“The early bird gets the worm,” my dad would always say. He is notorious for waking up between four and four-thirty in the morning. In those early dark hours, you can hear his steps, the smell of coffee brewing, and the sound of newspaper pages turning. I’m not going to lie. I was incredibly annoyed by this, much like the rest of my siblings. Admittedly, I took a lot of my parents’ teachings for granted at an early age. Today, I have a deep appreciation for my dad and the lessons he offers.

From Tohatchi, New Mexico, on the Navajo Reservation, Ramona Emerson (Diné) is a filmmaker who received her degree in Media Arts from the University of New Mexico in 1997 and has worked as a professional videographer, writer, and editor. Over her thirteen-year career, Emerson has received support from the State of New Mexico, National Geographic, Sundance Institute, and the Ford Foundation.

Rhiana Yazzie has been entertaining people with her creative writing since the third grade—just ask her mother.

“My mom tells me that my teacher said the whole class would always look forward to the story that I had written,” said Yazzie (Navajo). “It was sort of like, oh yeah, I have been writing stories for a very long time.”

So when it came to choosing a profession while attending the University of New Mexico, Yazzie already had a good idea of what she wanted to do.

The following are video chapters created to match with lesson plans outlined in the educational guide for Sousa on the Rez.

Click the title of the chapter to see video.

Derek served as Production Associate on many of the field shoots for Urban Rez. He is Diné. He loves to make videos and is a founding member of Cafe' Cultura, a poetry slam organization.

As the first character introduced in Weaving Worlds at her home in Chinle, Ariz., weaver Zonnie Gilmore shows viewers sheep shearing and takes them to the disappointing results of the first few bids at the Crownpoint rug auction.

Visual Anthropology Review

"This film is an excellent resource for teaching and learning about Navajo culture, capitalism and Native American history and is a "must see" for all Native Americans." --Beverly R. Singer, University of Mexico; American Indian Quarterly | Read the full review

Randall Warren Heavilin (Navajo) is a classically trained cellist and composer from Austin Texas. A graduate of The Berklee College of Music, Heavilin: composes, performs, and produces a variety of music for films and other media outlets.

Recently, Randall has composed the score for Yellow Fever, a documentary film that follows the Uranium boom on Navajo lands, and the effects that it has had on the people living there.

As an emerging leader in the California Native American community, Manny Lieras has many talents and wears many hats.

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