The Inspiration Behind a Second “Tó éí iiná” (Water is Life) Limited-Edition Bottle
In late 2020, Nalgene Outdoor partnered with Jaden Redhair, an accomplished Navajo artist born for the Jemez Clan, to create the first artist-designed limited-edition bottle for the Nalgene Water Fund (NWF). Five dollars of every bottle sold went into the Nalgene Water Fund, which supports domestic communities struggling with access to clean water. After record sales and multiple rounds of reprints, to date, the Nalgene Water Fund has donated nearly $80,000 between two nonprofit partners on the Navajo Nation, DigDeep and Community Outreach and Patient Empowerment (COPE). Inspired by the first bottle’s success and the outpouring of support to the Navajo Nation, Jaden created a second design for the “Tó éí iiná” (Water is Life) limited-edition series, a striking coyote silhouette. Nalgene Outdoor sat down with Jaden, now age 22 and a graduate student, to check in and learn more about the inspiration behind his new design.
Hi! What have you been up to since you designed your first bottle for the Nalgene Water Fund?
Time has flown! I earned my undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in spring 2022. This past summer I worked at Kimley-Horn, an engineering consulting firm. I return to Stanford this fall to start a Master’s degree program.
What inspired the Coyote design?
In addition to graphic design, I also love photography. I was inspired to use a past photo I took of the night sky across Asaayi Lake in New Mexico. I thought about the many stories we have as Diné people and wanted to share the idea behind one of them. The shape of a coyote draws from the Navajo story that the stars in the night sky were scattered in place by a coyote.
What does “Tó éí iiná” (Water is Life) mean to you?
To me, “Tó éí iiná” means that all things in nature are connected through water. It is how we survive and how the world around us is all interconnected.
You have several younger siblings. What is your hope for them as they continue to grow up on Navajo Nation?
I hope that my siblings strive for their goals and contribute to help the Navajo Nation thrive. They each have their own path and wherever that may lead them, I’ll be there to support them.
You’re an amazing young man! What is your hope for the future?
I hope that through my efforts as a designer and engineer, I inspire more native youth to make it a mission to help their communities in any way they can. We need to take care of our nation so that future generations will persevere and thrive in an ever changing world. Our culture is what holds us together and positive change will have everlasting effects for years to come.
Support The Navajo Nation Today
The new limited-edition “Tó éí iiná” (Water is Life) bottle is available exclusively at Nalgene.com and retails for $20. The 32-ounce Sustain™ bottle is made from Eastman’s Tritan Renew™ material derived from 50% recycled plastic; and it’s leakproof, dishwasher-safe and ready for life’s everyday adventures.Nalgene Water Fund Exclusive Bottle
The NWF supports domestic communities struggling with access to clean water by partnering with grassroots nonprofits to raise funds and awareness. As Nalgene Outdoor proudly makes its products in the USA, the fund aims to support local communities. NWF donations are not just monetary, but also in-kind with a focus on benefiting the community and infrastructure for future success. Nalgene Outdoor created the reusable water bottle category over 50 years ago with a simple idea that we can refill drinking water in reusable containers to help the environment. Yet, clean water for all is critical to this mission.