Student Director of Public Relations
Hometown: Auckland, New ZealandRead the full interview
Dailan J. Long ‘07
Lewin Post-Graduate Fellow 2007
Diné Citizens Against Ruining our Environment (Diné CARE)
Burnham, New Mexico
Four Corners Region (Navajo Reservation)
Dailan Long is a Native American Studies major at Dartmouth and has spent much of his free time devoted to issues of environmental awareness, especially in Native Communities. During winter term of 2006, Dailan did research on environmental issues in his home community on the Navajo Reservation. This research inspired him to apply for the Dartmouth Partners in Community Service (DPCS) Internship to work with the Diné CARE organization. This short internship evolved into a long-term commitment, and Dailan has been working with Diné CARE and his community while also completing his senior year at Dartmouth.
For his Fellowship, Dailan will be returning to the Navajo Reservation to work with the Diné CARE Organization. Diné CARE’s mission is to bring awareness to the native community on such issues as power plants, oil drilling and other environmentally devastating projects. Dailan will be involved in educating and interpreting for the Navajo Community, while also providing a voice for all native people in the Diné lands. Specifically, Dailan will be highlighting the effects of a proposed coal-burning power plant called the “Desert Rock Energy Project.” His education and ability to speak the Navajo language put him in a unique position.
While Dailan feels strongly about protecting the environment, he does not see his role as one of an advocator, but more as one of an educator. He looks to his cultural teachings to aid him in his interactions. He explains,
The K’é principle [a philosophy of respect and community], in conjunction with kinship relations, provides the ground rules for social conduct in meetings and public forms. […] This cultural mannerism is ignored by non-Indigenous environmental groups and I will serve as an educator and interpreter in public forums and presentations with these groups.
Dailan’s cultural knowledge and bilingual abilities will clearly be an important asset to the Diné CARE organization, and to his own personal success in this Fellowship.
Along with his personal and cultural knowledge, Dailan’s studies of Native American culture and Environmental issues will provide important knowledge for him during his Fellowship. Also, his previous work with Diné CARE along with his experience presenting health information about Coal Combustion Waste and Water contamination in his community to the EPA, and his work with the Navajo Health Department bringing health awareness and education to the Navajo community, will aid him greatly as he pursues this Fellowship.
Dailan’s motivations are selfless. His conception of service is that it is “a willingness to promote the wellness of my community as well as the communities of others.” His elders and kin will provide the deepest motivation for Dailan during his Fellowship, as he described that he belongs not to himself, but to his community and to his elders. It is because of this relationship that he finds himself returning home to continue this project. He said of his Fellowship,
I am entrusted by my Diné (Navajo) elders to bring traditional Diné environmental awareness to communities about the negative impacts from coal-fired power plants and coal mine extractions. […] I must be the medium through which they learn of potential environmental degradation and make culturally-informed decisions about detrimental economic development projects such as Desert Rock.
Last Updated: 8/7/11