Lyla June Johnston

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 Adviser

Lyla June Johnston (known publicly as Lyla June) is an Indigenous musician, scholar, and community servant of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) and European lineages. Her dynamic, multi-genre presentation style has engaged audiences across the globe towards personal, collective and ecological healing. She blends studies in Human Ecology at Stanford, graduate work in Indigenous Pedagogy, and the traditional worldview she grew up with to inform her perspectives and solutions. She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree, focusing on Indigenous food systems revitalization.

Lyla June 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.

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 spends her free time learning her endangered mother tongue, planting corn, beans and squash and spending time with elders who retain traditional spiritual and ecological knowledge.


It Is Time

Loving Through The Truth

How to Become a Revolutionary Icon

Young Navajo Complete 225-Mile “Journey for Existence”

The Story of How Humanity Fell In Love With Itself Once Again

And God Is The Water

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

Lyla June Johnston – Spoken word, Dawn


Copyright © 2013/2020 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.

19 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

    1. Michael McDonald

      I’m not sure if this is the appropriate place to contact you, but here goes…
      My name is Michael McDonald and I am President of Veterans For Peace ch 27 Twin Cities, MN. We have an annual event called Peacestock held in RedWing, MN. It’s a daylong celebration of song, food and messages from peace activists from around the country. We’ve hosted Ann Wright, Kathy Kelly, David Swanson, Danny Sjersen, and many others.
      This year we have Andrew Bacevich and Norman Solomon. We are looking for one additional speaker/musician to fill out the program. You immediately came to mind for me after seeing several of your songs and messages on FB.
      The date is July 18. We would pay for airfare and put you up at a members home. Would you have interest in attending? Check out Peacestock 2019 online.

  13. wesa

    thankyou! hope for regeneration ceremony 2020
    2011 i left to taos after my sister suicide in july 2011 lil did i know you too lost 3/4
    n when ireturned taos 2012 saw crane at bridge
    i froze n prayed n went to water

    how to help next generation before trauma sets in n hurts
    give them teaching tools healing tools
    thankyou lyla your music and actions helping me stay strong as survivor n now trying homeschool farm admists challenges
    love to travel and see you play live
    get over fear of travel
    much peace to you all


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