Mrs. Gloria Lane
Founder/ President , Navajo Ethno-Agriculture
Gloria Lane is the president and founder of Navajo Ethno-Agriculture, a nonprofit education farm along the San Juan River on the Navajo Reservation. She is a retired nurse who served the Navajo people for 40 years, during which she witnessed health issues of gastrointestinal problems, respiratory disease and onset of the diabetes epidemic. She is a firm believer that it is attributed to lack of knowledge and access to traditional Navajo foods. Throughout her career, Gloria managed to continue farming on her family farm 100 miles away from her work site.
Gloria comes from generations of Navajo farmers who were forced to move close to the river, away from their original homeland where oil plays were discovered. Her mother and aunts were farmers who produced squash, melons, corn and fruit from seeds passed down from previous generations. Gloria does not recall her mother ever buying seeds, but remembers seeds being traded among relatives and friends. These heritage seeds are now planted on her field.
Gloria and her husband continue to farm with focus on teaching young Navajo students the importance of traditional crops and sustaining Navajo culture through food. They partner with local tribal colleges and high schools to teach Navajo ethno-agriculture.
Gloria is a graduate of residential Intermountain High School, Haskell University and University of New Mexico. She loves farming because the greatest gifts from her mother, before leaving for school, were the melons she grew.