Navajo Nation

courtesy of Andreita Gonzales

 

Dig Deep

Most of us take hot and cold running water and a flush toilet for granted. But for some residents of the Navajo Nation, it's a luxury they don't get to enjoy at home. Some studies show up to a third of Navajo households lack indoor plumbing. But several projects now underway are trying to bridge what's known as the “water gap.”


Red Feather Development Group

Up to a third of the households on the Navajo and Hopi Reservations lack access to clean running water. This can be a particular problem for maintaining hygiene, especially during a pandemic. Now an Arizona organization is installing self-contained handwashing stations for tribal members.


Fort Lewis College

Fort Lewis College will provide COVID-19 testing for students and staff as it opens for in-person and remote learning this fall. College President Tom Stritikus talks with KSUT's Sarah Flower about their plans for reopening and the changes students can expect:


With food insecurity rising at an alarming rate worldwide due to COVID-19, one local soup kitchen is answering the call. KSUT’s Sarah Flower has that story.

Kyle Todichini for KSUT

Darrah Blackwater sees radio waves as a natural resource. The Navajo Nation member and recent law school graduate works to bring high-speed internet to rural tribal lands. Her efforts focus on what she calls “spectrum sovereignty,” or the recognition of tribal spectrum rights.

“That means that the radio waves on the land have been on the land since what we call in federal Indian law, ‘time immemorial,’” she explains. “Which means it’s been there as long as the land, the mountains, the water, the air has been there.”

KSUT recently spoke with a Mancos resident who started a GoFundMe campaign to get food and other supplies to Navajo elders who may be quarantined or sheltering at home.

The effort was coordinated with Jon Yazzie a resident of Kayenta, Arizona on the Navajo Nation and a full-blooded Navajo. The fundraiser has been successful and groceries are already going to support elders in that area. KSUT's Mark Duggan reached out to Yazzie to get an update:

 

On the Navajo Nation, the COVID curve is flattening. Efforts to trace the spread of the disease are working. But challenges remain. Federal native health officials are responding with more funding, as KSUT's Mark Duggan explains:

 

After three years of preparation, KSUT has realized its dream of connecting the two sister tribes of Southwest Colorado: the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute, through Tribal Radio. A new FM signal broadcasting from Hermano Peak on Ute Mountain in Towaoc went live on Thursday, May 14 at 100.9 FM.

Four Corners Guides

Four Corners Guides has a connection to the Navajo Nation through one of their guide partners, tribal member Jon Yazzie, who lives and runs his bikepacking business, Dzil Ta'ah Adventures in Kayenta, Arizona.

Tami Graham spoke with Lizzy Scully, of Four Corners Guides about launching a GoFund me campaign to support Navajo elders in Kayenta, where they're experiencing major challenges due to COVID-19.  


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Humankind is no stranger to pandemics. The 1918 influenza infected 500 million people -  or about a third of the world's population at the time. In the Four Corners, it was particularly devastating on Native lands and in Silverton.

KSUT Reporter Mark Duggan reached out to Fort Lewis College History Professor Andrew Gulliford to find out more about the regional impact of what has come to be known as the Spanish Flu.


Courtesy of Navajo Nation

The coronavirus pandemic is hitting the Navajo Nation particularly hard. As of Sunday, April 5th, more than 300 tribal members have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and more than a dozen have died. Health officials are bracing for more cases, even as much-needed supplies are starting to arrive. KSUT's Mark Duggan reports: