The LCR Farms Story

Funded by Arizona Humanities

This project is in the Little Colorado River Valley of the Navajo Nation, involving four communities—Cameron, Tolani Lake, Leupp, and Birdsprings. Over 40 years, these communities developed family and community-irrigated farms, capturing the essence of Navajo agricultural practices. This project compiled photos, recorded teachings, and narratives into a comprehensive Story of the Navajo LCR Farms, with Arizona Humanities grant funds supporting research, preparation, transcriptions, and integration of materials. Program activities, including workshops and presentations, occurred in the participating communities and educational institutions. Lead scholars, including Jonathan Yazzie, Byron Huskon, Jacques Seronde, and Johnson Dennison, collaborated on planning, narrative composition, and field testing. The intended audience comprised Navajo youth, farmers, community leaders, and elected officials, with over 700 individuals reached through educational programs, workshops, and existing collaborations. The project addressed contemporary concerns about Food and Water Security, weaving together culture, language, and agriculture.

Photo Credit: Helen Lau Running (1945 – 2014), originally from Trinidad and Tobago, moved to the U.S. with her husband, renowned photographer John Running. Settling in Flagstaff, Arizona, she documented the Diné People's lifeways and environmental stewardship. Her images, featured in "Time Among the Navajo," capture the deep trust and friendship cultivated over the years. RAEchel Running, a freelance photographer, rediscovered her mother’s work for the Little Colorado River Farms Project, showcasing Helen's sensitivity and love for the Diné community in the early 1980s. The images evoke sensory memories, emphasizing the Beauty Way and the importance of preserving these moments for future generations.

TLE AZ Hum - LCR Farm StoryFinal 1-25-20-24 (1).pdf