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’s MMIP study committee is returning to work, with an expanded focus

By: - September 21, 2022

Arizona’s legislative study committee on murdered or missing Indigenous women and girls is returning to work next month, with an expanded mission to investigate violence against all Indigenous people, including men, boys, two-spirits and LGBTQ.  Committee Chair and state Rep. Jennifer Jermaine said they’re looking forward to restarting the study committee and expanding their scope […]

Tribal leaders applaud Inflation Reduction Act investments

By: - September 15, 2022

Tribal Nations have been on the front line against the climate crisis for generations, and now they’ll have some support in their fight through Inflation Reduction Act funding. President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law this month, which authorizes more than $700 billion in funding and addresses policies related to climate change, […]

Native voters worried they won’t have a say in the midterm election

By: - September 15, 2022

This story is part of a project called Democracy Day, in which newsrooms across the country are shining a light on threats to democracy. Arizona’s newly drawn congressional and legislative maps are officially in use this election cycle and are still a cause of concern for advocates because they could dilute the voting power of Indigenous […]

A derogatory word has been removed from the names of places on federal lands, including 66 sites in AZ

By: - September 8, 2022

Nearly all federal geographic features using the derogatory word sq*** have formally been renamed, after the U.S. Department of the Interior on Thursday released new names for 643 locations across the United States, including 66 in Arizona.  The name change is the final step in the historic effort launched nearly a year ago by Interior […]

Arizona tribes will get $106 million to boost broadband access

By: - September 8, 2022

Indigenous people living on tribal lands have less access to high-speed internet than the general U.S population. But in an effort to change that, the U.S. Department of Commerce is giving $106 million to five Arizona tribes to boost broadband installation and access. The grants are being used to fund high-speed internet infrastructure deployment projects […]

University of Arizona gets funding to support and develop Native entrepreneurs

By: - September 7, 2022

Entrepreneurs from Arizona’s tribal nations can develop their small businesses with help from the University of Arizona through a new program aimed at providing support for developing tribal economies. The program, dubbed Native FORGE, will provide and facilitate high-quality entrepreneurship development and support services to underserved communities in Tucson and the 22 federally recognized Tribes […]

education funding

AZ teachers can apply for $600 grants for classroom projects

By: - August 22, 2022

As the new school year kicks off, the Arizona Department of Education announced a funding opportunity for public school teachers to get classroom resources.  Starting Monday, teachers can submit project proposals to a nonprofit crowdfunding platform called DonorsChoose for an opportunity to get up to $600 to be used on classroom resources that support their […]

Tribal gaming contributions hit record levels in 2022

By: - August 19, 2022

The Arizona Department of Gaming reported in July that the total contributions coming from Tribal gaming in Arizona amounted to more than $123.6 million for the fiscal year that ended in June, making it the largest contribution to date. “This is an exciting milestone and one we cherish and celebrate as we continue to protect […]

Federal grants for improving broadband in Indigenous communities now accepting applications

By: - August 17, 2022

Tribal nations can now apply for the 2022 National Tribal Broadband Grant Program to help them develop or extend broadband services within their communities.  “Reliable, high-speed internet access in Tribal communities enables many opportunities for education, employment, entrepreneurship, and social connection,” Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Bryan Newland said in a press release. “These elements […]

Arizona celebrated its first Navajo Code Talker Day on Sunday

By: - August 14, 2022

Navajo Code Talker Thomas H. Begay stood at the podium dressed in his gold button-up shirt adorned with his service medals and a custom bolo tie made out of his congressional silver medal that is surrounded by turquoise. He wore his red U.S. Marine Corps hat that has Navajo Code Talker embroidered in gold thread […]

Navajo Code Talkers Thomas Begay

Navajo Code Talkers Day Celebration set at the State Capitol for Aug. 14

By: - August 12, 2022

One of the last living Navajo Code Talkers will be speaking in honor of Navajo Code Talkers Day on Aug. 14, marking the 80th anniversary of the Navajo Code Talkers. Navajo Code Talker Thomas H. Begay, 98, is coming to Phoenix with his family from Albuquerque, N.M., to share his experience serving in the U.S. […]

‘It’s starting our healing process’: Navajo family of murdered woman seeks justice

By: - August 12, 2022

Wearing all black, a picture of Jamie Lynette Yazzie on her shirt the only color in her outfit, Marilene James, stepped up to the podium inside a packed federal courtroom in Flagstaff to give a victim statement on behalf of her niece’s family. “Tre James didn’t give my daughter a chance to enjoy life with […]