'Alternate Routes': Elections In The Navajo Nation

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Rachel Rohr, Here & Now's digital and social media producer, is in Window Rock, Ariz., as part of her travels for her project, "Alternate Routes."

She is travelling across the country in a VW vanagon talking with young people about the issues that are important to them ahead of midterm elections.

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Last time we talked to Rachel, she was in Kentucky. She has since made stops in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

While midterm elections are heating up across the country, the Navajo Nation is preparing not only for midterms, but tribal government elections.

The young people told Rachel their main concern was that highly educated people were being denied jobs in the Navajo Nation.

Celena McCray, a 27 year old legislative district assistant, told Rachel:

"I think these innovative smart people who are encouraged to come back and help their people after receiving their education, they should be able to have a chance to improve the Nation and move the Nation forward with their knowledge and skill, but that’s not happening."

"It’s been interesting to talk with these young people, who are really the future leaders of the tribe," Rachel said. "Above all, what’s important to them is preserving their culture and dedicating themselves to helping their people."

Meantime, Rachel received an update from Jordan Bridges, the 26 year-old coal miner from West Virginia. When he and Rachel first spoke, Bridges was expecting his company to make layoffs. He told her they did. Although he kept his job, he had to take a pay cut.


  • Rachel Rohr, social media and web producer for Here & Now, and host of the podcast “Alternate Routes.” She tweets @LionTalk.

This segment aired on October 3, 2014.


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