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.

‘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 […]

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

By: - May 16, 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 12, 2023

The Arizona task force will prepare and submit a report to Gov. Katie Hobbs with recommendations for administrative or legislative action on or before Dec. 1 of each year through 2026.(Photo by Shelby Wyatt for Source NM)

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

By: - May 2, 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: - May 1, 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 […]

Navajo Nation to get federal funding following disaster declaration

By: - April 18, 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 […]

Tribal leaders support push for creation of Grand Canyon national monument

By: - April 13, 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 11, 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 […]