A Time For Healing - PhMuseum

A Time For Healing

Julien McRoberts

2018 - Ongoing

A Time for Healing encompasses the two pronged efforts of the Peach Tree Project and Sheep is Life. For the Peach Tree Project, I will be going to Canyon de Chelly this summer to document the replanting of sacred peach trees in Arizona in Navajo Nation. The volunteer effort comes 154 years after the trauma of the Long Walk of the Navajo, when, in 1864, the United States government forcibly deported the Navajo people from their land, destroying their homes, their churro sheep and crops in the process. An estimated 4,000 peach trees, an integral element of tribal pride and tradition, were torched and over 240,000 sheep died.

In the fall I will be returning to a sheep camp in New Mexico when the churros come down from the mountains for the winter. Coverage will take you inside the life of a Navajo sheep herder and traditional weavers who work with the coveted churro wool. Sheep in every essence is an important part of their culture and traditions.

This project will be the start of the restoration to these lands once so devastated. In an era where Natives and immigrants are so marginalized, I feel this is an important story to be told.

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  • Over 300 sheep come back to the pen and get sheared over 4 - 5 weekends in late spring

  • Down in the valley at Canyon de Chelley

  • The sheep can only lay on their side for a limited time during the shearing otherwise they suffer something similar to bloat.

  • End of day and the shepherd lets the sheep out of the pen and back onto the land to graze till morning.

  • Native elders shearing the sheep by hand with shears. There is no electricity at the camp.

  • In the middle of nowhere off to find the wandering sheep

  • Freshly shorn.

  • Time to be sheared

  • Sheep herder guiding the sheep back to the pen at the sheep camp to get sheared.

  • Traditional weavers, Kathy Pemella and Ron Garnanez

  • The holding pen at the sheep camp

  • Peach pits. Canyon de Chelly, Navajo Nation.

  • Churro sheep headed back to pen.

  • A sheep is tied up so he can be sheared

  • Hoof prints in the mud

  • Kathy Pemella saying a prayer in front of peach tree before planting. Navajo Nation.

  • Planting ceremony - elders pass on tradition to the grandchildren. Navajo

  • Planting ceremony - elders pass on tradition to the grandchildren. Navajo

  • Planting ceremony - elders pass on tradition to the grandchildren. Navajo

  • Planting ceremony - elders pass on tradition to the grandchildren. Navajo


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