Stories for May 2018

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Thursday, May 31

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Red flag warning covers much of northern, western Arizona

Much of northern and western Arizona will be under a red flag warning issued by the National Weather Service for Thursday due to dangerous wildfire conditions.

Wednesday, May 30

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Sixth annual Blues and Brews returns to Flagstaff June 9

On June 9, thousands of people will descend on Flagstaff to enjoy the cool air and world class blues artists at Arizona’s largest blues festival.

Tuesday, May 29

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Editorial: Navajo-Hopi Observer remembers 2,305 journalists who have died

More than 2,300 journalists in recent history have given their lives in pursuit of news. On June 4, journalists around the world will pause to remember these individuals.

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Around the Rez: week of May 30

Upcoming news and events in and around the Hopi and Navajo reservations

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Winslow High School students honored at Elks banquet

The Winslow Elks Club holds its annual awards banquet for students from Winslow High School May 2.

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Winslow seniors recognized for academic achievement

On May 23, Winslow High School graduates were recognized for their academic and athletic mastery.

Winslow City Council update

The Winslow City Council passed a resolution approved Winslow Housing Authority’s utility allowance schedules for the year.

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Native warriors remembered during 1,200 mile motorcycle honor ride to Window Rock

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye honored fallen Native warriors May 19 during the 16th annual Lori Piestewa Navajo-Hopi Honor Ride, a four-day, 1,200-mile motorcycle run across four states that ended Sunday in Window Rock, Arizona.

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Hopi Jr. High keynote speaker: retaining culture is important

Keynote speaker Detroit James spoke about how the habits he picked up from his culture helped him deal with tough times during his first college year. He said he went through many breakdowns in college.

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Page trash program draws 1,200 volunteers

For the 37th consecutive year, an army of some 1,200 Page and LeChee citizens fanned out across and around their mesa-top town to celebrate Earth Day April 28 in a way that has become a local, award-winning tradition.

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Running for Resilience commemorates 150th anniversary of Navajo Treaty

Vice President Jonathan Nez ran to support Navajo resiliency and wellness as he joined a group of runners who are making the trek from Fort Sumner, New Mexico to Window Rock, Arizona.

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Woman falls off cliff at Lake Powell

Malesta Littleman, 36, of Lechee, was pronounced dead at Banner Page Hospital

Authorities have released the name of an Arizona woman who fell off a cliff into Lake Powell May 20 and later died at a hospital in Page.

AZ congressman introduces draft legislation to keep NGS open

The U.S. House of Representatives introduced draft legislation May 9 designed to keep Navajo Generating Station operating past December 2019.

Friday, May 25

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Kayleigh Paddock named co-salutatorian at Tuba City High School

Kayleigh Paddock was named co-salutatorian at Tuba City High School.

Thursday, May 24

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Native American couture designer, Loren Aragon, commissioned to design gown for Walt Disney World

Couture gown to represent Native American culture of the Southwest region of North America

The leaked announcement on social media announced the Native American couture designer, Loren Aragon, owner of Aconav, has been commissioned to design a couture gown for Walt Disney World to represent the Native American cultures of Southwest region of North America.

Tuesday, May 22

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Nation's feral horse problem brought to forefront after recent death of nearly 200 horses

How could the Navajo Nation, which considers the horse sacred, let nearly 200 horses die near Gray Mountain and what is going to be done about it in the future? Who is responsible?

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Hopi High remains in upheaval: 18 employees, teachers not returning for 2018-19 school year

The Hopi Board of Education (HBE), which recently replaced the Hopi Jr/Sr High School (HJSHS) Governing Board, agreed to take no further action on contract decisions for next school year.

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Coconino County enacts Stage III fire restrictions

Coconino County will be entering Stage III fire restrictions starting May 23.

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Run for the Wall veterans roll through Winslow

Two hundred and fifty motorcycles passed through Winslow on Old Route 66 en-route to Washington DC and the Vietnam Memorial May 17.

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Flags placed at veterans graves in Winslow

Early in 2018 American flags began appearing in Desert View Cemetery on Fleming Street in Winslow.

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Letter: Time for new leadership on Navajo Nation

President Russell Begay and Vice President Johnathan Nez are flat-out terrible leaders, and that has been on display since their inauguration.

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Around the Rez: week of May 23

Upcoming events on the Navajo and Hopi reservations and surrounding communities.

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Winslow Dorm hosts Native craft show

On May 11, the Winslow Residential Dorm hosted a Native Crafts Show.

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New dental clinic opens at Indian Health Care in Winslow

On May 4, a grand opening was held for a new dental building at Winslow Indian Health Care Center.

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Apache and Navajo counties enter Stage III restrictions

With fire severity extraordinarily high and much of Arizona in extreme drought conditions, the Department of Forestry and Fire Management will close state lands in Apache and Navajo counties to recreational use.

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Winslow coaches prepare teams for summer sports camps

Winslow High School coaches have all their athletes doing something to prepare for the next season.

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Tom McCauley wins close election for mayor May 15

A new mayor and three new council members were elected following the May 15 general election in Winslow. Ricky Jackson, Samantha Crisp and Robin Boyd were elected as councilmembers and Tom McCauley was elected as mayor.

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Valedictorian and salutatorian named at Tuba City High School

Tuba City High School (TCHS) is a rich melting pot of ethnic cultures that includes varied tribal and non-tribal members who support, show encouragement and loyalty to one another at both the student and staff level.

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Armed forces members honored at annual Lori Piestewa honor ride

On May 17, during the opening ceremony for the 16th annual Lori Piestewa Navajo Hopi Honor Ride, Speaker LoRenzo Bates and Council Delegate Tom Chee laid a wreath in remembrance of fallen men and women of the Armed Forces.

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Teens’ experience shows campus reality for some Native Americans

The teenage brothers — both shy and Native American — had just entered a recreation center on a tour of their dream university when a parent in the group stepped away to call 911.

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Hopi school board members question Tribal council after recent removal

Two members of the recently removed Hopi Jr/Sr School (HJSHS)Governing Board questioned why the Hopi Tribal Council removed them without getting their side of the story and also asked if the tribal council broke their own policy in the process.

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Campaign season opens for Navajo Nation presidency

Navajos seeking to become president of the Navajo Nation, the country's largest American Indian reservation, began submitting applications May 17.

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Zuni Fest kicks off heritage festivals in Flagstaff

Museum of Northern Arizona highlights extraordinary women during summer heritage festivals; Zuni Fest May 26-27

Women dominate the 28th annual Zuni Festival of Arts & Culture May 26-27, part of a theme woven through all the Museum of Northern Arizona Heritage Festivals this summer.

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Gov. Doug Ducey open to allowing statewide gaming

Gov. Doug Ducey is open to the idea of allowing Arizonans to place bets on sporting events at 55 off-track betting sites around the state.

Thursday, May 17

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Board suspends driving rights for Navajo leader’s daughter

A Navajo Nation board has suspended driving privileges for the daughter of the tribal president, weeks after she was suspected of driving while intoxicated.

Tuesday, May 15

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Guest column: Navajo-Hopi Honor Rider Terry Lewis looks back at time spent as a rider

A quiet, humble, Navajo veteran shares a glimpse of his life with me, shortly after finishing up with a Navajo Hopi Honor Riders (NHHR) meeting at the Hogan Restaurant, next to the old trading post in Tuba City.

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Around the Rez: week of May 16

Upcoming news and events in and around the Hopi and Navajo reservations.

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Tuba City Starlings win Arizona Region of USA Volleyball

Coach Harlan Barlow and his Tuba City Starlings 17’s won the 17U Arizona Region of USA Volleyball, Championship Division.

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Winslow elections set for May 15

On April 26 Winslow, NAACP hosted candidates for city offices at the Faith Temple Church in Winslow.

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Corn is Life relay run from Winslow to Sipalovi

On May 5-6, the Corn is Life relay run started in Winslow and ended in Teesto.

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Arizona Cardinals third round draft picks broadcast from Winslow

On April 28, the Arizona Cardinals football team broadcast their day three draft picks from Winslow Arizona.

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Good Morning Winslow: Change Point cares for behavioral health needs in Navajo County

On May 2, during a monthly mixer the Winslow Chamber of Commerce highlighted Change Point. Nathan Updike was spokesperson for Change Point, explaining that the organization has served Navajo County since 1966 with behavioral health services.

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Sahuarita Lady Mustangs defeat Winslow Lady Bulldogs to take the 3A Conference

The Sahuarita Lady Mustangs defeated the Winslow lady Bulldogs 10-4 in the 3A Conference Championship Game in Tempe May 8 to take the title.

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Dannish filmmaker and producer announces auditions at Hopi High

Danish filmmaker Jon Bang Carlsen and Native American film producer Jhane Myers visited Hopi High School April 24 to let students know about their upcoming project and let them know they will be coming back soon for auditions.

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Tuba City Junior High finalizes NASA Planets student projects

A special after school program, Planets ( Planetery Learning that Advances the Nexus of Engineering Technology and Science) at Tuba City Junior High held its final student presentation May 10.

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Welding their way to a new future: Navajo Technical University celebrates 11 new welders

As the 2018 spring semester concludes at Navajo Technical University, 11 welding technology majors will earn their certification with the American Welding Society (AWS) proving their competence in the highest industry standards for professional welders.

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Hopi High media students Gabe Fredericks and Kiyahno Edgewater accepted to ASU media camp

Hopi High video students Gabriel Fredericks and Kiyahno Edgewater have been accepted to attend the Summer Journalism Institute at Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University in downtown Phoenix June 3-15.

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Window Rock senior to attend Stanford

Jaden Redhair, a senior at Window Rock High School, will attend Stanford University, pursuing a degree in electrical engineering. He was also awarded the Wells Fargo Academic Leader Scholarship.

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Coconino Supervisor Lena Fowler wins prestigious EDDE award

Coconino County Supervisor Lena Fowler has been named winner of an Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED) Economic Development Distinguished by Excellence (EDDE) Award.

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Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation celebrates hearing and speech month through May

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) and the Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation (TCRHCC) would like to present information about their audiology and speech therapy departments.

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Arizona Supreme Court agrees to hear Snowbowl lawsuit

The Arizona Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether the Hopi tribe can try to block the use of treated effluent to make snow on the San Francisco Peaks.

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Lack of resources leads to 'grim statistics' in Native schools

When President Lyndon Johnson laid out a set of sweeping plans for Native American education 50 years ago, from preschool to college, one of the most immediate goals was enrolling 10,000 tribal youth in Head Start programs.

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Trump administration supports changing Indian health programs

Change to Indian health programs could sabotage Native treaty rights

The Trump administration is supporting a major policy shift on Indian health programs which could result in a loss of millions of dollars to the Indian Health Service while also sabotaging treaty rights.

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Ex-Hopi school superintendent receives 2 years for embezzlement

A former superintendent who embezzled nearly $1 million from a Hopi school is going to prison.

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Navajo Council invests $100 mil for waterlines, electric and capital projects

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye signed legislation May 8 to invest $100 million from the Sihasin Fund for Navajo communities and families across the Nation to receive power and water lines and other capital projects.

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BIA regional director reassigned, Navajo Nation opposes reorganization

The Navajo Nation strongly objects to the Department of the Interior’s planned reorganization of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and strongly opposes the reassignment of the BIA’s Navajo Regional Director Sharon Pinto.

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Council honors law enforcement officers for inaugural 'Navajo Nation Police Officers Day' May 18

The Navajo Nation Council honors and thanks all men and women law enforcement officers, including those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, as the Navajo Nation recognizes the inaugural “Navajo Nation Police Officer Day” May 18.

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Navajo Route 20 and $3 billion road infrastructure package under review by Budget and Finance Committee

On May 3, the Budget and Finance Committee received an update report regarding Navajo Nation road infrastructure projects, including Navajo Route 20, which was used when Highway 89 collapsed outside of Page.

ADOT replacing US 160 Chinle Wash bridge on Navajo Nation

ADOT warns of 30 minute delays

A $6 million Arizona Department of Transportation project, which started May 7, is creating a new US 160 bridge at Chinle Wash in northeastern Arizona.

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Daughter of tribal president faces drunk driving charges

The Navajo Nation president’s daughter is facing drunken driving charges after authorities say she struck another vehicle south of Flagstaff.

Sunday, May 13

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Hopi Tribal Council removes Hopi Jr./Sr. High School governing board May 9

Council appoints Hopi Board of Education to serve as interim governing board; first interim board meeting May 14 at 6:30 p.m.

The Hopi Tribal Council voted unanimously May 9 to remove the Hopi Jr/Sr High School Governing Board and appoint the Hopi Board of Education to serve as the interim governing board.

Friday, May 11

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30-acre wildfire reported near Twin Arrows

Firefighters are suppressing a 30-acre wildfire east of Flagstaff. The fire is located north of Interstate 40 at milepost 218, near Twin Arrows Casino.

Tuesday, May 8

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National Nurses Week celebrates nurses

In honor of National Nurses Week, May 6-12, the Navajo-Hopi Observer sat down with nurses from Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation and Winslow Indian Healthcare Center and asked them to share their experiences and why they chose a career in nursing.

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Letter to the editor: CAP (Central Arizona Project) thrives while Hopi economy is stagnant

Central Arizona Project’s (CAP) delivery of Colorado River water from 1986 through 2010 has generated in excess of $1 trillion ($1,090,000,000,000) of Arizona’s gross state product (GSP), according to a study recently commissioned by CAP with the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

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Around the Rez: week of May 9

Upcoming news and events around the Hopi and Navajo reservations.

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New dental health clinic opens at Winslow Indian Heathcare Center

The grand opening of the new dental building at Winslow Indian Healthcare Center took place May 4.

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Lady Bulldogs defeat Lady Dust Devils in semi-final; Bulldogs ousted by Casteel Colts

The Winslow Lady Bulldogs defeated the River Valley Lady Dust Devils 12-2 in the semifinals and will meet the Sahuarita Lady Mustangs, 14-4 winners over the Empire Lady Ravens, at Tempe May 8 for the Conference Championship.

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Future takes flight: Navajo youths co-pilot planes over the Grand Canyon (video)

Cadet Amaris Tracy climbed into the cockpit of a small plane, her face calm but her hands shaking slightly.

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Dozens of wild horses found dead amid Southwest drought

Navajo Nation officials covering the site with lime to help with decomposition and scavengers

Off a northern Arizona highway surrounded by pastel-colored desert is one of the starkest examples of drought's grip on the American Southwest: Dozens of dead horses surrounded by cracked earth, swirling dust and a ribbon of water that couldn't quench their thirst.

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Walk/run against domestic violence May 12 in Keams Canyon

The third annual walk/run against domestic violence will be held May 12 at 6 a.m., starting at the Choyou residence in Keams Canyon.

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Hopi Tribe, others sue over power purchases for coal plant

The Hopi Tribe and coal mining groups on May 1 sued the operator of an Arizona aqueduct system to try and keep a coal-fired power plant running beyond 2019.

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Holbrook’s Future Business Leaders attend state conference

The Holbrook Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) traveled to the FBLA State Leadership Conference held at the Westin La Paloma Resort in Tucson from April 4-6.

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Email reveals potential buyer for Navajo coal fired plant

The potential investors of a coal-fired power plant in northern Arizona have been identified as a New York-based firm that focuses on distressed companies and one of its subsidiaries in the utility business.

Monday, May 7

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Hopi Jr/Sr High faculty, admininstration under investigation by Hopi Tribal Council

The Hopi Tribe’s Health and Education Committee (H&E) will give its findings to the Hopi Tribal Council at 10 a.m. May 8 about an investigation it launched into Hopi Jr/Sr High School.

Tuesday, May 1

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Coffee with a Cop: Winslow Police visit with residents

Winslow Police Department engage with community members regularly.

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Photo highlights: Earth Day in Winslow hosted by Community Garden

On April 21, Earth Day was welcomed by Winslow Community Garden and the Winslow Library at the Visitors Center.

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Talia White of Santa Fe’s IAIA shares art opportunities with Hopi students

Talia White, spokeswoman for the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, recently visited Hopi High to tell the students about their art school.

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Air Force ROTC commissions Jonathan Witherspoon as second lieutenant

One of the Air Force’s newest members to its officer corps is continuing the Navajo Nation’s proud heritage of military service.

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Native American tribes partner with Kaibab Forest to protect cultural resources on Bill Williams

Kaibab National Forest is partnering with Native American tribes to protect and restore cultural resources on Bill Williams Mountain, in northern Arizona, as it moves forward with a multi-year restoration project that will thin more than 15,00 acres of dense vegetation on the mountain.

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May 14 run to highlight Navajo resilience

On May 14, Vice President Jonathan Nez will begin a 400-mile run from Fort Sumner, New Mexico, to Window Rock, in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Treaty of 1868 and the Diné people’s return to their homelands.

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Tuba City and Window Rock show support for #RedforEd

Teachers walk out demanding higher pay for teachers and support personnel and increase in funding levels

About 50 Tuba City teachers, parents, children and community members gathered at the corner of Main Street and Edgewater Drive in uptown Tuba City April 26 to show solidarity in the #RedforEd movement.

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Around the Rez: week of May 2

Upcoming news and events around the Hopi and Navajo reservations.

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Bulldogs win their way into tourney; Lady Bulldogs defeat Lady Sabercats in first round

The Winslow Bulldogs won their way into the Arizona State 3A Conference Tournament with a 4-1 victory over the Valley Christian Trojans in Chandler April 27.

Navajo tribe marks anniversary of return to homeland

A long-lost original copy of a historic treaty signed in 1868 by leaders of one of the nation’s largest American Indian tribes and the U.S. government will go on display later this year as the Navajo Nation commemorates a dark, but significant chapter of history.