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.

‘Failure of government’: AZ moves to end predatory Medicaid fraud targeting Indigenous people

By: - May 18, 2023

Over the past year, tribal advocates, leaders, and community members have been raising the alarm about unmarked vans cruising the streets of tribal nations to pick up Indigenous people so they could be transported down to the Phoenix area, where they are promised shelter, food, and rehabilitation help. The predatory tactics of individuals claiming to […]

National commission on the MMIP crisis meets in Arizona to hear testimony, recommendations

By: - May 15, 2023

Five empty chairs sat at the front of the Not Invisible Act Commission hearing, each wrapped in a shawl, blanket or quilt representing a different group of individuals impacted by human trafficking or with a loved one who is missing or murdered. “We want to allow space for representing our relatives,” commission member Grace Bulltail […]

AZ Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples Task Force holds first meeting

By: - May 11, 2023

Wi-Bwa Grey brings a unique perspective to Arizona’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples Task Force: that of a survivor. “I know what it’s like to be missing,” Grey said, and she could not say this until this past year because it’s still fresh in her mind. Grey, a council member for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa […]

‘This is the bare minimum’: Tucson, Pima County establish MMIWG task force

By: - May 9, 2023

The City of Tucson is the first city in the nation to launch its own Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls task force, which will work on ways to address the crisis within the city, greater Pima County and nearby tribal nations.  Tucson has the fourth-highest MMIWG rate in the country, and the state […]

Tucson approves move to return ancestral land to the Tohono O’odham Nation

By: - May 1, 2023

The Tucson City Council is moving forward with the effort to return the ancestral homelands near the base Sentinel Peak to the Tohono O’odham Nation for its continued preservation and reverence. The city council unanimously approved the motion to transfer land ownership during a study session before their regular council meeting on April 18. The […]

Indigenous student settles lawsuit against Arizona school district

By: - April 28, 2023

Four years after being denied entry into her graduation ceremony because she wore an eagle plume on her graduation cap, Larissa Waln is finally getting a bit of justice as her family settled their lawsuit against the Dysart Unified School District.  “My family filed this lawsuit to protect Native peoples’ right to honor our religious […]

Phoenix designates Indigenous Peoples’ Day as an official city holiday

By: - April 21, 2023

For the past seven years, the City of Phoenix has recognized Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead of Columbus Day every second Monday of October, but it was never an official city holiday. But now that’s changed. With a vote of 7-1, the Phoenix City Council made it official, and Indigenous Peoples’ Day has been designated a […]

Navajo Nation to get federal funding following disaster declaration

By: - April 17, 2023

People across the Navajo Nation were hit with severe winter storms in January, resulting in heavy snow, flooding and mud that blocked and destroyed roads and isolated families from resources. Because of the impact of those severe winter storms, the Navajo Nation will receive federal emergency aid to help the tribe recover. President Joe Biden […]

Arizona poised for deep cuts to Colorado River water usage under draft regulations

By: - April 15, 2023

As the ongoing drought continues to impact the water supply from the Colorado River Basin, Arizona, California, and Nevada may face some new water regulations introduced by the Department of Interior in their draft of the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), and Arizona stands to face deep cuts in water usage. “Drought conditions in the […]

Tribal leaders support push for creation of Grand Canyon national monument

By: - April 12, 2023

The Grand Canyon is the ancestral homeland of multiple tribal nations in the Southwest, and tribes still rely on the canyon for natural and cultural resources that are significant and sacred to their communities.  And in an effort to sustain the natural resources provided by the Grand Canyon, tribal leaders in the Grand Canyon Tribal […]

Gila River Indian Community receives $233M in water conservation, infrastructure funding

By: - April 7, 2023

The Gila River Indian Community will receive up to $233 million in funding for conservation agreements that will help the tribe and other water users along the Colorado River Basin protect the stability and sustainability of the Colorado River system.  “We’re facing serious challenges right now in the Colorado River Basin as a result of […]

Colorado River

Arizona gets $28 million for drought resilience projects

By: - April 6, 2023

Arizona is receiving $27.7 million for four projects to increase drought resilience and improve water delivery systems, part of $585 million in funding sent to 11 states as part of last year’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. “As we work to address record drought and changing climate conditions throughout the West, these investments in our aging water […]