Calah Schlabach

Calah Schlabach

News Reporter, Washington, D.C.

Calah Schlabach is a multimedia storyteller pursuing a master’s degree in mass communication. She has been a graduate assistant for Global Sport Matters and a 2020 News21 fellow. Schlabach was a grant writer for a social services nonprofit and has written and copy editied in Vietnam and Haiti.

Latest from Calah Schlabach

Tribal leaders optimistic about Biden; Haaland nomination a good start

WASHINGTON - The federal government may not have a stellar track record when it comes to keeping promises with Native Americans, but tribal leaders in Arizona said they think, and hope, President-elect Joe Biden could be the exception.


Gun sales hit record in 2020, driven by pandemic, protests, politics

WASHINGTON - Background checks for gun purchases in Arizona hit their highest level ever in 2020, driven by an unprecedented convergence of a pandemic, a summer of national unrest and a presidential election, experts said.


Three Arizona tribal leaders on diverse slate of 11 electoral voters

WASHINGTON - The slate of 11 Democratic electors who will cast Arizona's Electoral College votes Monday for President-elect Joe Biden includes, for the first time, leaders of three tribes: the Gila River Indian Community, Navajo Nation and Tohono O'odham Nation.


Navajo warn hospitals at ‘breaking point’ in worsening COVID-19 surge

WASHINGTON - With a shortage of beds, oxygen and staff, the Navajo Nation can no longer depend on regional aid and is sending critical patients farther afield for care, officials reported Thursday.


COVID-19 cases could push hospital beds, staff to limit, official says

WASHINGTON - The recent surge in COVID-19 cases could push hospital staff and hospital bed capacity to the limit in coming weeks, particularly if people are not careful over Thanksgiving, an Arizona hospital official said Tuesday.


‘Disruptive and cruel’: Native Americans worry as Supreme Court weighs repeal of health care act

PHOENIX – The Affordable Care Act expanded the number of Americans covered by private or public health insurance, but also included a number of provisions specific to Indian Country. As the Supreme Court considers a potential repeal, Indian Country watches and waits.


Navajo hemp investigation expands to federal marijuana, labor probe

WASHINGTON - A Navajo Nation probe of a controversial, Navajo-owned hemp operation has turned into a federal investigation into reports of marijuana production, interstate drug trafficking and violations of labor and child labor laws.


Officials ‘braced for the worst,’ but report little voter intimidation

WASHINGTON - Elections officials feared cases of voter intimidation would mar Election Day in Arizona, but said Tuesday they had seen few problems over the course of the day and that the issues they did encounter were quickly resolved.


FCC grants no-cost broadband spectrum licenses to 11 Arizona tribes

WASHINGTON - The Federal Communications Commission has granted broadband spectrum licenses to 11 Arizona tribes in what FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called "a major step forward in our efforts to close the digital divide on Tribal lands."


Judge denies early Pascua Yaqui voting site, ending years-long feud

WASHINGTON - The Pascua Yaqui Tribe will not get the early voting location it has been asking for since 2018, after a federal judge flatly denied the request he said would overburden an elections office "already stretched to its breaking point."


Court: Mailed Navajo ballots should not get extra time to be counted

WASHINGTON - Native Americans may face barriers to voting in general, but that is not enough to require that ballots mailed from the Navajo Nation get 10 extra days to be counted, a federal appeals court said Thursday.


State, tribal leaders condemn use of force against border protesters

WASHINGTON - Tohono O'odham and congressional officials are condemning the "utterly shameful" use of tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse a small group of people during a peaceful border wall protest Monday near Ajo.


Arizona faces back-to-back court hearings with weeks to Election Day

WASHINGTON - The road to the ballot box in Arizona apparently runs through the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which heard two cases in just the past two days concerning ballots and voter registration in the state.


Goodbye, Columbus?: Arizona celebrates first Indigenous Peoples’ Day

WASHINGTON - After years of advocacy by tribal groups, Arizona on Monday celebrated its first Indigenous Peoples' Day, but the proclamation designating the day was just for this year and it still shared the calendar with Columbus Day.


Court blocks order giving voters more time to fix unsigned mail ballots

WASHINGTON - A federal appeals court Tuesday temporarily blocked a lower court ruling that would have given Arizona voters five days past Election Day to fix early ballots that were accidentally filed without a signature.


Supreme Court to review Arizona voting laws overturned as discriminatory

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Friday said it would hear Arizona's defense of two election laws, on ballot-collecting and out-of-precinct voting, that were struck down by a lower court earlier this year as racially discriminatory.


Hopi leader: Congress must act to save ‘life changing’ diabetes program

WASHINGTON - A "life-changing" diabetes program for Native Americans will expire Dec. 11 if Congress doesn't take action, a move that Hopi Chairman Timothy Nuvangyaoma said it is "critical" for tribes across the nation, including his.


Action on missing, murdered women legislation caps years of advocacy

WASHINGTON - Native American advocates and families have worked for years to draw attention to Indian Country's epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women. The federal government finally passed legislation that could help do something about it.


From showdown to stalemate, Pascua Yaqui voting site feud continues

WASHINGTON - What was a showdown between the Pascua Yaqui tribe, the Pima County Board of Supervisors and the county's recorder has now turned into a stalemate after the board voted to OK an emergency voting site on tribal land and the recorder refused.


System could help tribal members past – one – voter registration hurdle

WASHINGTON - Advocates said a new policy that lets Arizona residents without traditional street addresses register to vote online is not perfect - but it's a vast improvement over the old process.


Critics: Feds reopened tribal schools without asking or advising tribes

WASHINGTON - Lawmakers and tribal leaders berated the Bureau of Indian Education on Thursday for a school reopening plan that prioritizes in-person learning, despite tribes' opposition to the plan in the face of COVID-19 health concerns.


Tribe renews voting site push, sets up showdown with Pima recorder

WASHINGTON - At least two Pima County supervisors will "press forward" to get an early voting site reinstated on the Pascua-Yaqui reservation, setting up a showdown with the county recorder who rejected the request again this week.


Rio Salado restoration efforts get boost with federal ‘partnership’ designation

WASHINGTON - Federal officials on Tuesday named a 58-mile stretch of the Lower Salt and Gila rivers an Urban Waters Federal Partnership location, a designation that could bring millions in funding to efforts to revitalize the stressed Valley waterway.


Appeals exhausted, Navajo double-killer executed despite tribe’s objections

WASHINGTON - Lezmond Mitchell on Wednesday became the first Native American in modern history to be executed by the federal government over the objections of a tribal government for a crime committed between Native Americans on tribal land.


Navajo on death row faces execution Wednesday, barring last-minute action

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court late Tuesday rejected a petition to delay the execution of Lezmond Mitchell, a Navajo on federal death row who is scheduled to be put to death Wednesday evening for the murders of a Navajo woman and her granddaughter.

prison cell block and bars