Graduation Year


Graduation Month


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

School or Department

Resource Conservation


Resource Conservation

Faculty Mentor

Keith Bosak

Faculty Mentor Department

Forestry and Conservation, College of


navajo, sacred mountains, land use, arizona, new mexico, colorado

Subject Categories

Environmental Studies | Human Geography | Indigenous Studies | Natural Resources and Conservation | Nature and Society Relations | Nonfiction | Place and Environment | Social and Cultural Anthropology


The Navajo homeland, Dinetah, is bordered by four mountains that are sacred to the Navajo people: two in Colorado, one in New Mexico, and one in Arizona. Historically, Navajo medicine men have traveled to these mountains to renew prayers and collect medicinal herbs. Today, the mountains, which exist outside of the reservation boundaries, are used for resource extraction and various recreational pursuits. While many Navajo are fighting for the protection of these sacred lands and their traditional culture, others are disinterested. Traditional practices and beliefs are slowly disappearing within the Navajo Nation. The land-use issues associated with these sacred mountains illustrate that the decline of Dinetah and the decline of the Navajo culture are inextricably connected.

Honors College Research Project




© Copyright 2015 Jocelyn Catterson