Clarita Lefthand Begay

Exploitation is still not progress!

I'm a Diné Ph.D. student at the University of Washington in Seattle. I conduct Environmental Health research and I have a strong interest in Environmental Justice.  During the summer of 2009, I directed the Native Environmental Justice Summer Research Program (NEJSRP) in Seattle, WA. I will continue running this program intermittently overtime.   Please visit the NEJSRP schedule and objectives for 2009. 

One of my goals as a Ph.D. student is to understand the ways in which Diné conducted science before the colonization of Europeans. With this information, I intend to begin incorporating this methodology into my lab research, when applicable.  This is information is significant to me as an Indigenous person because it allows me to make culturally viable correlations between western science and  traditional science methodologies.  It also gives me a stronger appreciation for both approaches and has the potential of benefiting other Diné and indigenous peoples. 

Also within this research, I'm interested in exploring how my community views, uses, and honors water in our daily lives and for ceremony.

My overall professional goals are to enter academia after I earn my Ph.D., and in the long term, I will think about ways to contribute to improving science education amoung indigenous communities. There are already many people working to improve indigenous education including many native students here at the UW. This type of work is so intensely needed and I wish everyone huge progress in this area!

Me and LucaMe and LucaMe and LucaMe and Luca
My nephew Luca and I

Photos Classes Organizations and Awards Native Interest Environment on Navajo
More Photos

PhD Written Exam Readings
Environmental Justice

Fellowships and Grants

Bullitt Environmental Fellowship
STAR Grant

Navajo Nation
Navajo Times
Tribal College Journal
Coal Mining
Uranium Mining
Sacred Peaks!
Native Movement
Indigenous Environmental Network

Contact Information
[email protected]

Updated December 2009