Jihan is a movement leader, skilled and creative facilitator, fundraiser, manager, popular educator, movement-builder and her experience and expertise includes work on Indigenous Peoples rights, environmental justice, climate justice, just transition, Indigenous feminism, and decolonization. Jihan is Diné and Black. She is Tódích’ií’nii (Bitter Water) clan, and her maternal grandfather is Tł’ashchí’í (Red Bottom People) clan. Jihan is from the community of Old Sawmill and she grew up in Fort Defiance, AZ. She was named one of the “Grist 50! The 50 People You'll Be Talking About in 2016”.
Jihan-a graduate of Stanford University- is the Executive Director of the Black Mesa Water Coalition. BMWC has been working to organize Navajo and Hopi communities for the protection of lands, water and future generations. Jihan also serves on the boards of Sustainable Nations Development Project and the Groundswell Fund.
In the summer of 2018 Jihan started painting, a year after being diagnosed with endometrial cancer and cured with a total hysterectomy. For Jihan, painting is healing and her method of creation. Her paintings give appreciation and respect to the beings that protected, motivated and transformed her during this time. Jihan's paintings are simultaneously vivacious and heavy, recognizable and hidden. While the bright colors and detailed lines hint at a signature style.
Her paintings were recently featured at the Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival in a show entitled Gateways & Guardians.
Jihan is a lead organizer of the Indigenous Feminist Organizing School (IFOS) with Black Mesa Water Coalition, scheduled to take place April 12-14th in northern Arizona in collaboration with Indigenous Environmental Network and Grassroots Global Justice Alliance. With a focus on a diversity of Indigenous feminist theories and practices, organizers believe we can deepen our understanding and develop our articulation of a grassroots feminist framework that honors and celebrates indigenous cosmologies and land-based struggles for liberation. They envision learning about feminism that emphasizes the need for a harmonious relationship with Mother Earth, which will in turn strengthen community articulation of a Just Transition to a Feminist Economy. Through this IFOS organizers hope to explore a range of particular questions and ideas, including the relationship between colonialism and patriarchy, matrilineal governance structures, and indigenous understandings of gender and sexuality, among others. The deadline to apply is March 6th. Here is a link to the Indigenous Feminist Organizing School application https://www.blackmesawatercoalition.org/cause/apply-to-the-indigenous-feminist-organizing-school-deadline-march-6-2019/
Check out Jihan’s blog at www.navigatingcontradictions.com.