Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

October 26, 2020

Navajo elderly turned away in cold, waiting for hardship applications

Nenahnezad, New Mexico Chapter House Today

Throwing peanuts at Navajo elderly is demeaning

By Brenda Norrell

Censored News

Pence's staff tests positive for coronavirus as Navajo Council and White House plan virus super spreader event for today, Tuesday, Oct. 27

Navajo elderly waiting in the cold today found out that the Navajo chapters only received 20 to 30  applications for hardship assistance. Some chapters received no applications, said Navajo family members as disabled elderly were being turned away.

The Navajo Nation had promised that today was the day for the elderly and disabled to apply for hardship relief of up to $1,500. It was the day for Dine' ages 65 and older, and disabled, to apply. But they were turned away in the cold due to the lack of applications. 

While Navajo elderly were being turned away in the cold today -- the Navajo Council announced that a policy team from the White House will meet with the Navajo Council tomorrow, Tuesday. The public is not invited.

It includes two of Trump's assistant directors and the Asst. Sec. of Interior. There was an immediate outcry from Navajos objecting to the White House virus spreaders coming to the Navajo Council. (See the Navajo Council's statement, the second press statement below.)

Today, on Monday morning at Shiprock Chapter in New Mexico, Dine' elderly were waiting at 6:30 a.m. to apply for hardship assistance and were turned away. Shiprock Chapter said it decided not to distribute the 20 applications it received because it would be unfair.

The Fort Defiance, Arizona, Chapter announced it received 25 applications. Family members of Navajo  elderly said they were turned away at 8:30 a.m.

Ojo Encino Chapter House in New Mexico said it had no applications for hardship relief, and was still waiting for applications to be delivered from Window Rock, Arizona.

To'Nanees'Dizi Chapter in Tuba City, Arizona made an announcement on social media on Monday midday.

 "The Chapter House is OUT of paper applications. We will receive more later this week. Priority is to people over 65 years old and people with special needs/disabilities. If you are able to access the online application, please do so next week when it becomes available. Everyone is encouraged to apply. This NOT FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE. The deadline to apply is November 30, 2020."

This comes after the Navajo government received $714 million in federal CARES Act coronavirus relief funds over four months ago, in May and June. The Navajo government has not distributed the relief to Dine' in need.

Now with time running out, a small amount of it, $49 million was allocated for hardship relief. However, it is not enough to provide for all Dine' in need. The CARES ACT virus relief funds must be spent by Dec. 30.

The Navajo Nation Office of Vital Records and Identification Program said there were 327,726 enrolled Navajo tribal members as of August.

In August the Navajo government gave $24 million of the CARES Act virus relief funds to its casinos.

Today, in an effort to shift blame today, the Navajo Controller's Office blamed the printer and its lack of special paper, in the following statement:


October 26, 2020

More hardcopy applications for Hardship Assistance Program on their way

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Hardcopy applications for the CARES Act Hardship Assistance Program was opened today, Oct. 26, to Navajo Nation members 65-years and older and to individuals with special needs. The Navajo Nation Office of the Controller is aware of the shortage of hardcopy applications and are working quickly to provide additional applications to all 110 Navajo Nation Chapters.

Despite numerous attempts to ensure there would be enough applications available today, the Office of the Controller was only able to get 3,000 copies from the printer over the weekend and the printer is working to print the remainder of the order quickly. The application is printed on special paper much like a tri-fold ballot that requires time to procure. Applications are prenumbered to prevent fraud and will be scanned as they are received.

“We have provided Navajo Nation Chapters a work-around to print applications until more are made available tomorrow,” said Pearline Kirk, Controller of the Navajo Nation. “Additional hardcopy applications are on their way—200,000 applications will be made available to chapters.”

Hardcopy applications are for Navajo elderly 65-years and older and for individuals with special needs that cannot fill out the application online which will be available Nov. 2. It is recommended that everyone who is able to apply online do so opposed to the hardcopy application. The website link for the online application will be available beginning Nov. 2.

“This application process is not first come first served,” said Kirk. “No matter when you apply, your application will be given equal treatment. Thank you for your understanding and patience during this time.”

The Office of the Controller urges family members, chapters and senior citizens center staff to help the elders apply for the Hardship Assistance Program. 

Navajo Nation Chapters that have questions relative to the Hardship Assistance Program, email and do not contact the Navajo Division of Community Development. For more information about the Hardship Assistance Program or the Chapter Distribution Program, visit or email

Road conditions this morning 20 miles south of Cuba, New Mexico.

Since the pandemic began in March, at a gathering of the Nazarene Church on the Navajo Nation,  there have been 574 Navajos deaths from the virus. On Sunday, there were 76 new coronavirus cases reported on the Navajo Nation. More than 3,800 Dine' have the virus and have not recovered. There has been no uniform delivery of food and water to those in quarantine, and no system of visiting health care for the sick and dying in the 110 chapters.

Below Navajo Nation coronavirus positive cases Oct. 25, 2020

By Navajo Nation Council

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — On Tuesday, Oct. 27, the Navajo Nation Council will host White House policy advisors and leadership from federal agencies at the Navajo Nation Council Chamber to discuss the Navajo Nation’s key federal priorities. The Navajo Nation Council will present topics for discussion, as established through extensive discussion and input from the Navajo public throughout the past 22 months, and will work to secure commitments from the Administration ahead of the election next Tuesday.
These topics, moderated by standing committee leadership, include:

- Infrastructure and Transportation, including broadband and water;
- Health and Veterans Affairs, including housing and direct services;
- Economic Growth, including Opportunity Zones and policy recommendations;
- Safe Communities, including law & order, and Missing & Murdered Diné Relatives/People.

The attendees from the Administration are expected to include:
- Douglas Hoelscher, Special Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs
- William Crozer, Special Assistant to the President & Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs
- Domestic Policy Council senior leadership
- Kate MacGregor, Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of the Interior
- Tara Sweeney, Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs
- Mark Cruz, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs
- Leadership with Veterans Affairs
- Leadership with US Department of Transportation
- IHS Director RADM Michael D. Weahkee

The Office of the Speaker will be adhering to CDC guidelines and has prepared an Event Exposure Control Plan for inspection and monitoring by the Navajo Nation Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Additional measures, such as utilizing multiple meeting rooms, sanitizing stations at every location, mask enforcement and screening questionnaires will be in place as precautions.

Morning break-out sessions will be recorded and media will be allowed access with notification to the Office of the Speaker. Additionally, a roundtable discussion in the Navajo Nation Council Chamber will take place at 1:00pm MDT and will be live-streamed.

Due to social distancing guidelines and occupancy restrictions inside meeting facilities, no access will be granted to members of the public. Public access will be facilitated through online streaming on the Navajo Nation Council’s Facebook, Vimeo and Youtube media accounts.

As part of the federal delegation’s visit to the Navajo Nation, select officials will also attend the dedication and opening celebration of the Little Singer Community School on Oct. 28 starting at 9:00am MST in Birdsprings, Arizona.


Related news: 
Lumbee support from Trump protested in North Carolina


Colleen Gorman said...

Wow. It's really sad that the NN does not have a better plan for distribution. My mom really needs help, as do many other grandparents. I'll bet chapter house officials made sure they got themselves and their family members an application. The modern dat Golden Ticket, just like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Unknown said...

Shima is living in Nenahnezad chapter area and said chapter officials reassured her applications are coming. I pray for all my relatives to get the promoted relief. Ahii' heh.