Water is Life. Sharing Navajo Nation with the World.
We sat down with Jaden Redhair, the 20-year-old Diné designer behind “Tó éí iiná” (Water is Life), the Nalgene Water Fund’s exclusive Bottle for the Navajo Nation. We learned about Jaden’s upbringing, life among the Navajo, and what message he hopes others will take away from his bottle design.
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Jaden Redhair and I am from Window Rock, Arizona, the capital of the Navajo Nation. At home, I live with my parents and six younger siblings. I am currently a Junior at Stanford University studying Electrical Engineering. My family is everything to me. Not just my parents and siblings, but my extended family – I am fortunate to still know my great-grandmother. My youngest sibling is eight. I think they were the most excited to see my Nalgene bottle design. When the bottles arrived, my dad created vinyl name stickers for each of my siblings. They were like “Woah this is mine! This is mine!”
What do you want the world to know about Navajo Nation?
My home is in the news because so many people still struggle for basic rights such as access to water. The Nalgene Water Fund is helping to raise awareness that people on U.S. soil don’t always have clean water. This is really important for people to know and so is the fact that our community is very unique. The people make Navajo Nation what it is. We have a kinship – or clan – system. At birth, we are each given four different clans. They are from our mother, father, paternal grandfather, and maternal grandfather. This kinship allows us to have relations with others regardless of bloodline. No matter where we are in the Navajo Nation, we can find a relative somewhere and be able to connect with them. We believe in taking care of one another. For me, water really is life! I am from the Jemez Clan and born for the Charcoal Streaked of the Red Running into the Water Clan. My maternal grandfather’s clan is Water’s Edge and my
paternal grandfather’s clan is Bitter Water.