Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

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.

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