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.

Arizona leaders praise Secretary Deb Haaland’s order to remove derogatory names from federal lands

By: - November 29, 2021

Arizona officials and advocates praised U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland for declaring “squaw” as a derogatory term and ordering that it be removed from any geographic feature on federal lands, which will rename 67 locations in Arizona. “The removal of such language is bittersweet as it addresses an everyday indignity that Native Americans […]

Three Arizona tribes receive HUD grant for COVID-19 relief

By: - November 23, 2021

In an effort to protect the community’s most precious assets, the Cocopah Indian Tribe is moving forward with plans to buy homes for its elderly population after receiving a $1 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The funding from the grant is for elders from the Cocopah Indian Tribe […]

Navajo Nation school district gets $2 million for transportation needs

By: - November 22, 2021

The largest school district on the Navajo Nation, both in student count and geographic area, is set to receive a $2 million state grant to address transportation needs. The Chinle Unified School District operates seven public schools that serve more than 3,000 students. The district encompasses eight communities — Chinle, Many Farms, Tsaile, Luckachukai, Wheatfields, […]

Indigenous traditional knowledge to be included in US efforts against climate change for first time

By: - November 16, 2021

For the first time in history, a Presidential administration has committed to incorporating traditional Indigenous knowledge into the scientific, technical, social, and economic advancement of the United States. President Joe Biden pledged on Monday during the opening of the White House Tribal Nations Summit to be the first president to work with the tribes to […]

‘We have a voice’: Biden administration hosts first Tribal Nations Summit since 2016

By: - November 16, 2021

State, federal and tribal leaders came together during the White House Tribal Nations Summit on Monday to talk about commitments towards Indian Country and highlight the importance of the nation-to-nation relationship between tribal nations and the U.S. government. “The White House sits on the ancestral homelands of the Anacostan and the Piscataway people,” Secretary of […]

‘A matter of dignity’: Biden signs executive order to address violence against Indigenous people

By: - November 15, 2021

President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Monday addressing violence against Indigenous communities. “These efforts are a matter of dignity,” Biden said during the opening ceremony for the White House Tribal Nations Summit. “That’s the foundation of our nation-to-nation partnership.” The executive order directs the departments of Justice, Interior, Homeland Security, and Health and […]

Violence against Indigenous women is a crisis in the U.S., report finds

By: - November 10, 2021

Violence against Indigenous women in the U.S. is a crisis, but the extent of the problem remains unknown, according to a report released by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. “There’s no one single database that has all this information,” Gretta Goodwin, the director of GAO’s Homeland Security and Justice team, told the Arizona Mirror. “So, […]

Old Pascua would officially be Pascua Yaqui land under bill approved by U.S. House

By: - November 5, 2021

The Pascua Yaqui Tribe is one step closer to obtaining more tribal land in the Tucson area after legislation overwhelmingly passed the U.S. House of Representatives this week. The Old Pascua Community Land Acquisition Act, HR 4881, passed 375-45. All nine of Arizona’s representatives voted in favor of it.  The measure was introduced by Rep. […]

Renewal of Indian Education Policy ‘a step in the right direction’ for Indigenous education

By: - November 5, 2021

Native American educators praised the Arizona State Board of Education and the Department of Education for renewing the state’s Indian Education Policy last month, a move they say moves toward improving education for Indigenous students. “This is absolutely a step in the right direction,” said Esther Nystrom, vice president of the Arizona Indian Education Association […]

Native American Heritage Month celebrates Indigenous communities across the nation

By: - November 2, 2021

November is Native American Heritage Month, and for Indigenous people across the country, it’s a chance to share the unique ancestry, traditions, and contributions their communities make today and have made throughout history. “Far too often in our founding era and in the centuries since, the promise of our Nation has been denied to Native […]