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.

Arizona celebrated its first Navajo Code Talker Day on Sunday

By: - August 16, 2022

Navajo Code Talker Thomas H. Begay stood at the podium dressed in his gold button-up shirt adorned with his service medals and a custom bolo tie made out of his congressional silver medal that is surrounded by turquoise. He wore his red U.S. Marine Corps hat that has Navajo Code Talker embroidered in gold thread […]

Final steps to remove derogatory names from federal lands underway

By: - August 1, 2022

Sixty-six of the 67 sites on federal land in Arizona with a name that includes a slur for Native American women are slated to be renamed in September. With the public comment period now over, the U.S. Department of Interior is in the final stages of renaming more than 660 geographic features with the word […]

Two NM tribal leaders appointed to new Interior advisory panel

By: - June 20, 2022

Tribal leaders from Arizona and across the country will have direct access to advising the U.S. Department of the Interior for the first time in history with the creation of a tribal advisory panel. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland this week launched the first-ever Secretary’s Tribal Advisory Committee. “Tribes deserve a seat at the […]

Light Up Navajo initiative helps Navajo with ‘life-changing’ access to the electrical grid

By: - May 20, 2022

Melisha Beyal grew up on the Navajo Nation and always wanted to put a home on her family’s homesite in Klagetoh. It’s where her family is from and where she grew up — but it’s also in an area that doesn’t have access to electricity or running water.  In fact, her mother moved away from […]

Ending the ‘life of violence’: Raising awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

By: - May 5, 2022

May 5 is the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG).  In 2017, the U.S. Senate signed a resolution that designated May 5 as the “National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls.” Sen. Steve Daines, R-Montana, introduced the resolution in response to the disappearance […]

Interior Department announces funding for tribal communities to address climate change

By: - April 20, 2022

Tribal nations across the country have the opportunity to receive funding to address the unique impacts climate change has within their communities. “As the effects of climate change continue to intensify, Indigenous communities are facing unique climate-related challenges that pose existential threats to Tribal economies, infrastructure, lives, and livelihoods,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in […]

White House report highlights voting barriers for Native American voters

By: - April 15, 2022

Native Americans face recurring and unnecessary barriers when it comes to exercising their right to vote, according to a report released by the White House.  “Many of the voting barriers faced by Native American communities are persistent and longstanding, with deep historical roots,” the report states. The report identified a wide range of barriers that […]

‘Light Up Navajo’ initiative aims to connect 300 families to the electrical grid

By: - April 12, 2022

The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA) is working with utility crews from across the U.S. to extend power lines and bring electricity to families on the Navajo Nation as part of the Light Up Navajo III initiative. Light Up Navajo III (LUN III) is a mutual aid project that extends service to Navajo homes without […]

Large census undercount of Indigenous people on tribal lands means fewer resources, political power

By: - April 12, 2022

Indigenous people living on tribal land were the group most likely to be undercounted in the 2020 Census, according to an analysis released by the U.S. Census Bureau, which means tribal governments will have fewer federal resources and less political power. According to the Post-Enumeration Survey (PES) released by the U.S. Census Bureau in March, Indigenous people […]

Tribal officials, advocates hail renewal of Violence Against Women Act

By: - March 18, 2022

Tribal leaders, advocates, and communities across the country are applauding the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which includes the extension of tribal jurisdiction over non-Native perpetrators of sexual violence, sex trafficking, stalking, child violence, and obstruction of justice. “The Violence Against Women Act is an important step forward in addressing jurisdictional gaps that […]

Replacements for removing derogatory names on federal lands published

By: - February 25, 2022

The Department of the Interior’s Derogatory Geographic Names Task Force published a list of replacement names for the geographic features with the name “sq***,” which was officially declared a derogatory term last year by Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland. “Words matter, particularly in our work to make our nation’s public lands and waters accessible and […]

Non-profit provides relief for COVID-positive Navajo & Hopi families

By: - February 15, 2022

Glenda Wheeler handed a list of food items to her helpers for the day as they all stood behind their shopping carts inside the Window Rock Bashas’, ready to shop. Wheeler let them know they are serving four families today, and everything listed on the shopping list needed to be purchased to fulfill the request. […]