She’s Going Door To Door With Light, And Older Navajos Have Never Seen Anything Like It
She has a respect for it handed down to her through countless Navajo generations, and she's using that faith to help her elders accept the gift of power from the sun.
The Navajo have always considered the sun to be an important god.
In the beginning, Jóhonaa'éí joined with the female earth to create all life. "Jóhonaa'éí" is pronounced "jo-ho-nai-ay."
Adrian Manygoats is a modern Navajo woman who continues to hold the sun in the deepest respect, starting each day with a prayer to him. It drives her.
So Manygoats is on a mission.
Nearly half of the Navajo nation lives under the poverty line, with around 18,000 homes lacking electricity.
Many Navajo elders live off the grid, lighting their homes with dangerous and expensive kerosene.
Manygoats helped found the Navajo Women's Energy Project.
Their goal is to end the use of kerosene.
At first, some elders aren't too sure about this.
Manygoats often finds that the elders' respect for the sun comes with a keen awareness of its awesome destructive power.
So she sits down with them, and they have a serious conversation about their shared faith. Once everyone agrees about how this all fits in with traditional beliefs, she and her team can get to work.
When the work is done, the homeowners are delighted to have power directly from Jóhonaa'éí. And for free. It's kind of unbelievable for them, really.
So far, Eagle Energy has installed solar panels on about 350 homes. It's a start.