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An essential worker gets vaccinated at a special event Bashas’ food stores set up for its workers in Chandler. Overall, 30% of all eligible Arizonans have received at least one shot, and about 19% are fully vaccinated, but rates for people of color are lagging.

A March report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention praised only two states for their efforts in getting vaccines to vulnerable communities. One of them was Arizona. But while the federal report shows strong outreach at the broader county level, ZIP code data from the state health department reveals disparities with the vaccination rates in several neighborhoods where residents are predominantly people of color and more impoverished. Read more»

Water hauling the only way to deliver water on parts of the Navajo Nation, which says it has almost $4 billion in needed water projects. In this 2017 photo, Darlene Arviso fills her truck with well water for deliver from the St. Bonaventure Indian Mission and School.

Arizona tribal officials told a Senate committee that the federal government can help address a crisis with water infrastructure on their lands through more funding, and less meddling. It’s not just lack of money that’s holding tribes back, but federal laws that hamstring their ability to make decisions for themselves. Read more»

Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., speaks at a 2019 event of the American Federation of Government Employees. Haaland, nominated to be the Biden administration’s Interior secretary, would be the first Native American to run a Cabinet agency if confirmed.

U.S. Rep. Debra Haaland made history on Monday when she became the first Native American to ever be confirmed by the U.S. Senate to hold a position in a president's Cabinet. Read more»

A man plays a historic horse racing machine at Colonial Downs racetrack in Virginia in 2019.

Tribal opposition could sink a bill to allow wagering on old horse races, which comes as Gov. Doug Ducey is hoping to push through a new gaming compact and legislation to legalize sports betting in Arizona. Under the state’s gaming compact, tribes are limited in operation in exchange for the state limiting gambling outside of reservations to things like the lottery and pari-mutuel horse racing that predate the compact and were grandfathered in. Read more»

Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., would be first Native American to run a Cabinet-level agency if confirmed by the Senate. But senators from coal and oil states have challenged her position on fossil fuels during her confirmation hearing.

In a bitter and at times high-decibel round of questioning at her confirmation hearing on Wednesday, Interior nominee Rep. Deb Haaland again fielded questions from Senate Republicans from oil and gas-producing states about the Biden administration’s energy policies. If confirmed by the Senate, Haaland, a member of the Laguna Pueblo, would run the $21 billion agency that oversees more than 450 million acres of public land. Read more»

Jessica Gable, a spokesperson for Food and Water Watch, a nonprofit dedicated to climate action, isn’t so enthusiastic about the administration’s pause on leasing, which she says is riddled with loopholes. The main issue, she said, is that oil and gas companies stockpiled thousands of leases after learning Biden was likely to halt the process.

The Biden administration ordered a 60-day pause on new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters after environmental activists sent a letter urging the administration to issue a permanent ban rather than a temporary one. The decision has drawn praise and criticism from both sides, but is just the beginning of potential federal action. The administration has promised to protect 30% of public lands and waters by 2030. Read more»

Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., in a photo from 2019, would be first Native American to run a Cabinet-level agency if confirmed by the Senate. But senators from coal and oil states challenged her position on fossil fuels during the first day of her confirmation hearing.

While Senate Republicans used the Interior confirmation hearing for Rep. Debra Haaland to air their grievances about the Biden administration’s energy policies, supporters at the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing focused mostly on the historic nature of the nomination. Read more»

Apache Stronghold activists marched in Phoenix in oppositino to the Resolution Copper mine at Oak Flat, before holding a vigil ahead of a U.S. District Court hearing on their case. The judge in that case rejected their request for a preliminary injunction Friday.

U.S. District Judge Steven Logan rejected a request by the group Apache Stronghold for a preliminary injunction against the proposed Resolution Copper Mine on Oak Flat, saying the group did not have standing to challenge the project and questioning the merits and likelihood of success of the claim. Read more»

Calcium deposits on the rock formations at Lake Mead, the largest reservoir on the Colorado River, show the impact of lingering drought on water levels. Hydrologists fear the reservoir will drop to the level at which no water can be released – a situation known as 'dead pool.'

Climate change is pushing the western United States and northern Mexico toward an extreme long-term drought that could be worse than any in recorded history, scientists revealed in a new study published in the journal Science Thursday. Read more» 1

Native Americans are seeking more help from the federal government to fight COVID-19, even as the Navajo Nation and other tribes take steps to combat the disease themselves – including raising money to help vulnerable citizens and issuing shelter-in-place orders. Read more»

The Navajo Nation closed Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Arizona. Tribal governments are working to protect their venerated Elders from the coronavirus pandemic.

As tribes across the country take steps to fight the spread of the coronavirus, they’re doing so mindful that the virus has proven especially dangerous to the elderly, a venerated group in many Native communities. Read more»

Arizona Sens. John McCain, left, and Jeff Flake speak in support of their bill to settle a water dispute between Freeport Minerals and the Hualapai tribe. McCain said they are willing to work with anyone who has concerns over the bill.

Tribal and state lawmakers urged a Senate panel to pass a water-rights deal between the Hualapai and Freeport Minerals Corp., saying time is fast running out. The deal for tribal water rights in the Bill Williams River watershed is backed by the state's congressional delegation. Read more»

We start things off with State Senator Paula Aboud and her upcoming flat-tax forums. Plus, former Corp. Commission chair Kris Mayes, and the co-authors of a book on Navajo artist Quincey Tahoma. Read more»

William and Lula Yazzie, the author’s grandparents, eat dinner by the light of an electric lamp.

For more than 80 years of his life, William Yazzie didn't know what it was like to flick a switch in his own home and have light flood the room. The lines finally reached him in 2008. Still, more than 18,000 households on the reservation are waiting for electricity. Read more» 1

There are two sides to every issue. Or are there three? Read more»