The third Horses Connecting Communities (HCC) meeting was hosted at the Diné College

Going Left to Right Back Row: Dr. Betsy Greene, Kaitlyn Benally, Dr. Alberta Arviso, Brendan Walker, Brennen Jones, Donovan David
Going Left to Right Front Row: Dr. Gilbert John, Santana Nez, Dr. Kelsey Dayle John (Photo Credit: Wade Adakai)

The third Horses Connecting Communities (HCC) meeting was hosted at the Diné College

6 July 2023

TSAILE, AZ — The third Horses Connecting Communities (HCC) meeting was hosted at the Diné College Rodeo Arena on the Navajo Nation June 17th and 18th. This community learning space brings together universities, Navajo professionals, and community members to honor the legacy of the horse in Navajo culture using interdisciplinary connections. HCC started in 2018 as the service impact component of Dr. Kelsey Dayle John’s dissertation research on Navajo horse knowledge. For generations, education systems have separated Navajo people from their knowledge and culture, so this learning space intentionally builds connections between human/land/animal relationships in an open and relational atmosphere. The event also centers professionals who braid together Navajo and Western knowledge systems to help students and community members learn and connect with one another.


This year’s event had approximately eighty attendees over two days and featured a fantastic line up of twenty people presenting on: education, traditional knowledge, equine science, infectious disease, veterinary, and farrier work. We are looking forward to hosting our fourth conference in summer of 2024. You can follow our facebook page “Horses Connecting Communities” for more updates.


Thank you to this year’s partners and sponsors: Diné College Land Grant Office, UA College of Veterinary Medicine, Navajo Agricultural Products Industry, Agnes Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice, University of Arizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Indigenous Resilience Center, UA Cooperative Extension, UA Provost’s Investment Funds, Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Santana Nez (left) a third year vet student and Brennen Jones (Right), a second year vet student, both attending the University of Arizona College of Veterinary Medicine demonstrating how to properly bandage a leg wound. Photo Credit: Wade Adakai

Donovan David (Back) is a third year veterinary student at Colorado State University demonstrating to an attendee how to check for vitals. Photo Credit: Wade Adakai


Chris Burnside,
Marketing & Communications Manager

Jazzmine D. Martinez, Marketing Assistant
Marketing & Communications

Dillon Nopah, Videographer

Patrick Begay,
Graphic Designer

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