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.

Survivors, descendants of federal Indian boarding schools share experiences

By: - January 21, 2023

Sitting on a chair in the middle of a crowded gym, Hopi woman Pershlie Ami talked softly into the microphone to share her experience about going to Phoenix Indian School when she was a kid. “I don’t speak my language, I don’t know my culture as well as I would like to, and that was […]

Tribal leaders advocate for the state’s support during tribal nations day

By: - January 13, 2023

Dozens of people from tribal nations across Arizona gathered this week at the state Capitol to celebrate Indian Nations and Tribes Legislative Day.  “Arizona is a stronger state because of the 22 federally recognized tribes found here,” state Senate President Warren Petersen said during his speech.“As we enter the first week of the 56th legislative […]

Buu Nygren becomes youngest Navajo president, Richelle Montoya becomes the first woman VP

By: - January 11, 2023

New Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren and Vice President Richelle Montoya were sworn into office Tuesday, along with the Council delegates who were elected in November. Throughout the ceremony, incoming and former tribal leaders discussed the importance of moving forward and working for the Navajo people to better the future of the Navajo Nation. “If […]

Hobbs highlights Arizona’s Indigenous people, history during inauguration

By: - January 5, 2023

Seeing Arizona Tribes spotlighted during Governor Katie Hobbs’s inauguration ceremony was refreshing for local tribal advocates, and it affirms Hobbs’s commitment to upholding relationships with tribal nations. “This is exactly the moment that we have been waiting for,” said Indivisible Tohono Co-Founder April Ignacio of Hobbs becoming governor. “It’s not overwhelming. It’s a fresh breath […]

Havasupai Tribe to receive federal funds for severe flood damage

By: - January 4, 2023

Due to flooding, the Havasupai Tribe declared a major disaster within their community and requested federal aid to address the damages.  “On October 1, 2022, the Tribe also experienced severe flooding, which destroyed several bridges and trails that are needed not only for our tourists, but the everyday movement of goods and services into Supai […]

Pascua Yaqui Tribe to get cultural land back

By: - December 27, 2022

The Pascua Yaqui Tribe is getting a portion of land back that is culturally significant to the tribe after the U.S. Senate passed the Old Pascua Community Land Acquisition Act. President Joe Biden signed the bill into law on Tuesday.  Pascua Yaqui Chairman Peter Yucupicio applauded the bill’s passing, saying it was a great day […]

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples study committee produces list of recommendations

By: - December 23, 2022

After hearing from Indigenous community members about how the missing and murdered Indigenous peoples crisis has impacted them, the Arizona House Ad Hoc Committee on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples outlined new recommendations for addressing the issue. “Missing and murdered Indigenous peoples is an issue that has touched many lives,” said Committee Chair and state […]

Hobbs intends to strengthen relationships with Arizona’s tribal nations

By: - December 19, 2022

Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs hopes to actively work with leaders of Arizona’s 22 tribal nations on a government-to-government basis to build stronger relationships that benefit Indigenous communities. “For too long, our leaders have failed to prioritize proactively working with tribes to address the challenges Indigenous Peoples face,” Hobbs said in her Indigenous communities plan. “From fixing […]

BIA, FBI update criminal investigation guidelines for Indian Country

By: - December 13, 2022

To provide a more unified response for investigating crimes on tribal nations, including the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples crisis, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Federal Bureau of Investigations updated their guidelines on criminal investigations in Indian Country. “Interagency coordination is absolutely critical given the complexities of jurisdiction in Tribal communities,” Assistant Secretary […]

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 […]