Indian Country

The Navajo mother: Nellie Shirley

HOUCK – Nellie Shirley was born in 1932 on the Navajo Reservation and has lived there except during the years she attended boarding school. After her parents died when she was 13, she was sent to two schools where she was able to strengthen her Catholic faith as well as embrace her Navajo culture.

Kinaaldá: A Navajo girl comes of age in traditional ceremony

LUPTON – Kieloh Nellie Poolah, 11, came of age in the eyes of her Navajo community in February. Surrounded by four generations of women in her family, she completed a series of tasks and hours of prayer to complete the Kinaaldá ceremony.

Trump OKs Navajo Nation disaster declaration in wake of February storms

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump approved a disaster declaration for the Navajo Nation that will allow it to seek reimbursement for funds it spent responding to a February storm that dumped snow on the reservation, isolating some communities and leading to flooding in other areas.

Hopi journalist leads others on journey of Phoenix Indian School, other Native American history

PHOENIX – Patty Talahongva grew up on the Hopi reservation, practicing traditional Hopi ways and Catholicism. After she attended Phoenix Indian School in the late 1970’s, she began to learn more about the fraught history of boarding schools. Today, she works as a journalist and as a curator at her former school, now a museum and community center, helping to teach the surrounding community more about Native American culture and history.

In Indian Country, potholes can be a bump in the road to an education

WASHINGTON - Of all the problems facing tribal schools, impassable roads are not the biggest problem, "but it is the most annoying one." With three-fourths of Bureau of Indian Affairs roads unpaved, students are often stranded and districts are forced to spend precious resources on bus repairs.

Thin on broadband: Tribal areas still struggle with lagging technology

WASHINGTON - To some Hopi, "just Google it," is an inside joke - only about 29% of Hopi households have broadband internet access, compared to 79% in Arizona and 78% nationwide. On tribal lands across Arizona, fewer than half the homes have broadband access, stifling business, health and schooling.

Tribal leaders urge House to extend funding for water settlements

WASHINGTON - Tohono O'odham Chairman Edward D. Manuel told a House panel that lack of water has been killing crops and livestock - and, essentially, the tribe's economy - and things will only get worse if federal funding is allowed to lapse.

Partisan House vote renews Violence Against Women Act, Senate fate unclear

WASHINGTON – Two months after it let the Violence Against Women Act lapse, the House voted Thursday to renew the 25-year-old law that extends protections for victims of domestic violence, and renewing protections for Native American women.

Gila River leader says feds’ inattention to roads drives other problems

WASHINGTON - Road problems caused by poor maintenance by the Bureau of Indian Affairs is more than an inconvenience for tribes, who say poor roads make it hard for people to get to school, jobs and health care, but there is little they can do to fix the federally owned roads.

Task force to study abuse of tribal youth, after IHS doctor convicted

WASHINGTON - The White House unveiled a task force that is charged with finding ways to prevent the sexual abuse of children in the Indian Health Service, after an IHS pediatrician's conviction last year on four counts of abuse during stints on different reservations.