About Janene

Wife and Mother

Janene is born for Tsi’naajinii and Tódích’íi’nii. Her maternal grandparents are Naałani Dine’é and her paternal grandparents are Dziłghai. She is a proud Indigenous woman and is the daughter of Laura Lee Yazzie and Jackie Yazzie Jr. 


She was born in Gallup, NM where she currently resides. She is strongly motivated by her family, which keeps her grounded in the work that she does. She met her husband while attending Barnard College, of Columbia University in New York. Together they have two beautiful children and knowing that they, and all children, face a future that will be defined by access to clean water, she has dedicated her life in service of a more just and sustainable world. 

Community Member

Janene grew up in the Puerco Valley region, extending from Gallup, NM to Sanders, AZ. Her life of advocacy began when she worked as a volunteer at Battered Family Services in Gallup, NM at the age of 16. Since then she has grown as a community organizer and human rights advocate working directly with community stakeholders to advance environmental, economic, and social justice. Janene understands that healthy families depend on healthy communities, and it is her goal to contribute to sustainable, healthy, and economically prosperous communities for all New Mexico residents as we adapt to the impacts of Climate Change.

Activist

Janene brings over ten years of experience working as an Indigenous rights advocate with a particular focus on sustainable economic development. She co-founded Sixth World Solutions with her husband, a business that works with Dine’ (Navajo) communities to develop projects, programs and policies that promote sustainability, environmental justice, and self-governance. She also co-founded the first Navajo Nation community-led watershed planning program with Jacques Seronde, Byron Huskon (funded with the support of former NN Council Delegate Lorenzo Curley and Delegates Walter Phelps and Alton Shepherd) which serves to exercise local control in the sustainable management, restoration, and protection of natural resources. through youth engagement and community capacity building. She has worked throughout the Southwest and Four Corners Region for water and food security, and has served as a strong community advocate in the fight against uranium contamination, pollution from fracking, and in addressing the effects of the Gold King Mine Spill. As such, she has earned international recognition for her advocacy of Indigenous rights and currently serves as the North American focal point to the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).