Navajo Nation Small Business Grants – When Julie Badonie was growing up in the small Navajo community of Tohatchee in the 1940s, her father rode her horse every morning to a nearby spring. There, he filled wooden buckets with water, which the family used for drinking, cooking, and washing that day.
Badoni, the youngest of seven children, is accompanied by siblings who fought in World War II and the Korean War. He thinks it’s fun. At home, a hose pumped water into buckets to bring home.
Navajo Nation Small Business Grants
Badonie went to boarding school in kindergarten, first a few miles outside the city, then a few days’ drive in Crownpoint, where her older sister worked as a cook, and finally to Albuquerque for high school. coming home meant waking up without flushing the toilet or turning on the faucets or switches, but he didn’t care.
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“We just loved being at home with our parents, sisters, brothers, it didn’t really matter,” Badonie said. “You’ll be free when you go home.”
Tó’háách’ih means “man who digs water” in reference to a river near the Chuska (Ch’oshgai) or “White Pine” Mountains.
The community is nestled among the blue peaks of Mount Ch’oshgai, frozen in winter with snow. When that snow melts or it rains, water flows from the peaks into the canyon, which meanders beneath the pines. Erosion and rocks have narrowed the dirt road into the canyon so much that now ambulances can’t reach the few houses on the high ground, and even propane trucks struggle.
Cream-colored with maroon, local government offices near the senior center, employees packing lunches in car windows and a kindergarten with a playground are quiet, with schools closed this year due to the pandemic. Rows of box houses with walls and thatched roofs line the entire street.
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For the past eight years, Badonie visited the chapter house almost every day. After his retirement, he became more interested in running the office and serving as vice president and president of the department. His tenure ended in December, but he’s still frequently involved, helping new hires with ongoing projects.
Among those concerns are connecting more Tohatchee residents to public utilities and ensuring a long-term, abundant water supply for the community itself.
Badoni’s home, like many homes near Tohatchee, now has running water and electricity. But 800 to 900 people in Tohatchi depend on one well and one pump, and another 600 to 800 in Mexico Springs, eight miles to the west.
If a functioning pump fails or the water level drops – two issues that have plagued the Gallup area this year – water will be cut off to homes, the elementary school, schools, ‘clinics, the.’ a large center, five churches and a convenience store and gas station.
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But there is promise in the public space for the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project, which would draw water from the San Juan River and deliver it to communities on the eastern side of the Navajo Nation.
The project consists of two pipelines. The 200-mile pipeline, known as the San Juan Lateral, would carry 37,700 acre-feet of water annually to the Navajo Nation, an economic center in western New Mexico, and Gallup, an economic center surrounded by a long-term water supply. is at risk due to groundwater contamination. Another smaller pipeline, called Cutter Lateral, is located about 100 miles to the east and was completed in the fall of 2020.
Because of delays, the San Juan Pipeline won’t deliver its first water until 2028, 20 years after Congress approved the plan and nearly a quarter-century after the Navajo Nation in New Mexico was shut down.
But it promises to improve dramatically. Fresh water will come from a single well and flow to Tohatche. Elsewhere, the pipeline provides water to 30-40% of Navajo Nation residents who live without it in their homes.
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Often, water for the elderly comes from buckets and jugs for cooking, washing hands, or splashing on your face.
Filling potholes can mean driving ten miles on muddy roads for days after rain or snow and paying by the gallon. They may use closer, unregulated water sources that can carry pollutants and cause health concerns.
According to the Indian Health Service, 10% of American Indian and Alaska Native households lack safe drinking water, compared to an average of 1%. Many of these homes are spread across remote Alaskan Native villages. The second largest is the Navajo Nation, which covers 27,000 square miles in western New Mexico, southern Utah, and eastern Arizona and is larger than 10 of the 50 US states.
When COVID-19 reached the Navajo Nation last spring, infections reached the highest rate per capita in the United States. In America, the lack of a basic staple of life – clean drinking water in every home – exacerbates the conditions for the spread of the virus.
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“Every Navajo member has family members who live far away and don’t have water — we knew this was going to be a problem from the beginning,” said Navajo Nation member and associate professor Andrew Curley. University of Arizona for Indigenous Studies. Water use, water laws and settlements. “There’s a strange, troubling correlation and overlap: You see places where we know water is scarce, and all these problems … are the same places where infection rates are high.”
Repeated reports from academics and government agencies have pointed to the lack of water as a failure of the federal government’s promise to create a decent community for the Diné (Navazo people) in exchange for an 1868 treaty agreement to live on part of their historic homeland. . In short, this is called a federal trust system.
Despite federal responsibility, the Navajo people waited more than a century for pipelines and water treatment plants to bring drinking water to all their people, while nearby reservation towns and ranches grew by siphoning water from the Colorado River basin. the tribe has claims.
In 2009, the US Congress signed a treaty between the Navajo Nation and the State of New Mexico, which recognized the Navajo’s claim to water for drinking and domestic use. For the first time since the treaty was signed, how much water the tribe owed.
Navajo Nation Council
The tribe could have gotten more water if they had taken the matter through the legal system, but they worked with Congress to reach an agreement that appeased all parties. The Navajo Nation received official amounts of water and federal funding to build a pipeline to bring this water to communities. Instead, they settled for less water than they could judge, and assured congressional representatives from other states along the Colorado River that tribal water use in the troubled river basin wouldn’t one day force states like Phoenix and Las Vegas to back down. clap your hands
The agreement brought more water to the people. But communities like Tohatchi have struggled to find ways to build lines to connect to the new pipeline.
“The problem is not Nawazo’s problem, it’s a problem of government and bureaucracy and it continues to prioritize corporate interests or large-scale development plans over the needs of everyday citizens,” he said. Sixth World Solutions works with Navajo Nation communities on sustainable development. “We are considered leaders of democracy and the free world, but we do not have the human right to get water in our own country.”
Nothing comes without water. The Tribal Housing Authority will not build a house if there is no water for washing. Schools, health centers, administrative offices, restaurants and businesses cannot be built or continue to function without it.
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“The homeland of the Navajo people is not just a piece of land between our four sacred mountains, but a place where our culture, our language and our way of life and our people can live and grow,” Jr. said.
In 1913, the US Public Health Service’s first survey of Native American health revealed alarming rates of infectious disease due to the lack of basic sanitation. Decades of lack of clean water for handwashing and sanitation have been linked to the highest rates of influenza, pneumonia, tuberculosis, cholera, typhoid and water-related diseases. dysentery.
In the 1950s, 80% of Native American and Alaskan families still obtained drinking water from creeks, rivers, ponds, and other unprotected bodies of water.