When the Creator Moves Me

When hippie activists first wound their way on to the Navajo Reservation at Big Mountain, Arizona, what they saw and what they did would influence social and environmental activism in the Black Mesa region for many years to come. Navajo Grandmothers were being tormented. Water wells had been capped. As a result of corporate interest in uranium and coal extraction, and the passage of the 1974 Navajo/Hopi Land Settlement Act, sheep, goats, cattle, and horses were being confiscated and sacred ceremonial sites desecrated. In 1994, the activist band, Clan Dyken, followed the lead of their predecessors and made their first annual Beauty Way Supply Run to Big Mountain. When the Creator Moves Me is the story of both the Big Mountain Dineh, and Clan Dyken—what happened, how they met, and why they have remained in each other’s lives for over a quarter of a century.


“Reading with a effortless literary ease that is like listening to an extended conversation, “When the Creator Moves Me: A Story about Music, Resistance, and Creative Activism” is impressively informative, thought-provoking, emotionally evocative, and a valued contribution to the growing body of literature with respect to 20th Century Native American History. A deftly written and detailed account from first page to last, “When the Creator Moves Me” is an extraordinary, erudite, and unreservedly recommended addition to personal reading lists, as well as community and academic library collections.” — Midwest Book Review

BookLife Prize Assessment:

Idea: This illuminating memoir tells the multi-generational story of a “family/activist band” whose members travel the country playing music, sharing stories, and advocating for vulnerable communities.
Prose: The co-authors write in a style that is both highly readable and informative. Polished descriptive language heightens the country-traversing appeal of the story, allowing readers to gain a clear sense of place and circumstance. Quotations and dialogue read naturally.
Originality: Original in scope and approach, this book is thoroughly researched and tells a unique story of a fascinating set of activist entertainers. Photos and discographic information chronicle the history of the group, while offering fans greater insight into their dynamics and musical contributions.
Execution: Part tribute, part history, this well-executed memoir admirably contextualizes biographical and historical details, while focusing on the spirit of activism and power of music.
Score: Plot/Idea: 10 Originality: 10 Prose: 10

“This book ultimately is about the possibilities when you bring together creativity and social justice. It’s a much-needed book in our times. Beautifully written and filled with gorgeous photos.” — Dr. Kate Evans, author of Call it Wonder

“Anyone who cares about humanity and Mother Earth needs to own this book. The story is riveting and very well written. I recommend it highly.” — Jon Baumgartner


-When the Creator Moves Me