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.

Paycheck Protection Program

Navajo Nation will send $2,000 to adults and $600 to kids in COVID-19 hardship aid

By: - January 5, 2022

The Navajo people are getting some much needed help from their Tribal government as another round of COVID-19 hardship assistance checks are expected to roll out soon. Enrolled citizens of the Navajo Nation can expect funds in the coming weeks with $2000 for every adult and $600 for minors, after Navajo Nation Tribal leaders signed […]

Federal grants to help tribes preserve Native languages

By: - December 28, 2021

Tribal nations across the U.S. have an opportunity to go after funding to help their communities develop programs that help preserve their traditional Native languages. Tribes apply for funding through the Living Languages Grant Program, which is run through the U.S. Department of the Interior Indian Affairs’ Office of Indian Economic Development.  “Preserving Native languages […]

Consultations between Interior Dept. and tribal nations to start in January

By: - December 22, 2021

Consultations are set to start in January between the Department of the Interior and tribal nations as they seek to implement programs under the new bipartisan infrastructure law. President Joe Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law in November, and it invests more than $13 billion directly into tribal nations across the country. […]

Funding available for tribal governments to support public safety

By: - December 21, 2021

Tribal governments can go after funding to help their communities in the areas of crime prevention, victim services and coordinated community responses to violence against Indigenous women. The funding is available through the U.S. Department of Justice as part of the 2022 Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS) period. CTAS is administered by the department’s Office […]


Pascua Yaqui Tribe awarded grant to support domestic violence prosecution efforts

By: - December 21, 2021

The Pascua Yaqui Tribe has received a grant for more than $100,000 to support their rights as a sovereign nation to prosecute non-Native offenders of domestic violence-related crimes committed within their community. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) provides grants through the Tribal Jurisdiction Program, which provides support and technical […]

BIA launches new website spotlighting Missing and Murdered Indigenous people cases

By: - December 16, 2021

It’s been six months since Ella Mae Begay went missing near her home in Tòłikan (Sweetwater), in northeastern Arizona, and her family has done everything in their power to raise awareness on the case through on-the-ground search parties, social media campaigns, memorial walks and motorcycle runs. “I really appreciate how everybody’s come together so far, […]

‘Don’t lessen our power’: Tribal voters wait to see how redistricting treats them

By: - December 15, 2021

With no real public education campaign in place to let Arizonans know even the basics of redistricting, the work of educating voters about the once-a-decade process of redrawing Arizona’s political boundaries fell to advocacy groups. And for groups that work in Arizona’s rural Native American communities, that work was even harder. The Arizona Independent Redistricting […]

Infrastructure bill means big things for Indian Country

By: - December 13, 2021

Infrastructure issues have plagued tribal communities for decades, and with federal funding finally coming into Indian Country from the the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, many Arizona tribal leaders are looking forward to what that means for their communities. “Infrastructure needs differ among Arizona tribes, but the one thing all Arizona tribes have in common […]

Colorado River

Legislation would let an Arizona tribe lease its Colorado River water allocation

By: - December 9, 2021

A new proposal in Congress would let Arizona’s Colorado River Indian Tribes lease portions of their federal Colorado River allocations for the first time, a move the tribes said would benefit both the river and tribal economies. “This legislation protects the life of the river, protects Arizona’s fragile groundwater resources, and, for the first time […]

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, […]