LYLA JUNE on Lifting Hearts Off the Ground – For The Wild

Photo by Robert Anasch

Lyla June returns to For The Wild bearing poems that imbue the rigid language of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) with embodied story and prayer.

Lyla reminds us that when we yearn to truly speak the language of life, love and healing, we must turn to poetry. Lyla and co-creator Joy De Vito’s collection Lifting Hearts Off the Ground: Declaring Indigenous Rights in Poetry grounds the 46 articles of the UNDRIP in the lived experiences, languages and traditions of Indingeous peoples, as well as the perspectives and responsibilities of settlers on Turtle Island. Lyla shares how the UNDRIP “begins to Speak of the sacred. To achieve its goal, the numbed world must come into the format of the sweat lodge.” In this rejuvenating interview, Lyla and Ayana embrace the natural laws that flow from land, language and culture.

Lyla June

Lyla June was raised in Taos, New Mexico and is a descendent of Diné (Navajo) and Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) lineages. Her personal mission in life is to grow closer to Creator by learning how to love deeper. In 2012, she graduated with honors from Stanford University with a degree in Environmental Anthropology. She is a musician, public speaker and internationally recognized performance poet. Lyla June ultimately attributes any achievements to Creator who gave her the tools and resources she uses to serve humanity. She currently lives in Diné Tah, the Navajo ancestral homeland which spans what is now called New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Arizona. She spends her free time learning her engendered mother tongue, planting corn, beans and squash and spending time with elders who retain traditional spiritual and ecological knowledge.

“Rise. All of you rise to speak your truth.
We need more people who name themselves
after the land, instead of naming the land
after themselves.”

In honor of Truthsgiving, join us as we meditate upon the true spirit of giving. Lyla and Ayana unravel the great potential held within the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and well as some of its false assumptions, and propose Indigenous-led frameworks for sovereignty. We trace the lineages of pain first brought ashore by colonizers, and awaken to the emboldened Indigenous resistance to present-day attempts at erasure. At the core of this conversation, we listen in to the innate wisdom of the Earth and remember how we are meant to be gifts to the land.

♫ Music by Lyla June


  • 100% of the proceeds from the beautiful poetry collection Lifting Hearts Off the Ground: Declaring Indigenous Rights in Poetry go directly towards uplifting initiatives in Indigenous communities. You can find and purchase a copy here: 

  • You can also sign up and make a donation to attend Lyla’s webinar “Medicine Theory” happening on December 14th, 2019. Instructors will be teaching about being in solidarity with Indigenous communities, as well as practices in Indigenous hydrology and climate resilience. All proceeds will go towards the protection of natural springs and water resources at Indigenous sacred sites. You can sign up here:




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