Jaclyn Roessel reflects on the first time she felt like a part of a community, when she was 12 years old and had her Kinaaldá ceremony, in which she became a woman and felt the kinship of not only her nuclear family, but a larger tapestry of community members.
Jaclyn Roessel was born and raised on the Navajo Nation, between the communities of Kayenta, Round Rock and Lukachukai, Arizona. She holds a B.A. in Art History and a Master in Public Administration from Arizona State University. She was the inaugural recipient of the Arizona Humanities Rising Star Award in 2013, which is given to young professionals whose work elevates the importance of humanities in the community. She's been named one of Phoenix 100 Creatives You Should Know. She is the owner of the greeting card company Naaltsoos Project and co-founder of the blog, Presence 4.0. These projects focus on the power of identity and as well as share the visual resistance of Native style. She co-founded the project Schmooze: Lady Connected a platform dedicated to sharing women’s stories in the southwest through multi-media streams. Over the past decade as a museum professional at the Heard Museum, Roessel confirmed her belief in the power of utilizing cultural learning as a tool to engage and build stronger Native communities. She recently shifted her focus to pursuing her entrepreneurial role as the founder of the blog and online community, Grownup Navajo. From her new home base in New Mexico, she aims to use Navajo traditional knowledge as a catalyst to create change in our communities today. Her focus in Creative Community Fellows program is K'é Powered. It is a community-based arts project that will occur on the Navajo Nation and will engage mentor and emerging mentee artists. The groups of artists will work to build a program that will incorporate themes of Futurism by challenging youth mentee artists to envision the kind of world they want to live in. The scope of the project will share how traditional Navajo/Native American knowledge has a place in helping us create a more inclusive future while also displaying the ability of creativity to help us put these practices to work for the betterment of our communities.