chapter  6
Conclusion—sustaining women’s participation through applied theatre
Pages 17

Navajo Women’s Energy Project on the Navajo Nation On the Navajo Nation, 12 women ranging in age from 11 to 86, one speaking only Navajo, others Navajo and English, met to lay the groundwork for a Navajo Women’s Energy Project. With my Navajo partner Adrian Manygoats, we had designed an all-day session to go deep in our consideration of the many issues surrounding energy. I have a long-term commitment to working on this project through the University of Colorado Outreach in collaboration with Eagle Energy (Eagle Energy 2013). Through various applied theatre activities, the women told the story of energy on the Navajo Nation that has already been told-the story of energy that includes coal mining, uranium extraction, high cancer rates, and contaminated water tables. This is the story that has been written largely without women’s participation. We imagined a new story of energy written by women: one in which women had infl uence in how tribal money is invested in clean energy for a more sustainable future. As a bridge from the old story to the new, we thought of specifi c actions that our group could do, and then we rehearsed those actions together so as to identify likely obstacles and work towards solutions together. By the end of the day, we had a plan for action and our next two meetings scheduled. Not only that, but applied theatre made this process highly engaging, unifying, and even aesthetically stirring.