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.

Navajo voters decide on Jonathan Nez, Buu Nygren as the top presidential candidates

By: - August 3, 2022

Voters on the Navajo Nation have narrowed down their presidential candidates from 15 to the two who will square off in November: incumbent Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and first-time presidential candidate Buu Nygren. All 110 chapters reported unofficial results after midnight on Aug. 3, and results show Nez got 17,073 votes and Nygren got […]

Navajo Code Talker Samuel Sandoval dies at 98; only 3 Navajo Code Talkers remain

By: - August 2, 2022

One of the few remaining Navajo Code Talkers, Samuel Sandoval, died at the age of 98. “Sam was a great warrior. (He) served his country well; especially using the top secret Navajo Code,” Navajo Code Talker and Navajo Code Talker Association President Peter MacDonald said in a text message to The Arizona Mirror.  “He wanted […]

Two Arizona tribal colleges will receive grants to improve internet access for students

By: - July 29, 2022

Diné College and the Tohono O’odham Community College received multi-million-dollar grants to support their efforts to improve educational and economic opportunity within their tribal communities by improving internet access, providing more hardware and investing in information technology personnel. “We knew that we had to extend our services beyond our campuses and centers to the Navajo […]

Final steps to remove derogatory names from federal lands underway

By: - July 27, 2022

Sixty-six of the 67 sites on federal land in Arizona with a name that includes a slur for Native American women are slated to be renamed in September. With the public comment period now over, the U.S. Department of Interior is in the final stages of renaming more than 660 geographic features with the word […]

Funding available for the Navajo Nation and states for abandoned mine lands projects

By: - July 21, 2022

More than 20 states and the Navajo Nation can now apply for $725 million in funding for abandoned mine lands projects to help communities that have suffered environmental hazards and pollution caused by coal mining.  “Through this program, we are investing in coal communities through job creation — including for current and former coal workers […]

Arizona broadband expansion projects are getting a $100 million infusion of cash

By: - July 18, 2022

Nearly two dozen broadband projects in 12 Arizona counties received funding as part of the state’s plan to spend $100 million in federal money expanding high-speed internet access in underserved areas. “These collaborative projects will enhance how Arizonans live, work, and learn regardless of where they live,” Arizona Commerce Authority President & CEO Sandra Watson […]

Navajo people advocate for bill to recognize same-sex marriage on Navajo Nation

By: - July 15, 2022

Same-sex marriage is recognized across the United States, but that’s not the case on the Navajo Nation, where the Diné LGBTQ and two-spirit communities are fighting to get the same recognition on their homeland. Lawmakers on the Navajo Nation are considering a bill that would repeal a ban on same-sex marriage, expand spousal rights to […]

Few Arizona counties are required to provide voting resources in Indigenous languages

By: - July 12, 2022

Voters have a right to access voting information in a traditional language, but only seven Arizona counties are required to offer materials in an Indigenous language. In December 2021, the Census Bureau’s Department of Commerce announced which states and counties are subject to the minority language assistance provisions of the Voting Rights Act. Six languages […]

City of Phoenix commits to leave more Colorado River water in Lake Mead

By: - July 7, 2022

In an effort to keep water levels in Lake Mead from declining at a drastic rate, the City of Phoenix announced that it will leave an additional 14,000 acre-feet of Colorado River water in the lake this year.  Mayor Kate Gallego and members of the Phoenix City Council approved the move on July 1 as […]

The budget includes ‘historic’ funding for tribal communities, but without ‘sovereignty’

By: - July 7, 2022

The record $18 billion budget that state legislators passed last month included a historic $55 million investment in projects on tribal lands. But For Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, the funding is a “drop in the bucket.”  And while it might be a good start, Nez said it comes with strings attached that ultimately leave […]

University of Arizona offers free tuition to Indigenous students

By: - June 29, 2022

The University of Arizona announced that it will cover tuition and mandatory fees for full-time Indigenous undergraduate students.

Havasupai tribe: Pinion Plain uranium mine threatens our existence

By: - June 28, 2022

For decades, the Havasupai Tribe has voiced its opposition against the operation of Pinyon Plain Mine, a uranium mine located about 10 miles south of the Grand Canyon. “As the Havasupai Tribe, we have stood strong continuing the protection of the natural resources in and around the Grand Canyon region,” Havasupai Vice-Chairman Edmond Tilousi said […]