Kim + Makai

When you were born and took your first breath different colors and different kinds of wind entered through your fingertips
and the whorl on top of your head.
Within us, as we breathe, are the light breezes that cool a summer afternoon,
within us the tumbling winds that precede rain,
within us sheets of hard-thundering rain,
within us dust-filled layers of wind that sweep in from the mountains, within us gentle night flutters that lull us to sleep.
To see this, blow on your hand now.
Each sound we make evokes the power of these winds
and we are, at once, gentle and powerful.
— Luci Tapahonso

I first met Kim at a Navajo Nation Council Meeting in the summer of 2014. I introduced myself and told her I was a follower of hers on Instagram. Good 'ol Instagram. Haha! I truly admire her passion to fight for our Diné rights and protecting our Mother Earth. I love her sense of style too. She mixes modern and traditional outfits perfectly. I'm so proud when Diné youth can balance two worlds effortlessly. I've asked Kim to be my guest blogger and she kindly obliged. Kim is so sweet and gracious, but make no mistake she's one tough lady warrior. I'm so honored to call her Shitsóó, my granddaughter.

Yá’át’ééh! Hello, My name is Kim Smith I am a Todích’íí’nii woman from St Michaels, Arizona. I have dedicated my life to protecting my homelands from resource extraction. My passion includes working with youth, art, environmentalism, decolonization & indigenous empowerment. I’m on the board for Honor the Earth & Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment ( Diné CARE) two pioneer indigenous environmental organizations.

I first met Makai Lewis at a women’s lead walk to the Diné 6 Sacred Mountains. The group walked 1400 miles across New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado. Prior to joining the walk Makai was studying Native American Studies at Northwest Indian College. Makai is a Nihooba’anii man from Pinedale, NM. Also a servant in his communities. Makai is also passionate about making a change in his community. Together we are a force to be reckoned with. We both try to uphold many responsibilities. In looking at the personal and political choices we make and applying a native logic to them; living according to our cultural teachings and values; thinking and behaving in a way that is consistent to the teachings of our ancestors and with the laws of nature. Makai and I believe that this will restore balance to the land and our communities. Since meeting at the Journey for Existence walk we have been inseparable.

Currently, Makai and I are living in North Dakota fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline. Between the fight we are raising awareness about resource extraction on the Diné Nation and tying it to what is happening in North Dakota. I am also curating a national traveling art exhibition called, “The Art of Indigenous Resistance”.
— Kim Smith