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The Rights Of Nature Movement Cannot Be Stopped

The Ecuadorian constitution, since 2008, has stated: ”Nature or Pachamama, where life is reproduced and exists, has the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions and its processes in evolution.” This bold statement galvanized the rights to nature movement across the globe. Its growing reach, along with a precedent-setting court decision earlier this winter, illustrate the power of invoking legalized rights in protecting endangered ecosystems. The importance of rights of nature is deeply rooted in Indigenous understandings of the interconnectedness of all life. In this century, the legal movement for protection has looped from the Navajo Nation through a small town in Pennsylvania, to Ecuador then across the world, returning to native communities of North America, and back to Ecuador.

Climate Change: Navajo Nation Faces Drought, Fire, Flooding

Gallup, New Mexico — It’s an overcast, windy November day as Zachariah Ben stands tall over the small, folding table at a local flea market. His tsiiyééł sits low on his neck and it’s clear that his dark brown hair is very long. Before him, on a black-and-white Pendleton blanket, sit two products — Bidii Baby Food and neeshjizzii — that share a common element, naadą́ą́, or corn. He’s already sold out of tádídíín, or corn pollen, this year, which sells fast during the summer and fall. But tádídíín is not the only thing missing from the table. Over the summer, he offered a variety of melons grown at Ben Farms, owned and operated by his family, at different flea markets in the Four Corners area on Saturdays and Sundays.

Diné Organization Files Petition Against United States, Cites Human Rights Violations

For decades, the people on Navajo Nation have had no drinking water, due to uranium mining. Today, the Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining (ENDAUM) submitted the additional documents needed for a petition it filed in 2011 against the United States over the issue, to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. In a Washington Post Live program on Tuesday, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said up to forty percent of Navajo people do not have running water or electricity in their homes, including his own family. “I’m the President of the Navajo Nation, my family does not have running water, and yet, I am the President of the Navajo Nation,” said Nez during the livestream.

Navajo Nation: Missing And Murdered Indigenous Peoples Awareness Day

Window Rock, AZ - Honoring and remembering missing and murdered Indigenous persons on the Navajo Nation, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer signed a proclamation recognizing May 5, 2021, as "Navajo Nation Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples Awareness Day.” The leaders were joined by their respective wives, First Lady Phefelia Nez, and Second Lady Dottie Lizer, at the Navajo Nation Veterans Memorial Park in Window Rock, Ariz. Also in attendance were the 24th Navajo Nation Council’s Sexual Assault Prevention Subcommittee Chair Amber Kanazbah Crotty, Miss Navajo Nation Shaandiin Parrish, and the Albuquerque Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Field Office.

Take Uranium Tailings Far Away From Navajo Nation

Window Rock - President Jonathan Nez has sent a letter stating the Nation wants radioactive mine waste disposed off of — and nowhere near — the Navajo Nation. The letter is in response to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s recent proposal to allow United Nuclear Corporation to transfer the waste from the Northeast Church Rock abandoned uranium mine on the Navajo Nation to the neighboring uranium mill tailings impoundment at the UNC Church Rock Mill Site. Comments are being taken until May 27. Nez’s letter to John R. Tappert, director of the ?Division of Rulemaking, Environmental, and Financial Support Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards ?for the NRC, states the Red Water Pond Road Community and many other Navajo communities have been severely impacted by the legacy of uranium mining on the Navajo Nation.

Radiation Illnesses And COVID-19 In The Navajo Nation

The COVID-19 pandemic is wiping out Indigenous elders and with them the cultural identity of Indigenous communities in the United States. But on lands that sprawl across a vast area of the American West, the Navajo (or Diné) are dealing not just with the pandemic, but also with another, related public health crisis. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says COVID-19 is killing Native Americans at nearly three times the rate of whites, and on the Navajo Nation itself, about 30,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus and roughly 1,000 have died. But among the Diné, the coronavirus is also spreading through a population that decades of unsafe uranium mining and contaminated groundwater has left sick and vulnerable.

Navajo Nation And White Mountain Apache Tribe Chase Down A Virus

On a mild morning in April at Arizona’s Whiteriver Indian Hospital, Dr. Ryan Close tested nasal swabs from two members of an eight-person household on the Fort Apache Reservation northwest of Phoenix. About half of the family had a runny nose and cough and had lost their sense of taste and smell — all symptoms of COVID-19 — and, by late morning, the two tests had come back positive. Close’s contact-tracing work began. For Close and his team, each day begins like this: with a list of new COVID-19 cases — new sources that may have spread the virus.
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