August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Wednesday, 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

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