Native Youth Leadership Alliance

375390_447682608614308_1937312293_nI see myself a part of a global movement, with connections building at a local level with my communities to other reservations and Nations across the United States and internationally. My work revolves around a full circle of issues that affects our relationships with ourselves, with one another and with our Mother Earth (physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally and socially). Our time is valuable and I am honored to help other people, animals, plants and our Mother Earth.

My name is Ryan Dennison, I am of the Hooghan Lani clan, born for the Ta’neeszahnii clan, my maternal grandfather is of the Tse’nabilnii clan and my paternal grandfather is of the Kiiya’aanii Clan. I am Dine’, from Tohatchi, New Mexico, and  currently living Gallup, New Mexico.  The work I surround myself with starts with a dialogue, a chance to communicate, understand and create change.


I’ve helped build a community radio station since 2008, it is known as KNIZ 90.1FM Gallup. Since then, the radio station has been a reflection of the Gallup community, inclusion of all and respect for all. Through this, my hope is to create shows, events, and programs that are able to heal not only ourselves, but our past generational traumas together.

We have been on the air for a year and currently experiencing technical difficulties with equipment and reduced funding.  My values/principles to start  a community radio station are in the ethics of doing it yourself or doing it together. I haven’t received a degree for radio engineering, but with the past help of a small internship with Prometheus Radio Project I’m always looking for opportunities and innovative ways to continue this community radio station and create safe spaces to talk about things we feel passionate about.

KNIZThis energy has also helped me express myself as an installation artist and musician. I’ve taken my work ethic to creating DEADREZKIDS a small DIY (do it yourself) record label, showcasing musicians and artists on and off the Navajo reservation. Since 2010, we built up a 16 album catalogue, expressing unconventional music from experimental noise, electronic, ska, punk, rockabilly, psychedelic rock, and thrash hardcore. Making online album releases, original physical pressings and hosting shows is what I really enjoy, a self-fulfillment to supporting the local music scene and creating a space to show our art in many formats and mediums. My vision and goals are to open a co-op venue with community members to host art shows, concerts, produce recording sessions and other multi-media ideas.


My daily life and work is cohesive with my traditional values. Recently I’ve been working with a Navajo cultural publication called ‘Leading the Way’.  It is a bilingual publication in English and Navajo, going on for 11 years, distributed to over 100 businesses and 100 schools across the Navajo Nation. It expresses indigenous ideas of decolonizing the mainstream way we live, through promoting our traditions and culture. What better ways to weave my media communications work all together to effectively change and create a sustainable community? That’s my long term goals to answering this question and many more. I feel with my talents, I can help all people by using media as a communication tool to heal, teach, and create. I’m open to any opportunity that would further my education so I can bring it back to my community and apply it. Thanks for taking the time to read my profile. For further contact or to collaborate, my email is jfirelamedeer[at] and below are links to my work.