Tag Archives: Navajo Nation

State of Change: Starting & Growing A Business On The Navajo Nation

NMiF: farm

November 24, 2017 – Starting a business is always challenging but Native American entrepreneurs face unique challenges on tribal lands.

For the State of Change series with the Solutions Journalism Network, producer Sarah Gustavus took us to the Navajo Nation to learn about efforts to encourage entrepreneurship. The Native American Business Incubator Network offers training and business support to a variety of entrepreneurs. One client, North Leupp Family Farms on the western edge of the Navajo Nation, provides space for subsistence farming and farm manager Stacey Jensen is also looking for ways to create jobs and economic opportunity through a farm market stand and value-added products like blue corn meal that can be sold directly to consumers.

Some of our favorite interviews and stories from the past year

Gene Grant

This week on New Mexico in Focus, in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday we’re bringing you some of our favorite interviews and stories from the past year. 

Correspondent Russell Contreras sat down in May with photographer and New Mexico resident Maria Varela to talk about her experience photographing voting rights demonstrations in Alabama. Varela also discussed her efforts to create Head Start programs in poor, rural areas of the American South during the Civil Rights movement. She had an exhibit up last spring in the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago.

In July of this year, New Mexico in Focus premiered a new series, “Our Land: New Mexico’s Environmental Past, Present and Future.”  In the début segment, correspondent Laura Paskus took us to the Jemez Mountains to see how the forest is recovering after the Las Conchas wildfire in 2011. The forest isn’t the same, and likely will never be, but there are interesting new questions about what the future may look like

In the second installment of “Our Land,” Laura Paskus introduced us to a collaborative program that’s brought together local and tribal communities, the federal government, state officials and local individuals to manage 200 thousand acres of forest in the Jemez Mountains.

We also revisit the DWI Recovery Court in Bernalillo County and hear how a focus on treatment for repeat offenders might help people struggling with alcohol addiction and make the community safer.  NMiF Producer Sarah Gustavus interviews Judge Edward Benavidez and Daniel Blackwood, executive director of the Evolution Group, in the studio.

And producer Sarah Gustavus visits the Navajo Nation to look at the unique challenges facing entrepreneurs on the reservation.  She also sits down with Leah Todd of the Solutions Journalism Network, one of the media partners in this State of Change project, focusing on economic resilience in rural and underserved communities.

Gene Grant

Russell Contreras
Sarah Gustavus
Laura Paskus

Studio Guests:
Maria Varela, photographer
Judge Edward Benavidez,  Bernalillo County DWI Recovery Court
Daniel Blackwood, The Evolution Group
Leah Todd, project coordinator, Solutions Journalism Network  

Line Panelists:
No Line this week