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Articles written by Felicia Fonseca

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Arizona dad seeking answers after son dies in state care

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Richard Blodgett, a single father, was jailed on a drug charge when a worker from Arizona's child welfare agency delivered the news: His son was brain dead and on life support — just days after being taken into state...

 

Buu Nygren sworn in as next Navajo Nation president

FORT DEFIANCE, Ariz. (AP) — Buu Nygren was sworn in Tuesday as the next president of the vast Navajo Nation, a job that will test his ability to make good on promises to deliver water, electricity and broadband to tens of thousands of residents...

 

Law protects export of sacred Native American items from US

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Federal penalties have increased under a newly signed law intended to protect the cultural patrimony of Native American tribes, immediately making some crimes a felony and doubling the prison time for anyone convicted of...

 

Arizona restricts farming to protect groundwater supply

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The outskirts of Kingman, Arizona, used to be a place where pilots would train and recreationists tested their all-terrain vehicles. The dry and empty landscape has since morphed into something much more green that supports...

 

Hopi teens see need for skateboarding park, make it happen

VILLAGE OF TEWA, Ariz. (AP) — They skateboarded on basketball courts and in parking lots, through highway intersections and down roads that twist from the mesas that rise above the high desert. They set up tricks with old railroad ties and lumber,...

 

Arizona fires sweep land rich with ancient sites, artifacts

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — As Jason Nez scans rugged mountains, high desert and cliffsides for signs of ancient tools and dwellings unique to the U.S. Southwest, he keeps in mind that they're part of a bigger picture. And, fire is not new to them....

 

Western wildfires force evacuations in Arizona, California

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The Western U.S. on Monday marked another day of hot, dry and windy weather as crews from California to New Mexico battled wildfires that had forced hundreds of people to leave their homes. Several hundred homes on the outsk...

 

US finds 500 Native American boarding school deaths so far

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A first-of-its-kind federal study of Native American boarding schools that for over a century sought to assimilate Indigenous children into white society has identified more than 500 student deaths at the institutions, but... Full story

 

Native American tribes reach $590 million opioid settlement

Native American tribes have reached settlements over the toll of opioids totaling $590 million with drugmaker Johnson & Johnson and the country's three largest drug distribution companies, according to a court filing made Tuesday. The filing in U.S....

 

Navajo Nation tops Cherokee to become largest tribe in US

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation has by far the largest land mass of any Native American tribe in the country. Now, it's boasting the largest enrolled population, too. Navajos clamored to enroll or fix their records as the tribe offered...

 

Long suspected of murder, she confessed but avoided prison

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — There was no shortage of tips about who killed Pamela Pitts, a rowdy but compassionate 19-year-old whose body was found burned beyond recognition in a pile of trash in 1988. A Satanic cult. A drug dealer. A cowboy. An...

 

Vigils, rallies mark day of awareness for Indigenous victims

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Some shared agonizing stories of frustration and loss. Others prayed and performed ceremonies. All called for action. Across the U.S. on Wednesday, family members, advocates and government leaders commemorated a day of... Full story

 

'Monumental day': Indian Country reacts to Deb Haaland vote

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Citizens of tribes across the U.S. cried and clapped in celebration Monday as Deb Haaland became the first Native American confirmed as secretary of a Cabinet agency. The U.S. Senate voted 51-40 in favor of the Democrat's no... Full story

 

In a pandemic, Navajo community steps up for its vulnerable

TEESTO, Ariz. (AP) — For as long as Raymond Clark has lived alone on this quiet stretch of the Navajo Nation under the watch of the "Praying Mountain," he has depended on everyone yet no one. The 71-year-old has no vehicle or running water but is...

 

Indian Country gripped by Haaland hearing for top US post

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — For Native Americans, Deb Haaland is more than an elected official on track to become the first Indigenous secretary of the Interior Department. She is a sister, an auntie and a fierce pueblo woman whose political stances... Full story

 

US high court to hear case on virus relief for tribes

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case that centers on who gets a share of $8 billion in federal coronavirus relief allocated for Native American tribes. Lower courts split on whether Alaska Native corporations, which own...

 

Rock fall at Grand Canyon reveals ancient animal footprints

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — It's something like a modern-day chuckwalla, strolling in sand dunes on an island in what now is the Grand Canyon region. That's how Steve Rowland, professor emeritus of geology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and...

 

Execution of Native American man stirs emotion within tribe

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Late on a fall evening in 2001, Alyce Slim and her granddaughter stopped at a gas station on the Navajo Nation after searching for a traditional healer for leg ailments. There, in an area where hitchhiking is common, Slim...

 

Hard-hit tribe takes strict steps as virus surges in Arizona

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — People in the deserts of Arizona flee to the White Mountains when the triple-digit heat is too much to bear, cooling off in the forest a few hours away. That worries a Native American tribe that calls the area home, as...

 

Drums, dancers livestream as virus moves powwows online

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The names pop up quickly on Whitney Rencountre's computer screen, and he greets them as he would in person. What's up, y'all? Shout out to you. How's it going? Ya'at'eeh. Good to see you, relatives. He spots someone from the...

 

Window opens for tribes to seek licenses for internet access

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The Federal Communications Commission opened a window Monday for federally recognized tribes to apply for licenses that could help establish or expand internet access on their lands. Tribes had pushed to be first in line...

 

Flood at famed Arizona waterfalls sends tourists scrambling

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A popular tourist spot deep in a gorge off the Grand Canyon known for its blue-green waterfalls will make repairs after heavy flooding over the Thanksgiving break sent tourists scrambling to higher ground. No one was...

 

Native workers not sure what's next after coal plant closes

ALONG THE BLACK MESA AND LAKE POWELL RAILROAD, Ariz. (AP) — Ron Little nestles into a familiar seat aboard a train locomotive and slides the window open, leaning out to get a better view of dozens of rail cars that stretch for a mile behind and...

 

Grand Canyon to make second run at corralling bison herd

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — In the two years since the Grand Canyon approved a plan to reduce the number of bison roaming in the national park, the herd has only grown in size. No one is sure exactly how many of the massive animals call far northern...

 

Climate change still threatens key US river after wet winter

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Snow piled up in the mountains across the U.S. West last winter, leaving enough to thrill skiers into the summer, swelling rivers and streams when it melted, and largely making wildfire restrictions unnecessary. But the wet...

 

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