Shondiin Silversmith, AZ Mirror

Shondiin Silversmith, AZ Mirror

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.

Help for tribes to electrify homes available through new grant program

By: - August 21, 2023

Thousands of homes across Indian Country are still not connected to electricity, including an estimated more than 14,000 on the Navajo Nation alone. That accounts for more than 80% of the tribal homes in the United States that aren’t electrified. But it could all change with the launch of the Tribal Electrification Program by the […]

Arizona gets a new national monument as Biden designates Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni

By: - August 8, 2023

After months of advocating from several tribal nations, Arizona is home to a new national monument, as President Joe Biden officially designated Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni on Tuesday, effectively barring mining on roughly a million acres of land near Grand Canyon National Park. “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to honoring and respecting Tribal sovereignty, protecting […]

Funding available for tribes to combat climate-related crises

By: - August 3, 2023

Tribal Nations whose homelands face severe climate-related environmental threats may find some relief as part of the Tribal Climate Resilience Program, which provides annual funding to tribes and tribal organizations working to address climate-related crises within their communities. “Devastating storms, increased drought and rapid sea-level rise disproportionately impact Indigenous communities,” Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland […]

Nearly $1B available for broadband expansion on Tribal lands 

By: - July 31, 2023

To fill the gap in broadband service among Tribal Nations, the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration launched the second round of grant funding to expand Internet access and adoption on Tribal Lands. Approximately $980 million in funding is available through the Internet for All initiative’s Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program for Native American, […]

Gila River Indian Community finds new way to support its military veterans

By: - July 27, 2023

Veterans who are members of the Gila River Indian Community can now get help with benefits and pension claims closer to home, through the community’s participation in the Tribal Representation Expansion Program. “We are immensely proud to be recognized as a Tribal Veteran Service Organization by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs,” Gila River Indian […]

‘Too important not to protect:’ National monument proposed at Grand Canyon

By: - July 21, 2023

The Grand Canyon is Arizona’s most prominent natural formation that draws in millions of visitors annually with a landscape that holds significance to multiple Tribal Nations across the state. Still, the public lands surrounding the Grand Canyon have been the target for uranium mining for decades. Growing up and living at the bottom of the […]

Arizona governor talks tribal commitments in historic speech to the Navajo Nation Council

By: - July 18, 2023

Katie Hobbs made history on Monday, becoming the first sitting Arizona governor to address the Navajo Nation Council, congratulating the council on its 100 years as a governing body and discussing her office’s commitment to Arizona’s tribal nations. Navajo Nation Council Speaker Crystalyne Curley welcomed Hobbs on the first day of the council’s summer session […]

‘Strength through Native drag:’ Indigenous artists don’t let discrimination stop them

By: - July 18, 2023

In recent months, state legislatures across the nation have introduced hundreds of laws targeting Two Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning plus communities, including several bills in Arizona. Laws introduced directly impact the lives of 2SLGBTQ+ people in various ways, from their freedom of expression and health care to public accommodations and civil […]

Behavioral health and wellness programs launched for BIE tribal schools

By: - July 10, 2023

Tribal schools funded by the Bureau of Indian Education will receive additional funding to increase access to behavioral health and wellness support programs. “The Interior Department is committed to creating positive, safe and culturally-relevant learning environments,” Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland said in the funding announcement on June 29. The programs will provide virtual counseling […]

‘We made a huge difference’: Navajo police scour Phoenix metro for unhoused victims

By: - July 7, 2023

Driving a white SUV down Loop 202, Derek Benally is ready to get to work. He’s part of a team of Navajo Nation police officers who have been in the Phoenix area, searching for Indigenous people impacted by the closure of the fraudulent rehabilitation facilities. A scheme that targeted Indigenous people because of a loophole […]

Federal government to preserve history of Indian boarding schools

By: - June 13, 2023

The Department of Interior is partnering with the National Endowment for the Humanities to preserve the oral history and records collected as part of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative. The NEH committed $4 million to support the digitization of records from 408 federal Indian boarding schools and create a permanent oral history collection documenting […]

Gila River Indian Community breaks ground on pipeline project to address Colorado River drought

By: - May 24, 2023

Only a month after finalizing funding agreements, the Gila River Indian Community broke ground on its new Reclaimed Water Pipeline Project to help the community with water resources and conserve more water in Lake Mead. The 19.4-mile pipeline was developed in record time, said Gila River Indian Community Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis, and the community […]