Lyla June Johnston

Lyla June Johnston, Writing fr Peace Young AdviserLyla June Johnston, Young Adviser

Writing for peace means: Praying before each line is written that the Great Spirit’s message comes through. The root word of genius is, ‘genie,’ or spirit. And so the true genius does not take credit for her/his work. Rather s/he celebrates the fact they they were able to move out of the way enough for Spirit’s masterpiece to flow through them. To allow the essence of love to breath and speak through us, this is writing for peace. It is to know that even if this poem brightens just one person’s day, then it was all worth it. To write for peace is to serve humanity and in doing so strengthen our own capacity to love. When we tap into this explosive force of compassion, this is when the muse can truly work through us and make each word a prayer for all things.

~Lyla June Johnston, Writing for Peace Young Adviser

Lyla June Johnston, Writing for Peace Young AdviserLyla June Johnston

Lyla June Johnston was raised in Taos, New Mexico and is a descendent of Diné (Navajo) and Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) lineages. Her personal mission in life is to grow closer to Creator by learning how to love deeper. This prayer has taken her on many journeys and materializes in diverse ways.

She is a student of global cycles of violence that eventually gave rise to The Native American Holocaust and the destruction of many cyclic relationships between human beings and nature. This exploration birthed her passion for revitalizing spiritual relationships with Mother Earth and cultivating spaces for forgiveness and reconciliation to occur between cultural groups. She is a co-founder of The Taos Peace and Reconciliation Council, which works to heal intergenerational trauma and ethnic division in the northern New Mexico. She is a walker within the Nihigaal Bee Iiná Movement, a 1,000-mile prayer walk through Diné Tah (the Navajo homeland) that is exposing the exploitation of Diné land and people by uranium, coal, oil and gas industries. She is the lead organizer of the Black Hill Unity Concert which gathers native and nonnative musicians to pray for the return of guardianship of the Black Hills to the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota nations. She is the also the founder of Regeneration Festival, an annual celebration of children that occurs in 13 countries around the world every September.

In 2012, she graduated with honors from Stanford University with a degree in Environmental Anthropology. During her time there she wrote the award winning papers: Nature and the Supernatural: The Role of Culture and Spirituality in Sustaining Primate Populations in Manu National Park, Peru and Chonos Pom: Ethnic Endemism Among the Winnemem Wintu and the Cultural Impacts of Enlarging Shasta Reservoir. She is a musician, public speaker and internationally recognized performance poet. Lyla June ultimately attributes any achievements to Creator who gave her the tools and resources she uses to serve humanity.

She currently lives in Diné Tah, the Navajo ancestral homeland which spans what is now called New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Arizona. She spends her free time learning her engendered mother tongue, planting corn, beans and squash and spending time with elders who retain traditional spiritual and ecological knowledge.


The Beautiful, A Writing for Peace Post, by Lyla June Johnston

Lyla June Johnston – Spoken word, Dawn


Copyright © 2013 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.

16 thoughts on “Lyla June Johnston

  1. Sarah j

    Hi Lyla.

    I found your site as my daughter is also named Lyla Johnston and we were google names. Your writing is beautiful and she thinks you are “pretty cool”. She is 5.

    I just wanted to share that with you!


  2. Miranda Key

    Young woman, I’m so glad the Creator has called you forth …and you listened. Thank you for spreading Peace and Compassion.

  3. Tamera Trexler

    Hello Lyla June-
    You were introduced to me for the first time today, inauguration day, by your song
    ‘Nations Rise’ via an email from the Center for Biological Diversity. I have played your song over and over all morning. It brings good tears to my eyes on this day. It is my new
    Anthem. I have shared it with Marching Women and many others. It is powerful, sweet,
    Inspiring on many levels. I hear you. I also hope it is okay to say- I am a white woman, of Germanic- Finnish descent living in North Carolina. I participated in a rally/march
    In support of Standing Rock and opposing the pipeline, what it does, what it represents and the forces behind it. Thank you for your song and what you do.

  4. Emilie

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your visit to Winona, MN. Your warrior spirit for love & justice has helped to bring healing and inspiration to our lives. I specifically appreciate your well chosen words and your bringing them to full voice.

    1. Arthur Rodriguez

      Hi Lyla-
      Thank you for your work with your musical talents. It is really inspiring to see a sister very motivated in uplifting our native youth. I saw you and supaman share at the Indigenous Resistance Art exhibit in Los Angeles a few months back.

  5. Eric Gilbert

    Hi, Lyla! I work as a writer on and don’t have time for other activities. But your life inspire me do something else. Maybe I will change my mind if I will read more articles about people like you.

  6. Amanda Snow

    What an interesting position, I thought of your words. Worldview of people is quite diverse and now I am studying the specifics of thoughts and views of people of different religions. I think this is an interesting topic. I need to write an essay about the morale of the population of Asia. I wonder what the result will be. Because I meet different views.

  7. Corrina McFarlane

    Dear Lila June,
    You are touching lives across the planet day by day with your “All Nations Rise”; people seeing/hearing you planting feet strong and proud in wilderness as you sing this powerful spirit song. Then to discover how deeply and broadly you apply and live what you bring forth in that spirit song… I feel the deepest joy to know your presence in the world. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.

  8. Marnie Vail

    Dear Lyla June, Today I read your piece “The Story of How Humanity Fell in Love with Itself Once Again.” Thank you so much for that. I am in Flagstaff and we have been working on Truth and Reconciliation Northern Arizona for several years now. I am of European descent and along with others in our core group (which is mostly Dine and European descent) have been struggling with so-called “whiteness” and coming to the ever growing realization that “we” all, Indigenous People from the Americas or Europe or wherever, must reclaim our true roots/values and share our truths with our community such that the structural racism and commodification of beings and the earth ends. If I’m not mistaken, you came to Flagstaff to speak at one of the Forums that the Indigenous Circle of Flagstaff sponsored with the support of the City to gather input from the community in order to have a meaningful declaration of Indigenous Peoples Day. And, I heard.saw you speak on behalf of No DAPL Thank you for all the work you do, and especially for the brave and beautiful exposition of both sides of your ancestry; this is incredibly helpful to someone like myself.

  9. dennis ward

    Lyla June,

    I just heard your interview with Miss Jiff/Jennifer on KVMR, May 17 2018. Well done young lady, you are truly an inspiration to all of mankind. Thank you for being and doing.

    Uncle Dennis

  10. tom

    Dear Ms. Johnston,
    My wife and I just made a journey out west and visited Taos Pueblo, Mesa Verde, and some other great places and traveled back from Durango to Abq. through Apache and Navajo land and noticed the exploitation you speak of. I asked a young Navajo if she received anything from the oil wells and she said not that she knew of. I have no idea how this is working, but I am sure, not well. I learned about you through following the Fugs to your video asking for peace along with the Veterans for Peace. Thankful for people like you. Take care.

  11. Kaia Svien

    Sweet Lyla June,
    Thank you for bringing your heartfelt work to MN. I was honored to step more fully into my witnessing role as an Elder during one of the ceremonies here. Seeing the people who gathered to deepen with you, I am sure that the teachings you shared will be offered generously within a number of communities here.

    I appreciated your invitation to join you on Sunday. I missed being there but, like you, my concern for our beloved earth home has me involved in many projects, so I filled my hands with one of them instead.

    Ongoing blessings on your journey,
    Kaia Svien

  12. Dominique Mazeaud

    Dear Lyla,

    I am in tears and awe upon listening to your words as communicated by the Retake Our Democracy folks. I am so grateful that I have become aware of you and your calling to bring Peace into our world. This is also my calling and I look forward to staying in touch.
    Dominique Mazeaud


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