Author

Shondiin Silversmith

Shondiin Silversmith

Shondiin Silversmith is an award-winning Native journalist based on the Navajo Nation. Silversmith has covered Indigenous communities for more than 10 years, and covers Arizona's 22 federally recognized sovereign tribal nations, as well as national and international Indigenous issues. Her digital, print and audio stories have been published by USA TODAY, The Arizona Republic, Navajo Times, The GroundTruth Project and PRX's "The World." Silversmith earned her master's degree in journalism and mass communication in Boston before moving back to Arizona to continue reporting stories on Indigenous communities. She is a member of the Native American Journalist Association and has made it a priority in her career to advocate, pitch and develop stories surrounding Indigenous communities in the newsrooms she works in.

New Phoenix Suns jersey pays tribute to 22 AZ tribal nations

By: - November 23, 2022

The turquoise-colored Phoenix Suns 2022-2023 City Edition uniform pays tribute to the rich histories and cultures of Arizona’s 22 tribal nations. “This is historic to have a major sports franchise like the Phoenix Suns, to recognize the first peoples, the indigenous peoples of Arizona,” Gila River Indian Community Governor Stephen Roe Lewis said in a […]

Eli Crane defeats Tom O’Halleran, flipping a seat to Republican control

By: - November 11, 2022

Republican Eli Crane has defeated three-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Tom O’Halleran, turning Arizona’s largest congressional district red.  Congressional District 2 was redrawn in redistricting to go from a highly competitive district to one in which Republicans had a sizable advantage. O’Halleran, a former GOP state legislator who became a Democrat in 2015, relied on his […]

Navajo voters elect Buu Nygren as president, ousting Jonathan Nez

By: - November 9, 2022

Navajo Nation voters have elected a new president, as political newcomer Buu Nygren on Tuesday defeated incumbent Jonathan Nez. All 110 chapters reported unofficial results after 11 p.m. on Nov. 8, showing Nygren with 34,568 votes and Nez just 31,069 votes, according to the Navajo Election Administration. The Navajo Nation is one of the largest […]

Native voters could swing close races if turnout is high, advocates say

By: - November 7, 2022

During the 2020 elections, Native voters on tribal land went to the polls at higher numbers than ever before, and Native voting advocates hope to see that kind of momentum in the midterms. Arizona has one of the largest Native voting populations in the country, with more than 305,000 of voting age, according to the […]

All Indian Rodeo

Why don’t Indigenous people have any role in hosting the State Fair’s annual All Indian Rodeo?

By: - November 3, 2022

Mariah Clark has been involved in rodeo for much of her life. A member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe, she has held rodeo queen titles and done barrel racing.  That deep involvement made her join the Arizona Native American Rodeo (AZNAR) Committee so she can advocate for more Indigenous people to be involved in […]

Navajo Nation leaders introduce two new initiatives to address missing and murdered Diné relatives

By: - November 1, 2022

Navajo Nation leaders have introduced two new initiatives to address missing and murdered Diné people.  Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez issued an Executive Order on Oct. 22 to adopt and implement the Navajo Nation Guidelines for Missing Persons or, in Navajo, the Nihí K’éi dóó Béédahoozinígíí Náalkaa Bikégó Naaltsoos. “Many families know the personal heartbreak […]

Navajo Nation presidential candidates make their pitch to Phoenix-area Diné voters

By: - October 26, 2022

With the Navajo Nation general election only two weeks away, the presidential candidates are making their final pitches to voters — including those who live in the Phoenix area.  Navajo voters are faced with a choice between incumbent President Jonathan Nez, a veteran of the Navajo political system who is campaigning on his experience, and […]

Programs aimed at training Indigenous entrepreneurs finds success among Arizona tribes

By: - October 20, 2022

As a way to provide the training and skills needed to run a business, the University of Arizona and Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management have developed programs geared to help Indigenous entrepreneurs. The University of Arizona will work with five Indigenous entrepreneurs from the San Carlos Apache Tribe as part of Native […]

National Congress of American Indians run to raise awareness about tribal sovereignty passes through Arizona

By: - October 19, 2022

Tribal nations have rich cultures and traditions that benefit their people, but they also have their own governments working to help their communities. “The real strength and power of Indian Country is within our own nations,” said Fawn Sharp, the president of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), a non-profit organization that advocates for […]

‘We were never discovered’: Indigenous Peoples Day celebrates the history and successes of their communities

By: - October 7, 2022

As people gather at events across the U.S. to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day, organizers want them to remember it’s not just a day of celebration, but also a reminder to everyone that Indigenous people are still here and thriving. “It’s to counter the colonial narrative that this land was discovered. We were never discovered,” said […]

Interior Department to introduce ‘Indigenous food hubs’ into schools and detention centers

By: - October 5, 2022

As a way to incorporate healthy lifestyle routines and food choices, the U.S. Department of Interior is launching an initiative to support health and nutrition efforts across Indian Country through Indigenous food hubs. The goal, said Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland, is “to provide healthier food to Indigenous communities and help to repair […]

Tribal tourism grants aim to help businesses hurt during the pandemic

By: - September 29, 2022

Tribal nations looking to improve or develop tribal tourism businesses within their communities have a chance to get some support through the Tribal Tourism Grant Program. The grant is funded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Indian Economic Development Program, and it supports the development of new tribal tourism businesses as well as […]