Navajo

(David McNew/Getty Images)

Students in the Flagstaff Unified School District are doing their coursework entirely online at least through October 9th because of the pandemic. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, that’s been a challenge for Native American students who live on reservations with unreliable or nonexistent Internet access.


Melissa Sevigny

A unique partnership is addressing a home heating crisis on the Navajo and Hopi Nations, by supplying hundreds of cords of firewood from forest restoration projects. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

Getty Images/Mark Ralston

The coronavirus pandemic has been hard on everyone. But for Indigenous people and people of color, even simple precautions like washing your hands and wearing a mask are complicated by racism and longstanding disparities in access to resources. Sonja Smith is a cultural anthropology student at Northern Arizona University who recently wrote about racism and the pandemic in an online journal called The Conversation. Smith spoke with KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny about the deep divide between Arizona’s tribal nations and the bordering towns.


Red Feather Development Group

Frequent handwashing is one of the most important ways to reduce the risk of catching the coronavirus disease, but many homes on the Hopi and Navajo Nations don’t have access to clean, running water. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, a nonprofit group is working on that problem with do-it-yourself handwashing stations.


Deidra Peaches, Change Labs

The Navajo Nation has been enforcing stay-at-home orders, curfews and weekend lockdowns for months to try and slow the spread of coronavirus. And that’s presented a challenge for artists, vendors, and small businesses on the reservation that rely on tourism and don’t have online stores. A business incubator called Change Labs is offering up to $5,000 loans to Native entrepreneurs on the Navajo and Hopi Nations to help them cope with the pandemic. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Change Lab’s Jessica Stago about the unusual loan program based on the idea of ‘kinship lending.’

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