We Walk in Beauty

John Thompson, Navajo

John Thompson

Do you have a specific memory that stands out in your mind when you were young?
"Government Boarding School, where we weren't allowed to speak Navajo. That experience stays with me always, some good, but mostly negative experiences."

How is your life different from your parents or grandparents?
"My parents still have no electricity or running water. I live in the city with all the amenities of modern life."

What traditions from the past do you still continue to practice?
"Mainly prayer, meditation and sweat lodge ceremonies."

What was your impression on having your photograph taken?
"When Mr. Auerbach approached me for my picture to be taken, I just agreed. I didn't fully understand his work."

What do you see for the future?
"Many of the things I saw and experienced as a child will not be the same experience as our children have. I am afraid some of the old traditions will not be carried on."

Given name: Jonathan (John) Thompson
Date of birth: February 5, 1962
Place of birth: Flagstaff, Arizona
Tribe: Navajo
Maternal clan: Kinyaanni (Towering Horse)
Paternal clan: Many Goats
Year photograph was taken: 1996