San Juan — Old

The Navajo Nation…

An expert on brain science at Utah Valley University introduced me to Greg Jackson from the San Juan Foundation.  He called me up, wondering if we could participate in a Kellogg Funded Rural Impact grant to help give voice to the powerful strengths of the Navajo and White Mesa people in San Juan County, Utah.  Flying into Moab in a 6 seat puddle jumper and then driving south another two hours, I finally arrived…


  • San Juan County, UT

  • Navajo Nation and

  • White Mesa Utes

IMpact GoalS

  • Retell the Native American story from the perspective of today’s youth.  Create new educational models & local career pathways.

Civic engagement Leaders

  • Paula DeJoshua

  • Clayton Long

  • Greg Jackson

Regional Needs

  • Mentors, especially entrepreneurs and technical.

  • Project manager to work with school volunteers.

  • Food, drink and snack donations for community events.   

  • Corporate sponsorships.

  • Film equipment and professional videographers to train students on how to tell their story and distribute it.  


Who is involved?

"Inspirational" picture on the desk of the founder of the San Juan Foundation.

“Inspirational” picture on the desk of the founder of the San Juan Foundation.

Ongoing Highlights

Sheri Smith admiring "the monuments."

Sheri Smith admiring “the monuments.”

  • Fall 2017: Focus on Whitehorse High School personalized learning.  Continuing active programs in other schools.  
  • Summer 2017: Engage more parents in entrepreneurial pursuits and local career pathways.
  • Spring 2017: Clayton Long is adapting the DISC section of Indigo Assessment to include a Navajo model interpretation making it more culturally responsive and useful, especially for the involvement of parents and Native Elders.
  • Spring 2017: Parent nights, teacher trainings and and strategy sessions for the school district schools.  See Rural Impact Newsletter talking about some of the work here.  
  • February 2017: Charter school application for Navajo Long Distance Learning Integration School completed. 
  • December 2016: Two Navajo youth lead and launch start-up companies.
  • November 2016: All San Juan Foundation staff, volunteers and after-school program mentors trained in Indigo and over 400 students took the survey. 
  • August 2016: Indigo met with and created alignment with community stakeholders.  
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