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.

Commission: Do something now about missing, murdered and trafficked Indigenous people

By: - November 30, 2023

In hearings held across the country, hundreds of Indigenous peoples shared their experiences and recommendations on missing, murdered and trafficked Indigenous peoples with a federally mandated commission for the first time in history. From these hearings also came recommendations, and the Not Invisible Act Commission has compiled a 212-page report highlighting its findings and recommendations […]

High-Speed internet coming to the Hualapai Nation, Mohave, La Paz counties

By: - November 17, 2023

People living within the Hualapai Nation and Mohave and La Paz counties can expect access to affordable, high-speed broadband internet as soon as February as part of the Bridging the Digital Divide project. “We are on track to bridge Arizona’s deep digital divide with this historic investment, connecting unserved and under-served Arizonans, especially in tribal […]

Gila River Indian Community moves foward with solar canal project, first in country

By: - November 10, 2023

In an effort to address the ongoing drought affecting the Southwest, the Gila River Indian Community is taking an innovative step forward by launching its Solar Canal Project to construct the country’s first solar-over-canal project.  “A tribe is leading the way,” Gila River Indian Community Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis said, adding that the shovel-ready project […]

Gosar pushes to reverse Biden’s Grand Canyon national monument to allow for uranium mining

By: - November 9, 2023

Saying that stopping companies from mining uranium from lands near the Grand Canyon is a threat to national security, an Arizona Republican won preliminary approval of an amendment that would reverse President Joe Biden’s creation earlier this year of a national monument in northern Arizona. “Arizona already boasts more national monuments than any other state,” […]

‘If you need to cry, cry’: Ending men’s silent suffering in the MMIWG crisis

By: - October 31, 2023

Antonio Ortiz never thought he would be able to speak publicly about his late daughter Rhia Danae Almeida because it would require him to be vulnerable and express his emotions freely. His wife, Elayne Gregg, has been able to share her experience publicly for a few years now, but Ortiz has only ever opened up […]

Arizona Indian Health Service facility becomes first to be designated a voter registration agency

By: - October 20, 2023

Indigenous people in Arizona have often faced significant hurdles when registering to vote, from accessibility to rural addressing to using postal office boxes.  To help ease those hurdles, Native Health, an urban Indian Health Services facility, has been officially designated a voter registration agency in the Phoenix area.  Native Health is a health care facility […]

Former Navajo Nation president launches bid to flip AZ’s largest congressional district

By: - October 18, 2023

Watching the threat of a government shutdown and the ousting of the U.S. House Speaker, former Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said that is when he knew he had the opportunity to help, prompting him to jump into the race for Arizona’s largest congressional district. “This dysfunction that’s happening and this far-right contingency is taking […]

Phoenix and Tempe will celebrate Indigenous People’s Day for the first time this year

By: - October 6, 2023

Arizona doesn’t recognize Indigenous People’s Day, but two Arizona cities are officially recognizing it for the first time: Phoenix and Tempe both will celebrate the holiday on Oct. 9. “I was proud to create an official Indigenous Peoples Day in Phoenix,” Mayor Kate Gallego said. “As a city whose roots trace back to the Huhugam […]

‘We stand with the victims’: The Navajo Nation has a sweeping new victim’s rights law

By: - October 6, 2023

On the Navajo Nation, when an alleged perpetrator of domestic violence is released from detention, there is no guarantee that the victim will be notified promptly by tribal law officials. Navajo Nation Council Delegate Amber Crotty said the issue became evident during the peak of COVID-19, when she heard from domestic violence victims about how […]

New report finds another 115 Indigenous boarding schools, most run by missionaries

By: - September 30, 2023

From the remote parts of northern Alaska to the coastal edges of Florida, Native American Boarding Schools were set up in or near tribal nations to assimilate Indigenous children into white, Christian, American society. The legacy of the federal Indian boarding school system is not new to Indigenous people. For generations, Indigenous people across the […]

‘Blessed to have water’: Hualapai Tribe praises historic water rights settlement

By: - September 29, 2023

The Hualapai Tribal Nation borders a 108-mile stretch of the Colorado River, and for generations, the tribe has relied solely on unpredictable groundwater supplies as its primary water source. “The Colorado River runs through our reservation, yet we were never authorized or able to utilize the water that goes by us,” Hualapai Vice Chairman Shelton […]

Arizona Senate plans to sue Biden to block the Grand Canyon national monument

By: - September 8, 2023

Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen announced Friday that he is giving the “greenlight” to the Arizona Senate to file a lawsuit against the Biden administration for last month’s designation of a national monument near the Grand Canyon, which he said was an unconstitutional “land grab.” “President Biden’s attempt to cloak his unconstitutional land grab in […]