Nicole Horseherder – A Guiding Light for Environmental Justice

As the Executive Director of Tó Nizhóní Ání (TNA), Nicole Horseherder is at the forefront of the fight for environmental justice in the Black Mesa region of the Navajo Nation. Nicole’s journey with TNA began from its inception, and she has been an unwavering force in the fight against the impacts of coal mining and fossil fuel development on her community.

Nicole’s deep connection to the land and water in her community drives her passion for protecting and preserving it for future generations. For over 20 years, she has been actively involved in interpreting hydrology and legal documents for Diné communities fighting against coal-mine impacts. As an aunty and grandmother, Nicole understands the importance of leaving a better world for her descendants.

A Mentor and Teacher in the Energy Transition

Today, Nicole leads efforts to transition away from fossil fuel development on the Navajo Nation. She actively navigates the complexities of energy, water, and policy in her community, working within rate cases at the Arizona Corporation Commission. Through her advocacy, she not only combats inequitable policies but also serves as a mentor and teacher, empowering others to join the movement for a cleaner, more sustainable future.

Preserving Sacred Resources and Traditions

Nicole’s work is fueled by her love for the life that her ancestors gave her. She is determined to protect the sacred aquifer water and ensure that future generations can continue the offerings to the springs that sustain life. Her understanding of the interconnectedness of all living beings and the natural world guides her actions, as she works tirelessly to preserve the land, wildlife, and traditions that define Navajo culture.

Honoring Nicole Horseherder’s Legacy

As we celebrate Nicole Horseherder’s impactful journey as the Executive Director of Tó Nizhóní Ání, let us honor her dedication to environmental justice and the preservation of Navajo culture and traditions. Her leadership serves as a guiding light for all those fighting for a sustainable, equitable, and thriving world.

Nicole’s words echo in our hearts: “Protecting the life that sustains all, because you have this understanding that you don’t exist here on your own. You are alive here because everything else that supports your existence, the wildlife, the plant nation, the bird nation, the medicine, and tobacco are thriving. That’s the way the world works.”

Thank you, Nicole Horseherder, for your unwavering commitment to creating a better world for present and future generations. Your legacy will continue to inspire and guide us in the pursuit of environmental justice and a harmonious relationship with our precious Earth. As she stands as a finalist for the esteemed Dr. Espanola Jackson Energy Justice Award, we express our gratitude for her remarkable contributions.

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