Please help us provide students in the Black Mesa Navajo community with the devices they need to continue their education in continuing quarantine conditions. We accept functional devices as well as donations to help us provide 40 families with the needed supplies. This is an urgent project and all donations will help and are valued.
The Black Mesa Navajo Elders located within the Navajo Nation, are currently isolated from access to basic resources such as groceries and other life necessities. Through strong partnerships with food donors in Arizona and Colorado, food deliveries to the Black Mesa community have become a significant problem as well as getting these groceries refrigerated so that the groceries do not perish.
The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the crisis of a lack of access to food for the Black Mesa elders
and their families. Many Black Mesa community members live in the traditional ways, and rely on plant dyes and sheep herding and wool for their weavings. The Elders in the community are not able to risk their health to go out to get groceries and animal feed. So we are fundraising to support a food delivery system for the community.
Achieved short term goal: This past summer we raised funding towards solar panels and solar-driven refrigerators. The Black Mesa community was dependent on dry ice which was not an efficient solution and food was spoiling as a result of the lack of refrigerators. The Black Mesa community is located too far away from the villages and therefore, does not have access to electricity.
In progress long term goal: We are hoping to assist in food distribution services and will be seeking funding specifically for two full-time workers, hired from within the Navajo community, to bring food from our partners in Phoenix, Flagstaff, and Durango, and distribute it to Black Mesa families.
The difficulties accessing food have existed for a long time, as the Navajo Nation (an area the size of West Virginia) has officially been labeled as a “food desert” as there are only 14 grocery stores with a population of more than 350.000. Running water is another major issue, which we hope the Navajo Nation will remedy in the near future with the government funding they have recently received in aid of Covid-19.
We hope you will sponsor this initiative by the Institute for Research on Trauma and Resilience, allowing us to aid, particularly the Diné Elders, and the other members of the Black Mesa community.
As of May 25th, 2020 we have raised enough towards our short term goal, and have purchased the first round of solar panels and refrigerators. Please check back in for updates on the project, as we will be running updates with the latest information.
UPDATE: As of June 23, we have raised c. $4000 and the first purchase has been made. A solarpanel package and a refrigerator and freezer set was delivered to the Black Mesa community within the next days. While this is a great start, we still have long ways to go, as this cannot support the 40 families.
While we continue our work we want to send our warmest gratitude to all of the people who are sponsoring this project and who through their generosity allow us to do the work we are passionate about. And a special thank you to the Home Depot store in Arizona who we have been collaborating with on all of our Black Mesa projects. Thank you for your continued support and discounts.
Universalist Unitarian Church in Downtown Riverside
We will be co-hosting an all day weaving event where the Black Mesa Weavers will be sharing their cultural knowledge with the public as well as their craft. Weaving workshops will be happening throughout the day as people come and go. The event is free and open to the public and there will be a raffle going on and traditional Diné rugs and jewelry will be sold with all the proceeds going to the Navajo weavers. Doors open at 10AM.
Universalist Unitarian Church of Riverside
3525 Mission Inn Ave.
Riverside, CA 92501
(Corner of Mission Inn Ave. and Lemon St.) Begins at 10AM.
"Remembrance and Renewal: Navajo Resilience through Weaving Traditions"
In conjunction with California State University, Channel Islands as part of their "Native Voices" exhibit.
The event will feature elders of the Diné Nation sharing their wisdom, songs and traditions. Speakers in the event's lecture series include Dr. Christine Gailey, Dr. Ivana Mora, and Dr. Lee Greer. Interactive workshops, including a weaving workshop, will be held and traditional Diné rugs will be sold with 100% of the proceeds going to the Navajo Weavers.
The event is free and open to the public and will begin at 10AM