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Navajo Nation

Photo of students raising their hands in a classroom.
iStock

Thursday evening, January 2, 2020

A table displays many posters of missing Navajo people.
Courtesy Navajo Nation Missing Persons Updates

Salt Lake resident Cassandra Begay says her family left the Navajo Nation to escape violence on the reservation. But she wasn’t able to leave the issue behind. 

two ornaments with different designs hang from a tree branch. One is a starry sky and the other is turquoise and says “take pride of being indigenous” with a red handprint beneath it.
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

Twenty-four custom ornaments made the trip from Montezuma Creek to Washington, D.C. to adorn a Christmas tree across from the White House this holiday season. The tree is part of the ‘America Celebrates’ display, which includes the towering National Christmas Tree, and 56 smaller trees, representing every U.S. state and territory. 

Photo of Monument Valley in Utah.
Wikimedia Commons

GALLUP, N.M. —  When Tyrannus White, 41, went missing here in March, his parents ran into a dizzying maze as they sought help from law enforcement to find their son. 

 

Aerial view of houses located in valley among red rock formations.
istock / Alena Mozhjer

GALLUP, N.M. — Most people in the United States will receive a letter in the spring asking them to fill out the 2020 census online. But residents of the Navajo Nation will receive a paper questionnaire, hand-delivered to their door. That means the Census Bureau must recruit workers to visit every home on the reservation. 

Photo of women and men in military uniform holding open a large american flag, with a tipi in the background.
Russel Daniels / For KUER

MONUMENT VALLEY, Utah — Sitting in a white tipi below red sandstone buttes and spires, Navy veteran Misty Cly received a hero’s welcome in the form of a traditional healing ceremony.

Two women walk up to a house with dogs running around on red dirt ground.
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

There is only one measure on the ballot this year in San Juan County. It asks voters if they think the county should explore changing its form of government, which is currently a three-member commission. That could mean more commissioners and new districts. And that’s got some residents concerned. 

Photo of Dalene Redhorse holding a Google plus code sign.
Elaine Clark/KUER

SAN JUAN COUNTY — It’s a hot, October afternoon, and Dalene Redhorse is driving down an unnamed road on the Navajo Nation. In the backseat of her pickup, she’s got a bag of small blue signs that she’s delivering today. 

Photo of a Navajo man wearing a black cowboy hat stands in front of a sign that says "Indigenous People’s Day."
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

Students at Utah State University Blanding rose before dawn this morning to greet the sun with corn pollen in the Navajo tradition, before embarking on a 5k run to kick off the college’s first Indigenous People’s Day. 

A road with worn pavement and lots of patches.
Kate Groetzinger/KUER

SAN JUAN COUNTY -- As winter approaches, Navajo Nation residents in Utah say roads on the reservation are increasingly hazardous because of a lack of upkeep.

 

And they don’t know who to blame.

Two Navajo men face each other for a conversation during a commission meeting.
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

Following a five-hour mediation process on Friday, San Juan County has agreed to pay the Navajo Nation $2.6 million in attorney’s fees. The county is responsible for compensation after losing a voting rights case brought by the Nation in 2012. 

Photo of people marching at a rally.
Courtesy of Meskee Yanabah Yatsayte / Navajo Nation Missing Persons Updates

In response to advocates who say the Navajo Nation isn’t doing enough to help families looking for missing loved ones, the nation recently announced plans to improve missing persons investigations. 

Photo of San Juan County courthouse.
Ken Lund / Flickr Creative Commons

The San Juan County Commission voted unanimously on Monday to take no further action in a Native American voting rights case that led to the redistricting of the county in 2017. 

Photo of commissioners.
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

The San Juan County Commission met in Monument Valley on Tuesday to conduct its bimonthly meeting. It was the first time the commission has ever met on the Navajo Nation, according to Commissioner Willie Grayeyes. More than 50 people attended the meeting, around two-thirds of whom were Navajo. 

Photo of audience.
Courtesy Jolene Holgate/Missing and Murdered Dine Relatives Co-coordinator

Navajo Nation officials are working to increase efforts to track the number of tribal members who are missing and murdered, as federal legislation to mandate data collection lags in Congress.

Photo of solar panels in desert.
iStock.com / milehightraveler

The utility company in charge of powering the Navajo Nation, where roughly 10 percent live without power, is receiving a $94 million federal loan for two sprawling solar farms, U.S. Department of Agriculture officials announced Thursday.

Photo of San Juan County commission swearing in
Judy Fahys/KUER

MONTICELLO — In an historic first, Native Americans hold the majority on the San Juan County Commission following a packed swearing in ceremony Monday in Monticello.

Erik Neumann / KUER

The Navajo Nation on Tuesday elected a first-time tribal president who could use his new position to highlight tribal issues in Utah.

Photo of Grayeyes at canyon.
Erik Neumann / KUER

On a recent Sunday evening around dusk, Willie Grayeyes stood on a sagebrush and juniper-studded mesa, scanning the southeast Utah landscape. It was a place the Navajo Democrat’s family had lived for generations and where he’s hoping to be part of a political first.

Photo of Banally door knocking.
Erik Neumann / KUER

MONUMENT VALLEY, Utah — On a recent Monday morning, Tara Benally crept along the red clay of San Juan County Road 433 in her Chevy Equinox, in search of a rare find among the red rocks of this part of the Navajo Nation: prospective voters.

Claims Of Sexual Abuse Continue To Haunt LDS Church

Oct 1, 2018
Photo of Monement Valley.
Erik Neumann / KUER

This week The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meets in Salt Lake City for its bi-annual conference. Meanwhile a report in the Salt Lake Tribune says a new lawsuit claims the Church turned a blind eye to the sexual abuse of children in one of its programs.

Judy Fahys / KUER

A lawsuit announced this week in Salt Lake City focuses on a contested county commission seat, newly redrawn voting districts and a Navajo candidate well known for his opposition to shrinking the Bears Ears National Monument.

Kelsie Moore / KUER


Teacher turnover is a struggle for a lot of schools. A new teacher is hired, they teach for a year or two and then *poof* they’re gone. It’s often the worst at schools where poverty is high and student achievement is low, but an elementary school in the heart of Utah’s Monument Valley might have a solution.

Courtesy/Mark Maryboy

San Juan County is asking a federal court to finalize a recent decision on voting districts. County leaders want to appeal the ruling, as the county’s Native American majority applauds it.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

A new sexual abuse lawsuit was filed this week against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The plaintiff is the fourth member of the Navajo Nation to come forward since March with accusations of childhood abuse in the church’s Indian Placement Program.

Courtesy photo

A Navajo woman is suing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, saying she was sexually assaulted while participating in the church’s Lamanite Indian Student Placement Program. This is now the third claim of sexual abuse that has been brought against the Mormon Church by members of the Navajo Nation since March.

Josh Ewing

An extraordinary coalition of Western tribal leaders is petitioning for a new conservation area in southeastern Utah.

Navajo Nation Bringing Ceremonial Masks Back Home

Dec 15, 2014

Officials from the Navajo Nation have been able to reclaim seven sacred masks that were up for auction in Paris.