[Cover image credit to Northern Vision Productions]
Lyla June is a musician, poet, social activist, public speaker and community organizer of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne), and European lineages. She was commissioned by the Architectural League of New York to write a song about water issues in the southern New Mexico region. The result is the track and video for “Water Is Life,” featuring Mescalero Apache elder and visual artist Oliver R Enjady. Her lyrics are based on a conversation where Oliver shares a perspective, rooted in traditional Mescalero knowledge, about how to “re-understand our relationship to water”.
Lyla June urges,
“We have been told by other elders that we need to change the way the world thinks about food and water if we are to survive and thrive. We don’t understand how fragile and precarious our civilization is. Two days without water and our whole society would start to unravel. With depleted groundwater sources, unclean rivers // streams and dwindling springs…we are all having to get back to basics and honor just how precious water is. We cannot take her for granted anymore. May this song be a prayer for all waters and the life that depends on them around the world.”
The song was produced by Adam Elfers, who met Lyla at the DAPL Standing Rock protest, and is available for purchase on Bandcamp with 100% of proceeds benefiting Seventh Generation Fund: a nonprofit that supports Indigenous communities and their future generations.
The music video is produced by Northern Vision Productions.