Service Learning

Summer Intern at Dine’ Policy Institute, Navajo Nation, AZ

The summer after my sophomore year, I interned at Dine’ Policy Institute in Navajo Reservation, Arizona. During my time there, I collected data on local economy in the Navajo nation by conducting surveys at multiple flea markets.

During my visits to the flea markets, chapter houses (local government) and by driving through the reservation, I witnessed the lack of infrastructure development in the sanitation system. Although the local context of developing infrastructure in Navajo is different from other parts of US due to its tribal nation status, there is a need to address this issue of access to safe drinking water and sanitation system. Another challenge I observed in the region was the conflicting energy infrastructure built by the private companies near the properties of Navajos: Fracking facilities. In the eastern agency of Navajo, a checkerboard area, private companies have installed fracking facilities where they use hydraulic fracturing technology to extract natural gas for their businesses. This development deeply concerns the Navajo community as they are the forefront of experiencing the health and environmental impacts of such practices. This is another example of environmental injustice issues faced by the marginalized communities in the US.

This summer experience is directly related to the GC focus of developing energy infrastructure as it shed light on the need to protect the minority groups in the face of infrastructure development. It also highlights the importance of sustainable development that ensures health and environmental protection of the people living the region.

Supervisor: Dr. Franklin Sage, Dine’ Policy Institute, Navajo Nation, AZ

Date: May 2018 – July 2018 for 7 weeks

Total hours: 280 hours