Guest Podcast: Kelsey Dayle John, Ph.D (Diné)

Jul 19, 2023

Podcast Topic: Decolonizing Horsemanship

It was an honor and privilege to have Kelsey join us on the podcast. Victoria is a self professed 'fan girl' of Kelsey for some time now (and Josh too lol!), and we were so happy she agreed to join us! The Navajo perspective and worldview of horses is fundamental source wisdom to the horses as healers paradigm, and we have so much to learn from the Navajo worldview. We hope to continue to be able to continue to feature native voices on our platform, and are deeply grateful to Kelsey for sharing her experiences and wisdom with us. 

Kelsey's Bio:

Kelsey Dayle John is a member of the Navajo Nation. She is an assistant professor at the University of Arizona with a joint appointment in American Indian Studies and Gender and Women’s Studies.

She studies equine/human relationships in Native American communities with a focus on the social, cultural, and historical narratives of horse/human relations. She was a 2021 National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow. She completed her Ph.D. and M.S. in Cultural Foundations of Education at Syracuse University.

For her dissertation research, she worked in partnership with the Navajo Nation to document horse stories for the development of Navajo-centered education and research.

Kelsey is certified in Equine Facilitated Learning through the HERD institute.

She is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation and in her spare time, she runs with her dogs and works with her horses. 

Major Influences and References: 
  1. Dismembering the Blog, Chrstine Ami 
  2. Lac, V. (2020). It's Not About the Activity: Thinking Outside the Toolbox in Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy and Learning. University Professors Press.
  3. Schoen, A., & Gordon, S. (2015). The compassionate equestrian: 25 principles to live by when caring for and working with horses. Trafalgar Square Books.
  4. McGreevy, P. (2004). Equine behavior: a guide for veterinarians and equine scientists. Saunders, an Imprint of Elsevier Limited.
  5. Belcourt, B. R. (2014). Animal bodies, colonial subjects:(Re) locating animality in decolonial thought. Societies5(1), 1-11.
  6. Watts, V. (2013). Indigenous place-thought and agency amongst humans and non humans (First Woman and Sky Woman go on a European world tour!). Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society2(1).
  7. Kimmerer, R. (2013). Braiding sweetgrass: Indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and the teachings of plants. Milkweed editions. 
  8. Cajete, G. (2000). Native science: Natural laws of interdependence.
  9. TallBear, K. (2011). Why interspecies thinking needs indigenous standpoints. Cultural Anthropology24, 1-8.

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