Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights 2020

Friday, June 5, 2020

McKinley Mutual Aid volunteers an inspiration as coronavirus claims lives of elderly in county

Inspiring youth volunteers at McKinley County Mutual Aid.

Sixty loaves of fresh banana bread!

The inspiring work of volunteers at McKinley Mutual Aid continues this week, as the county is experiencing the highest rate of elderly deaths from the coronavirus in New Mexico.

Article by Brenda Norrell
Photos by McKinley Mutual Aid
Censored News

GALLUP, New Mexico -- The volunteers at McKinley Mutual Aid are an inspiration, delivering care packages this week with fresh homemade banana bread. The weekly care packages are reaching those most devastated by the coronavirus here, the elderly.

Christopher Hudson said, "We got a call last week from McKinley Mutual Aid that they had some bananas that might be of use to some awesome baker out there. They must of know my mom makes the best banana bread and had been ready to help her community. After a couple of hot nights, she was able to turn some of those bananas into her amazing bread. This week those tasty breads will be an added treat going out in some care packages to our community in need. She says, "They are ABC delicious and yummy for your tummy, enjoy."

Volunteering with a smile.

McKinley Mutual Aid said it is able to increase its efforts this week, thanks to the Community Organized Relief Effort.

"We are very excited to be supported by CORE! They have helped McKinley Mutual Aid scale up the last several weeks by renting vans for delivery, strengthening our supply chain, and procuring equipment to speed up our packaging process. Starting next week they will be producing hygiene kits to add to all 500 food boxes! Thank you so much for your support!" McKinley Mutual Aid said.
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The inspiring work of volunteers at McKinley Mutual Aid continues this week as McKinley County is experiencing the highest rate of elderly deaths from the coronavirus in State of New Mexico.

New Mexico reports there were ten deaths in the past two days in McKinley County. There were five deaths on Thursday and another five deaths on Wednesday. All were ages 60 to 90, except for one person who was forty-years-old. McKinley County includes Gallup, portions of the eastern Navajo Nation and Zuni Pueblo.

McKinley County reported thirty new cases of coronavirus on Thursday.

To the north of here, there were two deaths in San Juan County yesterday, ages 50 and 80-years-old. Three more deaths were reported on Wednesday, of elderly, 60 to 80 years old. One of these was a female resident at Life Care Center in Farmington, which has one of the highest rates of deaths from coronavirus in the State of New Mexico.

At Life Care nursing home in Farmington, there have been 42 deaths.  At Cedar Ridge Inn nursing home in Farmington, there have been 26 deaths. The deaths in McKinley County include deaths of residents at Red Rocks nursing home this week.

An investigation by Target 7 news found that the federal government had put seven nursing homes in the state on notice in recent years because they have not been following procedures to prevent the spread of disease.

The investigation showed the lack of care and unsanitary conditions contributing to the spread of disease. During the coronavirus spread, one of these nursing homes had healthy people using the same bathroom as those with the virus, the news channel reported.

Elsewhere in New Mexico, Otero County Prison Facility accounted for just more than half of those cases, with 66 new cases on Thursday.

Meanwhile, on the Navajo Nation in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, there were 69 new cases, and five more deaths reported on Thursday. The total number of deaths reached 264 as of Thursday. The number of cases reached 5,730.

The Navajo Nation received $600 million in federal CARES Act funding on May 6. However, the tribal government has not yet allocated the funds to meet the needs of those affected by the virus.

Volunteer relief organizations like McKinley Mutal Aid are providing the only home deliveries to many high-risk Navajos, Zunis and others in the region.

McKinley Mutual Aid thanked T&R Pawn - Market for supplying canned meats for the past month and a half! Since many in the area do not have electricity or refrigeration, and many of those sick with the virus are too weak to cook, the canned meats are helping meet an urgent need. The volunteers said, "These are definitely some of the favorite items in our food boxes, and they have been difficult to get in bulk from other sources. Thank you for your continued support."

McKinley Mutual Aid said, "Big thank you to Clif Athlete and former World Tour rider Peter Stetina for donating 20,000 Clif Bar to Mckinley Mutual Aid! You will now see 10 of these in every box for the next two months. Thank you Silver Stallion Bicycle & Coffee Works for the connection. We look forward to continued collaboration."

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Navajo Nation reports 128 new coronavirus cases. Dine' continue helping Dine'

Photo courtesy Mercury Bitsuie. Grassroots Dine' volunteer delivering aid.

Navajo Nation reports 128 new coronavirus cases. Dine' continue helping Dine'

Article by Brenda Norrell
Censored News
June 3, 2020

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – The Navajo Nation reported 128 new cases of coronavirus and seven more deaths in the past 24 hours. The total number of deaths has reached 259 as of Wednesday. The total number of cases reached 5,661.

Navajo President Jonathan Nez signed an executive order on Wednesday to extend the closure of tribal offices until July 5. Although the weekend curfews were paused, the daily curfews remain from 8 pm until 5 pm.

Grassroots Navajo organizations and individuals continue to try and reach the Dine' elderly and disabled who are in quarantine with the virus. Still, many Dine' are being sent home from the hospitals with the coronavirus and have no way to get food or water. Many have pneumonia and are too weak to go out for supplies. None of the Dine' elderly who are sick and in quarantine contacted by Censored News have received food or water supplies at their homes from the Navajo Nation government officials or tribal workers.

Still, the work of Dine' helping Dine' continues. Mercury Bitsuie is one of the Dine' delivering food and water to Dine'.

Bitsuie said, "Was able to deliver more food to my relatives out in Big Mountain, was a long, beautiful drive until I forgot about the curfew and had to race off the reservation. All gas stations were closed and ran out of gas about five or six miles north from the I 40/US87 junction near Winslow. Had to hitchhike it a little but was able to get some gas again."

"I'm still burnt out from walking last night, but knowing that elders have some food for the weekend, I had to admit that it was a beautiful night," Bitsuie said.

(Below) Navajo Nation report of coronavirus cases on June 2, 2020.

There are 300,000 Navajos, with about 200,000 living in the Navajo Nation, in the states of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

Meanwhile, the State of Arizona reported a sharp increase in coronavirus cases this week, with the largest number in the Phoenix and Tucson areas. The group most likely to get the coronavirus in Arizona are aged 20 to 44 years old and white. Those most likely to die from the virus in Arizona are over 65 and white, according to the State of Arizona data.

There were eight deaths of the elderly in northwest New Mexico reported in the past 24 hours in New Mexico. There were five deaths in McKinley County and three in San Juan County, the State of New Mexico reported. McKinley County includes Gallup, portions of eastern Navajo Nation and Zuni Pueblo. San Juan County includes the Shiprock and Farmington regions.

The Navajo Nation received $600 million in federal virus relief funds on May 6. However, those have not been allocated or distributed by the tribal government.

Navajo President: Plan for $600 million

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Police shot, blinded and beat news reporters and peaceful protesters at rallies demanding justice for George Floyd

Police shot, blinded and beat news reporters and peaceful protesters at rallies demanding justice for George Floyd

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
June 3, 2020

News reporters and peaceful protesters were shot, blinded, beaten and gassed by militarized police across the United States, during the rallies for justice of Black Lives Matter, following the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The media was targeted, shot with rubber bullets and punched, including an Australian news team outside the White House. This happened as peaceful protesters were fired on with projectiles and gassed so that Trump could walk across to a church and hold a Bible for a photo op.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Navajo Poet Laureate Laura Tohe receives Academy of American Poets Fellowship

Laura Tohe Photo by J Morgan Edwards

Navajo Poet Laureate Laura Tohe receives Academy of American Poets Fellowship

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

Laura Tohe, Poet Laureate of the Navajo Nation, is the recipient of a major fellowship award from the Academy of American Poets. She is one of 23 Poets Laureate of states, cities, counties, and the Navajo Nation who will receive the Poets Laureate fellowship this year. And the funds will be used to lead civic poetry programs locally in the year ahead. These initiatives will take place between 2020-2021.

Tohe, who grew up in the Chuska Mountains, on the Navajo Nation in Crystal, New Mexico, shares the joy of life and the Female Rain in the sweet-scented pinyon high county. She also shares the reality of the abuse in boarding schools.

“Our language was beat out of us,” Tohe said. “Boarding school was taking away our voices.”

Tohe, however, struggled and maintained her “Navajo heart and Navajo mind.”

“I wrote in secret for a long time," Tohe said in Tucson in 2007.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Desecration of Ali Jegk, Tohono O'odham Nation, underway by U.S. Israeli spy towers

Photo by Greg Nez
Photo by Ofelia Rivas
Desecration of Veju'pan in Ali Jegk (Little Clearing) Community
on the Tohono O'odham Nation
Photos by Ofelia Rivas and Greg Nez, Tohono O'odham, copyright

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