As a public intellectual, Farina King is committed to community outreach and service. She is a part of various communities, which diverge but also intersect with one another. Her purpose is to make a difference in the world through her work and relationships.
With the support of various sponsors and a team of contributors and scholars, King has recently launched a traveling public exhibit called “Return Home Intermountain,” which features the art, poetry, and oral histories of Diné alumni of the former Intermountain Indian School. The exhibit is currently showing in the Harold B. Lee Library of Brigham Young University, and it will be heading to Navajo Nation this fall 2019.
King’s family and people have recently faced the struggles of tó łitso (yellow water) in the aftermath of the Gold King Mine Toxic Waste Spill that contaminated the Animas River and San Juan River.
One of the first symposia that King organized was “Water River Life Giver” at Dartmouth College on April 29, 2016 that featured Navajo guest speakers on the waste water spill and local speakers in Vermont and New Hampshire on water issues. King also talked in a segment on the public radio broadcast (WRUV FM Burlington) of Moccasin Tracks about “Water River Life Giver and Navajo Water Issues” on May 31, 2016.
You can view and share the video recording of the Water River Life Giver Symposium at Dartmouth College through the following link: Water River Life-Giver Livestream.
For the symposium, we asked Dartmouth students what water means to them. Some students also took the #dirtywaterchallenge to drink faux-dirty water in an effort to bring awareness to the communities struggling with water contamination.
In October 2016, King helped to organize a forum at Southern Methodist University with the Clements Center on “Why Standing Rock Matters.” See the forum on YouTube by clicking on the following link: Why Standing Rock Matters. The Dallas News covered the event in Oil Safety or Environmental Racism? Sicangu Lakota elder and leader Leonard Crow Dog dedicated the forum as recorded in this video (click on link): Why Standing Rock Matters.
King has organized panels and forums relating to Diné perspectives and voices of the Bears Ears National Monument. You can watch the panel, “Navajo Voices on Bears Ears” (by clicking on the given link), which occurred at the University of Utah on October 11, 2017.
Listen to a BYU radio interview with some of the panelists from the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies panel, “Bears Ears: Indigenous Perspectives from San Juan,” which took place on the Provo campus in April 2018:
Guests: Farina King, PhD, Assistant Professor of History, Northeastern State University; Nizhone Meza, JD, Attorney; Tommy Rock, PhD, Environmental Scientist and Founder of Rock Environmental Consulting; Aldean Ketchum, Musician, Flute Builder
“Mother Earth’s sacred nature is a common thread through the spiritual beliefs of Native American tribes across the country. We saw reverence for the land unite diverse indigenous communities at the Dakota Access Pipeline protests and in the effort to preserve Bears Ears in Utah. We explore what it is that so deeply binds America’s original inhabitants to the land.”