Stories for March 2018

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Tuesday, March 27

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Judge restores $7.3M for Navajo Nation's Head Start program

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — A federal court has restored $7.3 million to the Navajo Nation for its Head Start program.

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Beloved Diné artist Bahe Whitethorne Jr. passes away March 26

The art world in Flagstaff and around the Navajo and Hopi reservations reeled in sorrow as Bahe Whitethorne Jr.’s family announced he passed away March 26. The cause of death is currently unknown.

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Around the Rez: week of March 28

Upcoming events and news around the Hopi and Navajo reservations

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Student art displayed at Winslow Art Show

The annual Winslow School District Art Show was held March 6 - 8 at the Old High School Gym in Winslow.

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Winslow Jr. High art club raises $1,022 for food bank

Ceramic soup bowls made by Winslow Jr. High art students were sold at the Empty Bowls event which included a silent auction, fundraiser and art exhibit March 9.

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Winslow schools eliminate one week intersession schedule

Beginning in school year 2018-19, the Winslow School system will remove one week of the two week breaks in the spring and fall schedules.

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Winslow Lady Bulldogs head into March 15 Payson tournament undefeated

The Winslow High School Lady Bulldogs kicked off their 2018 season with four straight wins going into the Payson Invitational Tournament March 15 when they played the Benson Lady Bobcats and the Nogales Lady Apaches.

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Winslow Bulldogs off to a strong start; 11-1 win over Chinle

The Winslow High School baseball season is off to a good start under the direction of Coach Art Griffith, who has coached baseball at Winslow High for 49 years. The Bulldogs were 6-2 after their 11-1 win the Chinle March 16.

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Troublemakers hit Hopi High; share blues essentials with students

Gary Farmer and the Troublemakers blues band put on a three day workshop March 7-9 at Hopi High School as they performed at a coffee house, a school assembly and taught music students.

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Tuba City Junior High yields six winners at Navajo Nation Science Fair

Six Tuba City Junior High School students took home prizes from the Navajo Nation Science Fair March 1 in Churchrock, New Mexico, two placed first.

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Visit to universities inspires students, gives direction for future career choices

Eleven Hopi High media students visited the media departments at Northern Arizona University, University of Arizona and Arizona State University Feb. 28-March 2.

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Potential closure of Kayenta Mine a revenue crisis for Hopi

Hopi Tribe faces revenue crisis with potential closure of Kayenta Mine; Tribe counts on non-profits for help – Arizona Gives Day, April 3, supports Hopi nonprofits

For 50 years, the Kayenta Mine on Black Mesa has supplied coal to fire the Navajo Generating Station (NGS), which powers Phoenix air conditioners, Las Vegas Strip neon and California Teslas.

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Tribes hit hardest by opioid crisis, have least access to federal help

The opioid crisis has hit rural Native Americans significantly harder than any group in the nation, and the problem may be even worse because of racial misclassification on death certificates, federal data show.

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U.S. Senate passes Ashlynne Mike AMBER Alert in Indian Country Act

Navajo Nation asks Trump to sign bill into law as a safeguard for native youth

On March 22, the U.S. Senate passed Senate Bill 772, entitled the Ashlynne Mike AMBER Alert in Indian Country Act.

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Tribal group reports crosses vandalized at Arizona prayer site

A group protesting a proposed copper mine outside of Phoenix says its prayer site was vandalized when two crosses were removed, two others damaged and ceremonial eagle feathers were left on the ground.

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Ryan Zinke, tribal leaders discuss solutions to Native American opioid epidemic

Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke met March 19 with Arizona tribal leaders to discuss possible solutions for the national opioid crisis, which affects Native Americans more than any other minority.

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Bates commends approval of funding for $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill by Congress

Navajo Nation Council Speaker LoRenzo Bates (Nenahnezad, Newcomb, San Juan, Tiis Tsoh Sikaad, Tse’Daa’Kaan, Upper Fruitland) commended the passage of a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill by Congress March 22.

Tuesday, March 20

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Around the Rez: week of March 21

Upcoming news and events around the Hopi and Navajo reservations

Obituary: Donald Alexander Humetewa

Donald Alexander Humetewa was called home on March 9, 2018.

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Winslow celebrates basketball champions with a parade in downtown

The city of Winslow celebrates the Winslow HIgh School 3A boys basketball champions March 15 with a parade in downtown Winslow.

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Shiprock Chieftans defeated, 74-40

The No.7 Shiprock Chieftains were overwhelmed by the No. 2 Silver Fighting Colts from Silver City, New Mexico, 74-40, at the New Mexico 2018 US Bank Boys State Championships Quarterfinals, at the Santa Ana Star Center.

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Portales Rams defeat Shiprock Chieftains, 65-54 at girl’s state championships

"D up, D up, D up, …" was mostly heard from the benches and fans during the New Mexico State Tournament, held at the Dreamstyle Arena — The Pit, March 6-10, with teams, participating from various reservations, border towns and surrounding communities.

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Bears Ears Prayer Run Alliance completes run to Utah March 16

The Office of the President and Vice President (OPVP) applauded the Bears Ears Prayer Run Alliance (BEPRA) group for organizing the Sacred Strides for Healing prayer run, which brought awareness to the recent reduction of Bears Ears National Monument and supported the monument as originally designated.

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Winslow Bulldogs baseball off to a good start with wins over Chinle and Tuba City

The Winslow High School baseball season is off to a strong start under the direction of head coach Art Griffith, who has been coaching baseball at Winslow High School for 49 years.

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Soul of Nations finalists celebrated; select artists to travel to New York City

Out of 253 applicants, Soul of Nations awarded 13 finalists from the 2018 Brea Foley Art Program in Window Rock, Arizona March 2.

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Therapist: Talking about suicide takes courage; listen and don’t pass judgement

Gilbert Contreras, family therapist with Coconino County, spoke to the staff at Hopi Jr/Sr High School March 7 about suicide prevention.

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Holbrook High announces February Students of the Month

Holbrook High School recently announced the Students of the Month for February.

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Hopi ask Feds and State to fulfill land promise

Hopi Tribe seeks 500,000 acres of land promised to them in 1996 Navajo-Hopi Land Settlement Act at joint session with Flagstaff and County officials

The Hopi Tribal chairman addressed an overflow crowd March 12 at a joint session of the Coconino County Board of Supervisors and the Flagstaff City Council over land the Hopi are owed as a result of the 1996 Navajo-Hopi Land Settlement Act.

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Women Veterans Day proclaimed by Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye

March 20 recognized by Navajo Nation President as Women Veterans Day

On March 17 President Russell Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez signed a proclamation recognizing March 20 as Navajo Nation Women Veterans Day.

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March declared Missing Persons month by Navajo branch chiefs

Flanked by the families of missing, murdered or endangered Navajo people, the chiefs of the Navajo Nation’s executive, legislative and judicial branches signed a proclamation March 12 declaring March as Navajo Nation Missing Persons Awareness Month.

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Recent school shootings prompt Nation to re-evaluate active shooter readiness

The Nation needs to be prepared for unpredictable incidents such as active shooter incidents, said Council Delegate and Law and Order Committee (LOC) chair Edmund Yazzie.

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Navajo Nation, Utah governor and congressman pledge to develop solutions for Bears Ears National Monument

During a public meeting March 12, Navajo Nation leadership stood united in opposing House Bill 4532 sponsored by U.S. Rep. John Curtis (R-Dist. 3) of Utah, which seeks the approval of Congress to confirm and codify President Trump’s 2017 proclamation that reduced the size of Bears Ears National Monument by 85 percent and divided it into two smaller monuments. On Dec. 4, 2017, the Navajo Nation filed a lawsuit challenging President Trump’s action.

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Arizona Nation of Patriots fires up cycles for veteran’s tour; to meet Navajo-Hopi Honor riders at Twin Arrows July 10-11

The Arizona Nation of Patriots will start their portion of the annual Patriot Tour in Kingman July 7 in an effort to raise funds for military veterans and their families, said Rick Bitzer, chairman of the volunteer organization in Flagstaff.

Tuesday, March 13

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Around the Rez: week of March 14

Upcoming news and events around the Hopi and Navajo reservations

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Letter to the editor: Scars left behind by uranium mining are visible on Navajo Nation

As children, our playground was the land around our reservation including the edge of the sacred Tsékooh Hatsoh — what many call the Grand Canyon.

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Fire engulfs Winslow business

A fire broke out March 12 in the early morning at a large lumber mill that produces fire wood for resale at stores around the Nation, according to Flagscanner.

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Thumbs Up Catering now serving in Winslow

Thumbs Up catering CEO Mike Dean has settled in Winslow and for the past four years has been providing high-end food for fundraisers and various groups around the country.

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Winslow’s Vargas baseball field opens after reconstruction for 2018 baseball season

A ribbon cutting ceremony rededicating Vargas Field was held March 6 in Winslow.

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Navajo Nation Science Fair attracts 792 participants

Navajo Nation Vice President encourages students aim high

On March 1, Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez encouraged the next generation of Navajo scientists to reach higher and accomplish their goals during a speech that wrapped up the final day of the Navajo Nation Science Fair, held at Red Rock State Park.

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Holbrook High’s Future Business Leaders place at regional conference

On Feb. 3, the Holbrook High School Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) traveled to the Region 2 Conference at the Arizona State University Polytechnic Campus in Mesa.

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NPS, tribes share vision of intercultural heritage at Grand Canyon’s Desert View

Located at the southeast edge of Grand Canyon National Park, the Desert View Watchtower rises high above the Colorado River — for many, it’s the first glimpse they get of the park. It’s also an area of great cultural significance, and as such, the National Park Service is planning a facelift for the area.

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Hopi Jr/Sr High considers serenity garden for school

Preston Clocksin, Hopi Jr/Sr High School’s first climate coach, has proposed starting a serenity garden. The idea has become popular with several students and staff who heard about the proposal.

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Holbrook students qualify for robotics competition

Holbrook High School students Devin Etsitty and Ambros Jackson qualified for the AIA VEX Arizona State Championship at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Institute March 2 and 3.

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Holbrook High’s welding team takes home third place

Holbrook High School welding fabrication team members Ryan Martin, Devin Etsitty and Destiny Salazar competed in the USA Regional Skills Day .

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Tuba City and Moencopi tackle school gun threats

Law enforcement, school officials, community discuss how to better prepare school facilities

A capacity crowd turned out March 6 at the Warrior Pavilion in Tuba City to hear from law enforcement and school officials about threats made to Tuba City Junior High and other reservation schools in recent weeks.

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Who should run the Indian Health Service?

Who should run the Indian Health Service? Not “who” exactly, but what kind of leader? What kind of skills and experience would be the most useful?

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Filmmaker Kody Dayish, arrested for sexual assault

A filmmaker accused of sexual assault was released on a personal recognizance bond March 5 during an advisement hearing in District Court.

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Claims of better tribal school oversight draw lawmakers’ skepticism

A Bureau of Indian Education official told lawmakers Feb. 14 that his agency is making strong improvements in the oversight of tribal schools, despite a long history of problems and proposed cuts to the bureau’s budget.

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Fallen Navajo police officers to be honored by Nation with new memorial

The Navajo Nation is moving forward on a proposed memorial to honor the 14 Navajo police officers who have died in the line of duty since 1949.

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Women go public regarding Sherman Alexie sexual harassment allegations

Three women come forward on NPR about their experiences with Sherman Alexie, allegations include comments, intimidation and sexual manipulation

After issuing a public statement and apology last week admitting he had “harmed others,” Native American writer Sherman Alexie has lost a significant degree of credibility as three women have made statements publicly on National Public Radio (NPR) alleging sexual misconduct.

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Navajo Indian Irrigation Project subcommittee meets with House and Senate members

During a policy roundtable discussion held at Arizona State University’s Tempe campus March 9, Navajo Indian Irrigation Project (NIIP) members advocated to the Western Caucus Foundation for funding for the project.

Tuesday, March 6

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Letter to the editor: Tribal families have the most to lose when NGS shuts down

Strong families create healthy communities and a vibrant Nation. Yet it is increasingly clear that tribal families have the most to lose if Navajo Generating Station is shut down a quarter century before its time.

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Around the Rez: week of March 7

Upcoming news and events on the Hopi and Navajo reservations

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Winslow Chamber of Commerce holds annual dinner March 2

The Winslow Chamber of Commerce held its annual dinner March 2 at the Winslow Visitor Center.

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Importance of Native journalists in the media emphasized to Hopi students

Jenni Monet, a Native American advanced reporting teacher at the University of Arizona (UofA) Journalism School, told visiting Hopi High media students that reporters need to tell the truth and not be advocates for any given position.

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Kevin Locke, of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, to be featured at Holbrook

Kevin Locke, a National Heritage Award fellow and World Ambassador from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, entertains, educates, engages and empowers a very inspiring and much needed global message of unity and oneness to children of all ages across the world.

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Page defeats Monument Valley 41-34 to win fifth state championship title

“It hasn’t hit me yet, I’m just so overwhelmed right now with emotions,” said Ryan Whitehorse, Page Lady Sand Devils head coach, shortly after winning Page’s fifth state title, a 41 - 34 triumph over the Lady Mustangs of Monument Valley.

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Shiprock eliminates St. Michaels 63-35 at New Mexico 4A state tournament

The road to repeat as state champions is not easy; it starts with winning the first game of the 2018 New Mexico 4A state tournament, which the Shiprock Lady Chieftains did when they defeated the Lady Horsemen of St. Michaels 63-35.

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Revisiting history — Treaty of 1868 unveiled in D.C.

150 year old treaty released Navajo people from federal captivity; original treaty unveiled in Washington D.C.

On Feb. 20, as a part of the Nation-to-Nation Exhibition, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) unveiled the original Treaty of 1868, which released the Navajo people from federal captivity, allowing them to return to their traditional homeland.

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Feral horse hunt on Navajo Nation cancelled

President Russell Begaye oppposes horse hunting for population control; advocates for alternative management plan

The growing population of feral horses on the Navajo Nation is a problem that cannot be ignored, but it will not be resolved with a horse hunt, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said.

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FBI Director Christopher Wray addresses public safety with Navajo leaders

Navajo leadership met with the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Christopher Wray, March 2, to discuss issues relating to crime on the Navajo Nation including human trafficking, federal trust relationship, data sharing and school shootings.

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Begaye allocates $6.3 million for Navajo Head Start operations

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said he will approve emergency legislation allocating $6.3 million to ensure Navajo Head Start operations continue.

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House gives final OK to bill extending AMBER alerts to Indian Country

The House gave final approval Feb. 26 to a bill that will give tribes direct access to funds that allows them to quickly post AMBER alerts over text messaging, radio and television to counties within reservation borders.

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Baseball and softball season begins in Winslow with losses for Bulldogs against Blue Ridge

The Winslow High School baseball season has started under the direction of coach Art Griffith, who has been coaching baseball at Winslow High for 49 years.

Friday, March 2

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Numerous threats prompt closures at Tuba City schools

Community meeting March 6 at Warrior Pavilion to discuss recent threats to Tuba City schools and what to do next

TUBA CITY, Ariz. — With a rash of social media threats to reservation schools in the past week, the Navajo Nation president urged parents and teachers to support students’ emotional and mental health needs as national school violence impacts local Native kids.