Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

May 31, 2020

Navajo grandmother with COVID-19 victim of neglect and assault in hospitals

An 80-year old grandmother fighting for her life with coronavirus was first denied needed oxygen at Gallup Indian Medical Center, then assaulted at UNM's Sandoval Medical Center in Albuquerque. Her granddaughter shares her story of the family's fight to save their grandmother's life. We share her story with permission.

This is my paternal grandma (nalii), 80 years young, she's been through alot in the pass couple weeks. On May 16 her test for COVID 19 came back positive. On May 19 we took her to Gallup Indian Medical Center and she was evaluated. Nalii was told her oxygen was at 86 percent. No oxygen was administered.
We decided to take nalii to Sandoval Regional UNM. I called SRUNM to let them know I'll be bringing in my nalii.

May 30, 2020

Urban Indian Directors letter to Minneapolis Police regarding George Floyd

Photo: AIM at "I can't breathe protest'

News updates on our Facebook

Update: Minneapolis Indian Youth Center burned, funds quickly raised to rebuild

Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors Group letter to Minneapolis Police regarding George Floyd

May 27th, 2020
To All Our Relations —

This letter has been written on behalf of the Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors Group (MUID) – a collaborative of some thirty American Indian organizations operating within the Twin Cities metropolitan area of Minnesota (please see the attached organizational listing). The purpose of this communication is to state our collective response to the tragic death of George Floyd on Monday, May 25th, 2020.

May 29, 2020

Sick and dying at home: Navajos with coronavirus sent home to quarantine

Each day there are heart-breaking stories as Dine' elders are sent away from hospitals with COVID-19, sent home without medicine or health care, and many have no running water. Some Dine' in quarantine, sick with pneumonia, have no way to get food or water. Others die in the nursing homes in Farmington and Gallup, New Mexico. Senicide, or geronticide, is the killing of the elderly, or their abandonment to death. 

Article by Brenda Norrell
Censored News
French translation by Christine Prat
News updates on Facebook

Navajos with coronavirus and pneumonia are sent home from the hospitals with little medicine or information about the virus, and no one ever checks on them. At home in quarantine, sick with the coronavirus, Navajos shared their stories with Censored News.

After testing positive for coronavirus, and being sent home from hospitals, there are no health care follow-ups. There are no tribal officials bringing them food and water.

The Dine' families that we talked to in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, have received supplies only from the handful of grassroots, unpaid volunteers who are raising their own funds and collecting donated supplies, and driving down those long dirt roads to their homes with food, water, cleaning supplies and masks.

"This is true," said one Navajo in Crownpoint, New Mexico.

After repeatedly being denied a coronavirus test, the person was only tested after they began having trouble breathing.

After testing positive and being sent home with coronavirus and pneumonia, the person was then denied relief assistance at the tribal chapter house.

Like the other Navajos we talked to,  there was no follow up health care at home.

In Pinon, Arizona, a Navajo family with elderly and disabled with the virus, never received any food or water from the tribe. The only relief came from the grassroots Navajo Hopi COVID-19 Relief, who brought food and water to their home.

When a Navajo family with the virus in Monument Valley, Utah, needed food and water, it was the Navajo Hopi COVID-19 Relief who brought it to them.

Navajo Carl Begay made the long drive from Flagstaff, Arizona, to bring them masks and cleaning supplies.

Now, today the total number of coronavirus cases is over 5,000 on the Navajo Nation.

On Saturday, the Navajo Nation reported 105 new cases of COVID-19, and 10 more deaths in the past 24 hours. The total number of deaths has reached 241 as of Saturday. Approximately 1,814 individuals have recovered. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases for the Navajo Nation has reached 5,250 as of May 30.

After midnight I watch the Flight Radar, and see the grim reminder.

Medical evacuation helicopters are en route from Farmington to Albuquerque, while others are  flying out of Safford, and still others are flying toward Gila River, Flagstaff and beyond.

On  most of the recent nights, there were at least five ambulance helicopters in flight at any one moment, after midnight, over Arizona and northwest New Mexico.

This is Indian country and the home to non-Indians as well.

While the grassroots efforts are wonderful, a handful of volunteers can not reach 300,000 Navajos on the Navajo Nation in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

The Navajo Nation government received $600 million in federal funds on May 6, for coronavirus relief. The funds have not yet been allocated by the tribal government and remain in a bank account.

Meanwhile, Navajos are suffering at home, sick, in quarantine, and in need of food and water.

Some are dying.

copyright Brenda Norrell, Censored News

Federal prison should not be a death sentence: Advocates press for release of Native inmates due to COVID-19

Frances Madeson/Double Ditch Indian Village

Federal Prison ‘Should Not Be a Death Sentence’

Advocates press for the release of Native inmates due to COVID-19

by Frances Madeson
Originally published in The Progressive
Published at Censored News with permission
May 28, 2020

Double Ditch Indian Village overlooks the Missouri River in North Dakota, about an hour’s drive north from where the Dakota Access Pipeline Water Protectors formed their prayer camps in 2016 on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. It’s a historic site of a village where, from 1490 to 1785, members of the Mandan Tribe lived in earth mound dwellings that protected them from extreme temperatures and near-constant winds.

The Mandan flourished for almost three centuries—longer than the United States has been in existence. But in 1782, the smallpox scourge arrived on their homelands, leaving survivors to scatter for safety.

“We have no social distancing. We live in 7 x 7 cubes that are 63 feet by 38 feet. There are 62 men sharing 3 toilets, 1 urinal, 3 showers and 5 sinks. We are a tinderbox waiting for a spark and the guards are the spark.”

Representative Ruth Buffalo, Democrat of Fargo and an enrolled member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, carries in her consciousness the trauma of the decimation of the Mandan people by that pandemic. She is advocating for the release and protection of the 3,898 Native Americans currently incarcerated under the aegis of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP).

“Native people are incarcerated in federal prisons at a rate 38 percent higher than the national average,” Buffalo stated in a press release. “Unless the BOP develops a comprehensive Exposure Control Plan and enacts it immediately, this pandemic could be devastating to our Native population.”
She’s joined by Loved Ones of Indigenous Federal Prisoners, a newly formed ad hoc group that began sounding the alarm even before COVID-19 claimed the life of federal prison inmate Andrea Circle Bear, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. Circle Bear—the first woman federal prisoner to die of COVID-19—passed away on April 28, three weeks after giving birth at a hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, via an emergency C-section while hooked up to a ventilator. She was serving a twenty-six month sentence for “maintaining a drug involved premises,” and was more than eight months pregnant when her prison term began. In a recent op-ed in The Washington Post, her grandmother, Clara LeBeau explained that her transfer had been pointless and her death senseless:

“Because she’d had five C-sections, the BOP knew Circle Bear needed medical care; that seems to be why she was sent to Carswell, the only medical facility for women in the federal system—though nobody ever told us the reason, and the BOP didn’t send her until March 20. But the way things ended up, she wasn’t treated at Carswell, the baby wasn’t born there, Andrea didn’t die there—all that happened at the local hospital.”

The small but growing number of “Loved Ones” in North Dakota and Colorado is petitioning Congress to intervene. The group is an outgrowth of the effort launched by the Bismarck-Mandan Unitarian Universalist Church to support NoDAPL Water Protectors, two of whom are still incarcerated.

The Reverend Karen Van Fossan, now a minister in Fargo, told The Progressive that she expanded the effort she had helped start to include all Native inmates because their own people were telling them the BOP and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines were not being adhered to.

In an email from “Rattler” (Michael Markus, Oglala Lakota from Pine Ridge) sent from FCI Sandstone Prison in Minnesota on May 14 and provided to The Progressive, the NoDAPL political prisoner described the conditions under lockdown:

“We have no social distancing. We live in 7 x 7 cubes that are 63 feet by 38 feet. There are 62 men sharing 3 toilets, 1 urinal, 3 showers and 5 sinks. We are a tinderbox waiting for a spark and the guards are the spark. Because we have only one source of contact with the outside and that is the guard. We live in a bubble and the guards are the germ carriers.”

On May 15, Loved Ones launched a public awareness campaign reminding people that the majority of federal inmates (55 percent) were convicted of drug or immigration-related offenses, of which the overwhelming majority were nonviolent (92 percent).

While there’s a mechanism in place for expanded home release for federal prisoners under the CARES Act, in a May 11 letter to Congressional leadership the Federal Defenders contend that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and BOP “have made little use of these authorities to reduce prison populations and enable social distancing. Nor have they developed a coherent strategy to protect those in their care or employ.”

“Loved One” Sandra Freeman, a Denver-based criminal defense and civil rights attorney, defended Rattler in federal court in 2018.

“The idea of the concentration camp, a place where people are concentrated, a place with rampant disease—and we know they get sick and die from lack of medical treatment—that started in our society with Native Americans in the 1800s,” Freeman tells The Progressive. “Bioterrorism was the reality in the United States for Native people from jump, and it’s ongoing. With that as the backdrop, not a single institution is prepared for what is happening right now.”

Losing thirty-year-old Circle Bear to COVID-19 while under BOP supervision last month was an avoidable tragedy. And, while authorities continue to ignore the plight of inmates, fatalities are rapidly mounting as the situation deteriorates throughout the federal prison system.

The Progressive requested an interview with U.S. Attorney Ron Parsons, who was responsible for prosecuting Civil Bear for a nonviolent drug offense. He was quoted in the DOJ’s press release after sentencing: “Don’t let yourself or your property get mixed up in the world of illegal drugs. It ends badly.”

Our request was directed to BOP spokesman Justin Long, who told The Progressive that Circle Bear was airlifted to the Texas prison from South Dakota on March 20, quarantined upon arrival, and fell ill after the quarantine.

He wrote: “Her medical care precluded her consideration for home confinement, which given her very recent arrival, was unlikely to have been granted.”

“For them to continue to say that everything is basically fine, when we hear from families that it is not, and when what we see is a death count ticking up,” Freeman says, “the house of cards is revealing itself.”

“Nonviolent offenders need treatment, not prison during this pandemic.”

South Dakota Civil Rights attorney Bruce Ellison views Circle Bear as “a victim of mass incarceration.” Her exposure to COVID-19, he adds, should be seen in the context of the “historical continuation of the denial of the Eighth Amendment constitutional right to proper medical care faced by Native and other women and men in South Dakota prisons.”

“Nonviolent offenders need treatment, not prison during this pandemic,” he wrote in an email.

Buffalo told The Progressive she hopes tribal governments will ask BOP for a roll-call or a wellness check on their tribal members, but she doesn’t fault them for not getting to it yet.

“This is not to take a stab at tribal government in any way, shape, or form,” says Buffalo, noting heroic efforts like that of Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Chairman Harold Frazier to set up COVID-19 checkpoints on roads leading to reservation lands. “It’s a testament to how much we operate in a crisis mode; they’re busy trying to protect what’s in front of them,” she adds.

Olive Bias, a NoDAPL Water Protector who is now working for Freeman as a criminal defense/movement paralegal, told The Progressive that Loved Ones is keeping a close eye on the BOP’s dealings, like an April 7 report that the agency had purchased $60,000 worth of hydroxychloroquine.

“My loved ones [who are] doing time and other inmates we struggle alongside are not expendable,” Bias says. “We cannot be considered collateral damage to a pandemic so prisons can continue to violate people’s rights behind closed doors.”

As Buffalo puts it, “We’re hoping to find justice again on another level for our incarcerated relatives. The prison sentence should not be a death sentence. We can’t leave them behind.”

Canada's nursing home deaths tantamount to mass murder during COVID-19

Canada's nursing home deaths tantamount to mass murder during COVID-19

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

The horrific and gruesome conditions in Ottawa nursing homes have resulted in widespread death from COVID-19. A new report now confirms the neglect and abuse where sick elderly cried for help for hours, were left in their own waste and force-fed to the point of choking them to death.

One-half of all coronavirus deaths in Canada are in nursing homes. In the United States, one-third of all deaths from the virus are in nursing homes, where neglect, abuse and unsanitary conditions prevail.

"A disturbing new report from the Canadian military paints a picture of severe neglect inside several of Ontario’s long-term care homes struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic, including observations of insect infestations, staffing shortages and patients being underfed and left in soiled diapers," Politico reports.

StrongHearts Native Helpline: International Day against Homophobia commemorated

International Day Against Homophobia Commemorated

By StrongHearts Native Helpline

Censored News

Just 20 years ago on May 17, 1990, the World Health Organization took action to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. Commemorating the event, the International Lesbian, Gay Association (ILGA) designated May 17 as the International Day Against Homophobia. Since then, the movement has grown and diversified leading to renaming the organization and the day of celebration.

On May 17, 2020, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGBTIA) commemorated the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia with the theme, “Breaking the Silence.” It was a worldwide celebration of sexual and gender diversities when tens of thousands of the LGBTQI community spoke up about a single vision: freedom and equality for all sexual, gender and bodily minorities.

May 28, 2020

U.S. Senators probe defective medical masks sent to Navajo Nation

U.S. Senators probe defective medical masks from the company of former White House aide, sent to Navajo Nation hospitals

By Brenda Norrell

Censored News

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators wrote a poignant letter to the Indian Health Service probing reports of defective medical masks sent to Navajo Nation hospitals, that were purchased from a former White House aide.

Senators are probing the purchase of $3 million of potentially substandard respirator masks from a company founded by a former White House deputy chief of staff and then distributed without proper quality screening to Navajo Nation hospitals in New Mexico and Arizona.

“The IHS facilities serving the Tribe are in dire need of PPE to combat the virus and ensure medical personnel are protected from potential exposure,” the lawmakers wrote.

“Accordingly, we’re also concerned by reports that the federal contract to supply PPE to the Navajo IHS Service Area was awarded to a company established by a former senior official in the White House with limited competitive bidding and no prior federal contracting experience.”
“We therefore additionally request that the contracting officer who executed the contract provide a briefing to our offices as soon as possible. We are particularly interested in learning the circumstances in which the contract was awarded with the IHS only 11 days after it was created to sell PPE in response to the coronavirus, and whether IHS policies and procedures and federal acquisition regulations were followed."

The defective masks were purchased from China, and do not meet U.S. standards, in regards to preventing coronavirus particles from passing through the masks, ProPublica reported.

The exposure of defective masks comes after a warning that the Abbott rapid test for coronavirus tests, which Trump gave Navajos, have up to a 50 percent fail rate. The Indian Health Service has used these tests since April. Both Navajo President Jonathan Nez and the Oyate Health Clinic in Rapid City, South Dakota, have complained about the difficulty of using these tests and procuring supplies.

Trump promoted the Abbot rapid tests, and gave these to Navajos, at the Native Roundtable in Phoenix on May 5.

Today, the Navajo Nation reported 102 new cases of COVID-19, and one more death. The total number of deaths has reached 159 as of Wednesday. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases for the Navajo Nation has reached 4,944.

Read full statement on Senator's mask probe:

NM, AZ Lawmakers Demand Answers to Reports that Former Trump White House Official Supplied Indian Health Service with Potentially Substandard Personal Protective Equipment

Navajo Indian Health Service Area supplied with KN95 respirator masks that have come under scrutiny for providing inadequate protection against COVID-19

May 27, 2020

May 27, 2020

Irish Solidarity for Indigenous COVID-19 Relief: U2 Drummer Donates $100,000

Shandiin Herrera said, "Ya’ah’teeh from Monument Valley. Today we finished up our food distribution! We served 111 households in Monument Valley, Oljato, Halgaitoh, Douglas Mesa, and Halchita! I’m so thankful for my volunteers (Jenae HerreraMichael FranklinMatthew HerreraJose HerreraJose Morris HerreraRose Atene, Polly Crank) who tirelessly worked packaging, loading, unloading, driving, and ultimately trusting me to lead the whole operation. It definitely was tiring work, but it is so fulfilling knowing we showed up for our people. Our Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief team is amazing! I am so appreciative of all the hard work that goes into fundraising, coordinating food shipments, locating distribution sites, processing help requests, etc. so that we are able to do these food distributions in our communities. AHÉHEE! Stay safe everyone!"

Photo Larry Mullen by Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Irish Solidarity for Indigenous COVID-19 Relief Continues as U2 Drummer Donates $100,000

By Cassandra Begay
May 27, 2020

KINŁANI, DINÉTAH, (FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA) — Larry Mullen, Jr., Irish musician and co-founder of the rock group U2, has joined the wave of solidarity from Ireland for Indigenous Peoples disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 by donating $100,000 to the Navajo and Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund (Relief Fund).

In early May donations to the Relief Fund’s GoFundMe campaign spiked with contributions from Ireland. After reading news coverage of the crisis on the Navajo and Hopi reservations, many Irish felt compelled to reciprocate support from Indigenous Nations that dates back more than 170 years.

During Ireland's Potato Famine of 1847, the Choctaw Nation raised $170 dollars (about $5,000 now) for starving Irish families. Today, with Mr. Mullen’s contribution, over 25,500 Irish donors have contributed over $870,000 to the Relief Fund and the Navajo and Hopi elders, immunocompromised, COVID-positive, and vulnerable families it serves.

Relief Fund founder Ethel Branch stated, “We feel real kinship with the Irish, who have a shared legacy of colonization, and we are truly grateful for Mr. Mullen’s donation and all donations that have come from our Irish brethren. Go raibh maith agat and ahéhee’! Someday we hope to repay you for these beautiful and meaningful acts of solidarity made during our time of great need.”

Mr. Mullen’s generous contribution will fund a week’s worth of deliveries of food and water to about 1000 Navajo and Hopi households with high risk, vulnerable, or COVID-positive family members. The Relief Fund seeks to provide each family with 2 weeks’ worth of food so they are able to stay home and avoid exposure for a meaningful period of time in an effort to flatten the curve for the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe. The Navajo Nation is the U.S. jurisdiction with the most COVID-19 cases per capita, now exceeding New York and New Jersey.

The Relief Fund has mobilized a massive volunteer emergency effort to provide food and water distribution throughout the Navajo and Hopi Nations. The GoFundMe for the effort has now surpassed $4 million dollars and the Relief Fund volunteers have served over half of the Navajo Nation chapters including 6,400 households in almost 70 communities on the Navajo Nation and in 5 of the 12 Hopi Villages.

Please visit our website for more information, to donate, and for additional resources including volunteer & support request forms:

Diné and Hopi residents can also call toll-free to request support: 1-833-956-1554.

Chief Arvol Looking Horse 'World Peace and Prayer Day: Honoring Sacred Sites June 21, 2020'

Chief Arvol Looking Horse

”Maka akantula (People of the earth),

This is our 25th year in our efforts to bring attention to the importance of the remaining Sacred Sites around the world; where we have visited Nations and honored their ancestor’s place of worship. One day I would like to see “Honoring Sacred Sites Day, June 21st” recognized all over the world, when people will finally understand their importance. My personal direction and responsibility has been to pay attention to our prophecy of White Buffalo Calf Woman. She said there would come a time when a sign would show where man’s behavior had gone too far in their destructive choices. And our Ancestors have shared from ceremony — “we warned - people would not be able to control what they have created.”

In 1994, the same year Global Warming was first announced, in Janesville Wisconsin, a white buffalo calf with black hooves, black nose and eyes was born. She was named Miracle. Many people came from the four directions to pay homage, because spiritual people knew this was a blessing and yet a warning. Since that time, many white animals around the world have revealed themselves to Nations that hold them important in their culture. Memories I recall through this 25 year journey; while with Aboriginal Nations in Australia, a white kangaroo came out of the bush during our ceremony, and being shown pictures of Migalo, the white whale, in the great waters. Many of these white animals are still coming, telling us to pay attention to the choices we have to make, to change our behavior. This attention is to respect the gifts from Mother Earth, to respect one another’s way of life in helping to protect Sacred Sites, bring respect back to Nation’s sacred spiritual items and ceremonies that are now being abused.

We will come together once again during this time, but now we are being asked to stand apart, in order to be safe. We are told we need to keep distance if we respect one another - because a dark spirit has come upon us that is causing much suffering for all humanity. In this present time there is a lot of anger, hatred and racism. We need to create change in all our lives and respect one another’s ways of prayer. We know in our hearts that good will always overcome if we stand in unity.

Some of the places where we have created a sacred fire will be able to join us during this time. We will visit them through technology, where they will share what they have witnessed since our visit to their territory.

I humbly ask people to join together in prayer for a great healing, even by lighting a candle within your home and offer tobacco outside to the earth to give thanks.

These are now the crossroads: either be faced with global disasters, earth changes, climate changes, different sicknesses causing tears from our relatives eyes - or we can unite spiritually, globally - All Nations, All Faiths, One Prayer.

In a Sacred Hoop of Life, where there is no ending and no beginning!
It is time all People understand Mother Earth is the Source of life, not a resource.

Onipiktec’a (that we shall live),
Chief Arvol Looking Horse”

McKinley Mutual Aid volunteers bring relief to Dine' in Ojo Encino, New Mexico

McKinley Mutual Aid's all volunteer team caravaning nearly 100 food boxes, water, bleach and masks to Torreon, Ojo Encino and Pueblo Pintado, New Mexico, on Tuesday.
'Took a 4-truck caravan and 6 hours of driving, but successfully delivered food boxes, water, bleach and ppe for 50 families in Ojo Encino today (along with an additional 40 for Pueblo Pintado/Whitehorse chapters). Big thank you to our volunteer drivers!' -- McKinley Mutual Aid in McKinley County, New Mexico. McKinley County includes portions of the eastern Navajo Nation in New Mexico, along with Zuni Pueblo and the border town of Gallup, New Mexico.

Below: Preparing for deliveries during May.

Collaborative effort of all-volunteer grassroots effort receives $115,000 in relief funds for Dine' and Ashiwi

Welcome, Yá'át'ééh , Hola, Keshi,

We are currently processing Rapid Response requests through the McKinley Mutual Aid, a Health and  Help network for the McKinley Community of Northwest New Mexico. Geographically our service area includes all communities of McKinley County including the Sovereign Indigenous Nations of the Navajo (Diné ) and Zuni (Ashiwi) peoples, as well as those neighboring communities on the borders, in which we share resources, relatives and our lived communal experiences.
McKinley Mutual Aid Accomplishments:
Fundraising Highlights
Raised over $85,000 in Grants and Private Donors: $10,000, Seventh Generation; $10,000, NDN Collective; 15,000 Decolonizing Wealth; $5,000 New Mexico Women; $10,000 Javier Martinez, $24,000 Paypal; $2,000 from Indigenous Lifeways; $1,000 First Born [soon to be $5k] 5,000 Private Donor, 30,000 Tarbell Charitable Fund, Recognition of Vanessa Roanhorse.
Over 30,000 in Paypal.
In total McKinley Mutual Aid has raised over $115,000.
Masks: 210 Masks from Constance Parng and Sewing Group, 500 plus on the way; 100 Masks from Brenda H.; 50 plus Masks from Willcita C.; 12 boxes- 12 count of Tanka Bars.
Impact Highlights
Chopped, hauled and delivered 5 truck loads of wood; procured 5 large truck loads (U-hauls) of food, water and baby supplies; distributed supplies to nearly 500 families through our Rapid Response Efforts.
Partner Highlights
Collaborated with Strengthening Nations and the United Methodist Church of Gallup to utilize their church as a distribution and storage center.
Partnered with First Born, Growing in Beauty and Avenues Early Childhood to distribute baby supplies to families.
100 percent of funds are used for materials and gas money.
0% overhead--all volunteer!

For aid:
If you need help in filling out this form or would like translation services in Navajo (Diné Bizaad) or Spanish (en español).
Please feel free to call our MMA Help/Connection hotline
505-862-9799 or

Kinlani Mutual Aid delivers relief to Black Mesa

Photos by Klee Benally, Dine'

Kinlani Mutual Aid delivers relief to Black Mesa 

Mercury Bitsuie, Dine', said, "Just would like to give a big thanks to all the relatives in the frontlines making a huge effort to support one another, whether it's making homemade masks and hand sanitizers, delivering food or water to our elders, to checking up on one another or just to be staying home and to all the support we were blessed with. Big thanks to the relatives from the Taalahooghan Infoshop for donating food and supplies so that we can transport to our relatives out in the Rocky Ridge areas. Big thanks to my uncle Andy Dann as well as his crew for distributing it out to the community and a big thanks to the relatives from Ft Collins, Colorado, for the truckload of food, I was able to get it all delivered yesterday on Memorial Day. Once again thank you all for your support and have a wonderful day!" 
Photos below by Mercury Bitsuie, published with permission.

The Kinlani Mutual Aid based in Flagstaff, Arizona, along with Diné Land and Water, and Diné Healers Relief are working together and coordinating supply distribution for remote Black Mesa and Hopi Partitioned Lands. Klee Benally said, "We follow stringent protocols to ensure the well-being of those were supporting and our volunteers. This week, volunteers packed 50 boxes, which include flour, bleach, masks, and hand sanitizers in this load. "We're stronger when we work together," Benally said.

Navajo and Hopi Relief on Hopiland: Photos by Hopi Lilian Hill

Navajo Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief has surpassed its goals and raised $4.2 million in donations. Along with people from around the world, the people of Ireland have donated for this relief, out of gratitude for the Choctaw's donation to the Irish in the days of the potato famine. On Tuesday, Hopi delivered food and supplies in Orayvi Village. Cassandra Begay said, "This work took careful coordination by our Hopi Team Leads Pam Lalo and Lilian Hill in partnership with the Orayvi Village Board of Directors. Thank you very much to Orayvi Village volunteers for all of their hard work and dedication. Without your time and energy this work wouldn’t be possible." Photo credit and description: Hopi Co-Lead Lilian Hill

Lilian Hill said, "Thank you to Navajo and Hopi Families Covid-19 Relief Effort! With donations from the COVID-19 Relief fund, the Hopi Mutual Aid Team, in partnership with Village leaders and local volunteers, helped distribute food to the entire Village of Orayvi. Askwali to volunteers, the Village of Hotevilla, and those who have contributed to the fund and shared the campaign."

Vanessa Tullie, Dine' purchasing food and supplies, said, "Our food boxes are the best!
We take the time to  sterilize everything before it is handed out."


Please visit the website to donate, volunteer and request support: 
You can send in-kind donations of thread and needles for the seamstresses making masks to Taala Hooghan Infoshop, c/o Navajo/Hopi Relief, 1704 N. Second St, Flagstaff, Arizona 86004.

Diné and Hopi residents can also call toll-free to request support: 1-833-956-1554.
Cassandra Begay

Emergency Mobile Pantry in Zuni, New Mexico, gears up for June!


Above: Donated masks

By Zowie Banteah-Yuselew
Emergency Mobile Pantry in Zuni, New Mexico
Censored News

As we gear up for June, it's great to reflect on our journey thus far. We started on April 12th with 25 care packages and last Thursday and Friday combined was our eleventh distribution with 265 care packages! We received over 100 plus messages in one day so we know the need is great. We have a little bit over a month to continue our Facebook Charity page which we hope carries us through July. We are glad to continue to help and very fortunate to be able to. It's a lot of heart work and great learning experiences for all of us including our volunteers. Thank you donors for being super caring people for the support and all the people across the US sending donations through mail, we want to acknowledge you for your efforts. We plan to continue these efforts as long as we have donations and supplies. Elahkwa, thank you again for helping us by donating!
Raised $41,390. The goal is $50,000.
Donate and read more on Facebook at:
Mailing address for donations:
Zowie Banteah
16C Tekala Drive
Zuni, NM 87327

May 23, 2020

Navajo medical masks were part of White House contracting scam and may not work

A worker checks a medical N95 mask at a mask factory in southwest China's Chongqing, Feb 17, 2020. (WANG QUANCHAO/XINHUA)

By Brenda Norrell

Censored News

Medical masks sent to the Navajo Nation were part of a White House contract scam. The masks were secured by a former White House aide who obtained a contract with the Indian Health Service and purchased those from China, ProPublica reports.

"A former White House aide won a $3 million federal contract to supply respirator masks to Navajo Nation hospitals in New Mexico and Arizona 11 days after he created a company to sell personal protective equipment in response to the coronavirus pandemic," ProPublica reported on Friday.

The masks provided were Chinese-made KN95s, the Chinese alternative to N95s.

U.S. regulators said the first week of April that these offer inadequate protection.

On Friday, the Navajo Nation reported a total of 4,529 cases of coronavirus. There have been 149 deaths.

May 20, 2020

Mashpee Wampanoag ask judge today to halt Trump's removal of land from trust

Mashpee Wampanoag ask a federal judge today to halt Trump's removal of land from trust

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
Watch video: 

Cedric Cromwell, Chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Nation, said Mashpee Wampanoag are asking a federal judge today to halt the Trump administration from removing its status as a Native Nation.

Chairman Cromwell said, "Our Tribe, the same tribe that is celebrated on Thanksgiving for our historic role in the founding of this country, filed a preliminary injunction/temporary restraining order against the Department of Interior to halt its efforts to disestablish our Tribe's reservation."

May 19, 2020

StrongHearts Native Helpline Adds Online Chat Sessions with Advocates

StrongHearts Native Helpline Adds Online Chat Sessions with Advocates 

By CC Hovie, Communications Manager

Censored News

(EAGAN, Minn., May 18, 2020) — It is no coincidence that StrongHearts Native Helpline (1-844-762-8483) has chosen to roll out online chat advocacy amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic created the perfect storm for victim-survivors of domestic and dating violence by having to shelter-in-place with their abusive partners. This necessitated a swift response by StrongHearts administrators who explained that feature was always a planned milestone but it was reached sooner and with a sense of urgency.

Launching today, Monday, May 18 at 8 a.m. CDT, chat advocacy at StrongHearts Native Helpline enables victim-survivors, friends and relatives to connect with an advocate using an online chat service. Users can connect with a highly-trained advocate in a free, anonymous and confidential one-on-one chat session. There is no need to download an app or any software to use it. Users can simply click the Chat Now icon on the StrongHearts Native Helpline website daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT.

May 18, 2020

The New Smallpox Blanket: The Defective Coronavirus Test

The FDA issued an alert about the rapid coronavirus tests that Trump brought to the Navajo Nation at the Native Roundtable. The Indian Health Service has been using the Abbott tests since early April, which are delivering false results, resulting in the spread of the virus.

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
Updated May 20, 2020

The FDA issued a warning about the Abbott rapid coronavirus tests issuing false results, which results in people believing they do not have the virus when they do. These false tests increase the spread of the virus.

For those who took the Abbott rapid coronavirus test and received a negative result, and are having symptoms, then the CDC recommends you retest. The test has an up to a 50 percent fail rate. This will help decrease the spread.

May 17, 2020

Coronavirus on Navajo Nation: 174 cases in 24 hours, now 140 deaths, May 17, 2020

Photos Navajo President's Office food delivery this week. Photos by Navajo President's Office.

172 new cases of COVID-19, 13 more deaths, and 544 recoveries reported as Navajo Nation continues to test aggressively

By Navajo President Jonathan Nez
Censored News

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – The Navajo Department of Health in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service reported 172 new cases of COVID-19 for the Navajo Nation. The total number of deaths has reached 140 as of Saturday. Preliminary reports from a few health care facilities indicate that approximately 544 individuals have recovered from COVID-19, with more reports still pending.

The total number of positive COVID-19 cases for the Navajo Nation has reached 3,912. A total of 23,791 COVID-19 tests have been administered with 17,409 negative results. In March, health care experts projected that the Navajo Nation would see its peak in new cases in mid-May.