Stories for November 2018


Friday, November 30

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High court rules against Hopi Tribe in snowmaking challenge

The Hopi Tribe has lost a legal battle against snowmaking on a northern Arizona mountain where tribal members made frequent pilgrimages to gather plants and water for ceremonial use long before a ski resort existed.

Tuesday, November 27

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Letter to the editor: Skiing is a privilege, not a right, in the high desert

I was privileged to grow up skiing on that mountain (the San Francisco Peaks); I had a season pass for 16 years, but when Snowbowl decided the recreation of the privileged affluent class of society (yes, me) was more important than respecting the Native culture and spirituality, I decided that I didn’t want to participate in 21st century colonialism.

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Around the Rez: week of Nov. 28

Upcoming news and events around the Hopi and Navajo reservations.

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Christmas Parade lights up Winslow

Winslow celebrated its 72nd Christmas Parade Nov. 17.

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Winslow boys win, girls lose against Flagstaff in high school basketball

The Winslow Bulldogs boys’ basketball team defeated the Flagstaff Eagles in Flagstaff Nov. 20 by a score of 63-47.

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Indigenous peoples denied access to sacred site as ski area opens with treated sewage

Approximately 20 people gathered to offer prayers in the early morning Nov. 16 as Arizona Snowbowl ski area opened with snow made from treated sewage water.

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News anchor says it’s time for young voters to decide the future for themselves

Steve Irvin, longtime newscaster and anchor on Channel 15, told journalism students that journalism is an important part of democracy. Irvin served as the keynote speaker Nov. 6 at the Arizona Interscholastic Press Association Conference at ASU in Tempe.

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Supaman impresses with hip-hop and Native dancing

Supaman releases new video, 'Miracle,' with Grammy nominated Maimouna Youssef

His birth name is Christian Parrish Takes the Gun from the Apsaalooke (Crow) Nation in Montana; his professional name is Supaman.

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Miss Lori Piestewa Post 80 Princess announced at Hopi High School

Aubrey Harvey, a sophomore at Hopi High School, was recently selected as Miss Lori Piestewa Post 80 Princess.

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Body cameras issued to Navajo Police Department in act of accountability

The public may notice a new device on their officers in the new year — the Navajo Police Department will be equipping officers with body cameras.

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Violence burdens ‘bone and skin’: Indigenous women run in prayer to outpace pain

The sun rose into a violet-tinted sky as dozens of O’odham and Piipaash women prepared to leave for the last leg of a 53-mile journey spent in prayer for missing and murdered indigenous women.

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Begaye signs contract to help protect rangeland, pastures against drought

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye invested in protections against the impacts of extreme drought on the Navajo Nation’s pastures, rangelands and forage acres when he signed a contract to extend the Nation’s crop insurance coverage Nov. 11.

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Report: Crimes against Native women vastly underreported in urban areas

On Nov. 14, 1992, a Native American woman was found murdered in Tucson, and 26 years later her name is still not known.

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Begaye and Bates meet with White House officials to advocate for NGS

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and Navajo Nation Council Speaker LoRenzo Bates met with top White House officials Nov. 14 to advocate and reaffirm their support for the continued operations of the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) and Kayenta Mine.

Navajo Nation approves legislation to protect Navajo children from human trafficking

On Nov. 19, the Health, Education, and Human Services Committee approved legislation which seeks to amend the Navajo Nation Department of Family Services’ 2018 Title IV-E Guidelines and Handbook.

Hopitutuqaiki, The Hopi School, receives $32,000 grant to continue programs

Hopitutuqaiki, The Hopi School, recently received a $32,000 grant from the First Nations Development Institute of Longmont, Colorado.

Bill to hold elected officials accountable passes

The Navajo Nation Council convened a special session Nov. 20 to consider legislation that seeks to amend the Navajo Election Code.

Tuesday, November 20

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Navajo Technical University recognized as one of best colleges in New Mexico

Navajo Technical University was recognized as one of the Best Colleges in New Mexico in 2018 according to, a provider of higher education research and college planning resources.

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Around the Rez: week of Nov. 21

Upcoming news and events around the Hopi and the Navajo reservations

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ASU women learn love of hoops runs deep on Navajo Reservation

For many on the Navajo Reservation, basketball means everything.

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Photo highlights: Winslow Residence Hall Pageant

The Winslow Residential Hall holds a pageant Nov. 15 to select Mr. and Ms. Winslow Residential Hall for the 2018-2019 school year.

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Bridging the distance through art at the Museum of Northern Arizona

Transcending Duality: The Sante Fe Studio Style exhibition is on display at the Museum of Northern Arizona until Feb. 18.

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Bull Riding Classic honors life and legacy of rider Kenny Young

The 18th annual Kenny Young’s Bull Riding Classic Nov. 9-11 at the Kenny and Emily Young (K.E.Y.) family ranch held a special significance when it was rescheduled to honor the memory of Kenny Young Jr. on what would have been his 42nd birthday, Nov. 10.

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Diné artists show work at Gemini Gallery in Winslow

Winslow’s Gemini Gallery hosted four Navajo artists Nov. 2.

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Waiting on first: Hopi cross country teams take second place at state meet

Hopi High girls and boys cross country teams both finished second in the Division 4 state meet at Cave Creek Golf Course in north Phoenix Nov. 10.

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Hopis conclude first phase of testimony in Little Colorado River adjudication

Closing arguments set for Dec. 17 and 18

Hopi witnesses and experts concluded their testimony recently in the first phase of a water rights trial that is both one of the longest-running court cases in Arizona history and also potentially will have the biggest impact on the future of the Hopi.

Winslow City Council approves human rights ordinance after lengthy public discussion

The Winslow City Council met Nov. 13 and adopted a human rights ordinance with a vote of 4-3.

Begaye disagrees with Medicaid’s work requirement

On Nov. 15, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye took a hard stance against a Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) policy that imposes work requirements on individuals as a condition of eligibility for health insurance.

Tuesday, November 13

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Photo highlights: Native American fashion show and pageant

Students from Winslow Residential Hall modeled their dress in a Native American fashion show and pageant.

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2018-2019 Ms. and Mr. Winslow Native American

Crishell Naseyoma was named Ms. Winslow Native American and Cedric Jimmie was named Mr. Winslow Native American at the Winslow Performing Arts Center Nov. 7.

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Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs kick off basketball season Nov. 20 against Flagstaff Eagles

The Winslow Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs will start their 2018-19 basketball seasons at Flagstaff Nov. 20 against the Flagstaff Eagles and Lady Eagles.

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Federal Judge blocks Keystone XL Pipeline; indigenous Nations respond

Two days into his presidency, Donald Trump signed an executive order to approve the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and Dakota Access Pipeline.

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Editorial: Navajo Hopi Observer editor wins state news photography awards

Navajo-Hopi Observer editor Katherine Locke was recently recognized with a second place award for news photography by the Arizona Newspapers Association (ANA).

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Guest Column: Building a love for math and science starts early

Introducing math and science to young children doesn’t have to be complicated.

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Around the Rez: week of Nov. 14

Upcoming events in and around the Navajo and Hopi reservations.

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Native women have new role in D.C.

Congresswoman-elect Deb Haaland was elected Nov. 6 to New Mexico’s 1st Congress District — one of two Native American women elected to Congress.

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Navajo Nation Council Speaker LoRenzo Bates delivers Veterans Day message recognizing military members

On Nov. 11, Navajo Nation Speaker Lorenzo Bates delivered the following message addressing veterans and members of the Navajo Nattion to honor veterans on Veterans Day.

Hopi High boys and girls place at state cross country races

Hopi High placed second in both the boys and girls cross country races in the Division 1 state meet Nov. 10.

Hopi High media students raise money for trip to Anaheim

Hopi High School radio broadcast, news video and journalism clubs are raising money so they can attend the National Journalism Education Association conference in Anaheim, California, April 25-27.

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Hopi High students take home awards at state journalism conference

Hopi High was the only reservation school to win media awards and was one of the smallest schools represented at the Arizona Interscholastic Press Association Conference Nov. 6.

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Northern Edge interim general manger is Navajo Gaming’s supernova

Positive personality, can-do attitude, ability to get things done helps Kayenta woman succeed

Michele Landavazo is an Indian gaming supernova more than she is a mere rising star.

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Ballot shortage at polling sites causes delay, votes to be canvassed

During the recent Navajo Nation General Election the Navajo Board of Election Supervisors became aware of a ballot shortage at a number of chapters.

Begaye vetoes intended change to veterans council, public input to be considered

On Nov. 2, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye vetoed legislation intended to change the Navajo Nation Veterans Advisory Council (NNVAC) to a board of commissioners, citing the Eastern Agency Veterans Organization’s strong opposition to the bill.

Wednesday, November 7

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Prop. 127: Voters reject drastic reshaping of Arizona’s energy future

Arizona voters have rejected Proposition 127, an initiative that would have required the state’s regulated utilities to get 50 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2030.

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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey gets second term in Republican sweep

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey was re-elected Nov. 6 to a second term in a Republican sweep of many statewide offices, beating Democrat underdog and education professor David Garcia.

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*Update* - Jonathan Nez elected president of Navajo Nation

First Native American women elected to U.S. House of Representatives

It was an exciting night for Native Americans and for the Navajo Nation as two Native women were elected to U.S. Congress for the first time ever and as Jonathan Nez was elected to be the next president of the Navajo Nation.

Tuesday, November 6

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November proclaimed Native American Month in Winslow

On Oct. 24 Winslow mayor and city council proclaimed November as Native American Month in Winslow.

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Nominations for the 2019 Barbara Chester Award now open

The Hopi Foundation announced the opening of nominations for the 7th International Barbara Chester Award to Clinicians Treating Survivors of Torture and Abuse.

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Around the Rez: week of Nov. 7

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

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Winslow Art council hosts Big,Tiny Art Show

The Winslow Art Council’s Big Tiny Art Show took place Nov. 3 at Winslow Elks Club Hall.

WIFA announces $5,100,000 loan closing for the city of Winslow

A $5.1 million loan with the city of Winslow will be used to replace and upgrade infrastructure at the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

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Community information: New rules for recycling in Winslow

Acceptable items in the recycling stream for the city of Winslow is changing to only include clean/dry paper, cardboard and aluminum and steel food and beverage cans.

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Winslow dedicates sports field to Valentin Lopez

On Nov. 3, a multipurpose athletic field was named and dedicated to the memory of longtime Winslow resident Valentin Lopez.

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Winslow Bulldogs eliminated from playoffs

The Northwest Christian Crusaders defeated the Winslow Bulldogs 49-6 in the first round of the 3A Conference Football Playoffs Nov. 2 in Phoenix.

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Latoya Largo determined to help bring funding to Hopi Jr/Sr High

Latoya Largo will search and apply for grants whether they are federal, state or private. She is especially interested in funding for special education, after-school and science programs.

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Obituary: William Ray Engvall

William Ray Engvall, M.D. (Bill) was born May 8, 1934, in Temple, Texas, at Scott & White Hospital. He passed away October 31, 2018, from complications of Parkinson’s Disease.

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'Dawnland' documents untold story of Native American child removal in the U.S.

“Dawnland” is premiering on the PBS series Independent Lens, as part of November Native American Heritage Month programming.

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Holbrook High School October Students of the Month

Holbrook High School recently announed the October Students of the Month.

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Greyhills Academy graduate reaches for the stars at Utah State University

Joaquin Kootswatewa dreams realized with help of self-advocacy class at Greyhills Academy

Joaquin is following his passion for the skies by studying astronomy and aeronautics at Utah State University this fall. A few months ago, he graduated from Greyhills Academy High School in Tuba City.

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“Öngtupqa:" Hopi connections to Grand Canyon

“Öngtupqa” takes inside look at Hopi musical and cultural connection to Desert View Watchtower with new CD and documentary

A trio of musicians with strong connections to the Grand Canyon, have made an acoustic soundscape intended to honor the surrounding landscape through music created on-site at the Desert View Watchtower.

ACA open enrollment begins with lower prices, more choices in Arizona

WASHINGTON – Open enrollment began Nov. 1 for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, with most Arizonans seeing more choices and better prices, a sharp change from recent years when the state was the poster child for Obamacare problems.

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Navajo Police apprehend homicide suspect in Tuba City

On Oct. 31, the Navajo Nation Police Department responded to an attempted kidnpaping in the Cowsprings area of Tuba City.

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Navajo Nation considers buying coal-fired power plant on its land

As states shy away from coal-fired power, a northern Arizona tribe is exploring the purchase of a coal plant on its land.

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Archaeologist say state parks destroyed Native American antiquity sites

An archaeologist says Arizona State Parks and Trails deliberately destroyed Native American antiquity sites during construction activity at Lake Havasu State Park.

Navajo to appeal dismissal of case against Wells Fargo

The Navajo Nation is appealing the dismissal of a lawsuit it filed against Wells Fargo, accusing the company of engaging in predatory and unlawful practices.

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Court gives tribe, environmentalists new chance to fight uranium mine

A federal appeals court said Oct. 25 that the Havasupai tribe and environmental advocates can challenge an existing uranium mine on land near the Grand Canyon where mining was recently banned.

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Missing in Arizona Day: Searching for loved ones in bones and DNA

It’s grim, heartbreaking and hopeful work.

Tuba City felon sentenced for robbery and assault

A convicted felon from Tuba City has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison.

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Delegate Phelps joins Leupp in honoring women veterans

On Nov. 3, Council Delegate Walter Phelps attended a Veterans Day celebration hosted by the Leupp Chapter in honor of women veterans from Leupp and surrounding communities.