Who we are and why it all began!

Selfie at Lost Lake

"Yá'át'ééh! My name is Jaylyn and I’m the founder of NWW. I wanted to introduce myself and give you a little background of how NWW was created. You could say I'm a kid straight from the Rez. I grew up on the Navajo Reservation, where you flicked baby rattlesnakes at each other and boys tried to put black widows in the girls black hair...true story. I was adopted at a young age by the most incredible woman, a woman who taught me how to love and explore the land. You see the land was our playground, the sticks were swords, the canyons your maze, and the cliffs your wonder. I never knew how poor we were, for I was the richest kid, I had the land as my playground!

Me at DHP2

Native Womens Wilderness was created out of the frustration of the lack women of color, let alone a Native Woman, represented in the Outdoor Industries. As a child all I really wanted was to climb mountains, but without any ethnical representation in the OR world, I grew up with the idea only white women could climb mountains. I then began scaling those cliffs in my back yard, I became a guide, I became a mountain bike race coordinator, I then became the brown woman who climbed mountains. My desire for NWW is to be a platform for our voices, to show our love and passion for the Wild, and to be of support to one another. As Natives, we have always been a last and fleeting thought, but our hearts and voices are rising and I'm proud to be a Navajo Woman who climbs mountains. Our women have suffered much, but it's our ties to the Land and Wild that keep us strong. Women through NWW have expressed pain of being raped, of identity, challenges of being adopted, colonization, and hardships of being a woman of color...but the consistent theme in our stories is the love for the Land and how it heals us, it's the Land our ancestors walked. I also hope to assist with the shift of cultural and ethnical representation in the Outdoor Retailer world. We need more Native Women represented, for who knows the land better! Ahéhee and Blessings to you!!" 

Jaylyn GoughComment