-being
who explains the challenges of confronting injustice with both tradition and innovation
BOBBY LEONARD MASON
who argues that knowledge held by frontline communities are critical to truly understanding environmental impact
Dr. Arnold Clifford, the Garnanez family, the Collymore-Yazzie family
Throughout Ways of Knowing’s production, photographer Carmille Garcia captured portraits of landscapes, people, and practices. Her photos illustrate that process is as important as product.
My purpose as a photographer is to not shoot with pride, ego,
Every time I shoot,
In that the earth presents itself
with it’s beauty, it’s desecration, it’s enormity, it’s harsh truth to the me and whoever the viewer
How do we walk among the earth and everything within it
How do I walk into the ways of knowing
the current and present moment
with respect and the essence of the past that lingers
like our shadow that was always there
As a human being I must be open
to the beauty,
the harsh truth.
– Carmille Garcia
Throughout the making of Ways of Knowing, we have committed to centering Diné knowledge and perspectives as crucial to a holistic understanding of nuclear issues. By practicing Due Diligence, we aim to demonstrate that collaborations across communities can result in more complex, nuanced, and textured approaches to critical issues.
Sunny Dooley, Lovely Umayam & Adriel Luis
Director’s Assistant & Photographer
We express our deepest gratitude to the people and organizations who helped us begin this project, and who have provided valuable counsel along the way.
Tina and the Garnanez Family (love to Grandma Daisy)
Janene Yazzie and Kern Collymore, Sixth World Solutions
Bobby Leonard Mason
Perry H. Charley
Jaclyn Roessel, Grownup Navajo
Warren Montoya, REZilience
Daniel Tso, Diné C.A.R.E.
Angelo Baca, Utah Diné Bikéyah
Chris Diehl, Radioactive Homefronts
Susan Gordon, Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment
Research and Due Diligence trips facilitated through
This project is supported by