Benally described the peaks as holding an important role in her life as a Navajo woman.
“The Peaks are the foundation of my existence. I view them as a unique medicine island,” Benally said.
“I’m very happy to have this event here at the museum,” said director Robert Breunig, who mingled with visitors to the museum, but did not speak publicly. “It’s great to see native and non-native people together, thinking about our community and holding a common responsibility for where we live.”
Jones Benally, who fills several roles within the community as a healer, musician and dancer, performed a hoop dance.
“I learned hoop dancing from my grandfather,” Benally said. “I have learned that using wastewater for skiing is wrong. People all over the world support our efforts, more and more every day. That’s why we’re here—because of everything we believe. We need help.”
Benally added his thanks to everyone who went out for the evening.
Artist Jerimiah Kerley donated three paintings featuring his view of the San Francisco Peaks from his home in Grey Mountain. Each depicted stylized feathers in the shadows, which he sees as representing the many blessings the Creator gives to all, Kerley said.
“I am glad to see that this is a global issue. I wanted to do something for my community, and I thought this would be worthwhile,” Kerley said.
Kim Lohnes of Grand Falls donated a pair of beaded moccasins to the auction.