HIGHLAND, Calif. - The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians announced Feb. 8 that the Hopi Tribe and the Navajo Nation will each receive $50,000 for emergency relief operations as they continue efforts to provide food, water, heating resources and other basic supplies to tribal members following devastating winter storms that swept through the reservations recently. Tribal members residing in remote and isolated areas of northern Arizona have been further hampered by roads that become impassable when hit by storms of this magnitude.
The Hopi and Navajo tribes were declared disaster areas by the state of Arizona. Often, the vastness of these reservation lands make it difficult to ensure that tribal members are provided adequate supplies and equipment to make it through periods of isolation during winter months.
"We were moved to act from a deep concern for the children and elders of the Hopi and Navajo tribes, who have been left vulnerable by the storm," said Chairman James Ramos. "As tribes we are closely tied together socially, culturally and politically and believe that we should support each other in times of need."
San Manuel is part of a communications network among native nations and monitors unfolding situations which adversely affect tribes to determine if it can help.
"We are grateful for the consideration that the people of San Manuel have given to our situation here at Hopi," said Herman Honanie, Hopi Vice Chairman. "Our winters can sometimes be harsh. This year is a real challenge for our people. But the kindness and generosity of San Manuel will enable us respond to all those impacted by the winter storms, particularly those in the remote areas of the reservation."
San Manuel has a long history of supporting relief and economic recovery efforts of Indian tribes following natural disasters in its home state of California, along the Gulf Coast and Indian reservations across the United States. In 2008 San Manuel provided a $1 million donation to fund an economic recovery plan for the Havasupai Tribe inundated by flooding in the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
"This winter has brought difficulties and hardships on many of our people and communities on the Navajo Reservation," said Herman Shorty, Chairman of the Navajo Nation Commission on Emergency Management. "Times like this bring out the best in people and we thank the San Manuel Band for their generosity. We are blessed with such friends and stand united with other Indian nations when it comes to helping one another."
About the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
The San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians is a federally recognized American Indian tribe located near the city of Highland, Calif. The San Manuel reservation was established in 1891 and recognized as a sovereign nation with the right of self-government. Visit www.sanmanuel-nsn.gov for more information.