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Posts tagged: Navajo Nation

Honoring the Past With a Recipe that Looks to a Healthy Future

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

Every now and then we come across a great story of people making change in their communities and so it was on the next stop in the Recipes for Healthy Kids competition. Tribal communities are focusing a lot of attention on ending the epidemic of childhood obesity in Indian Country and attention and credit is due to Monument Valley High School in Kayenta, Arizona.  Located on the Navajo Nation, they are the only school district in Indian Country to make it to the semi-finals of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Recipes for Healthy Kids competition.

The team at Monument Valley is making its contribution to a healthy community by designing a nutritious recipe that will be served to their classmates and with a bit of luck, students across the country. Our judges, score cards at the ready, could not wait to take that first bite. Read more »

Navajo Nation Veterinary Stockpile Exercise

On April 27, I was honored to accompany President Shelley of the Navajo Nation for the National Veterinary Stockpile (NVS) exercise held in Window Rock.  The NVS exercise provides countermeasures – supplies, equipment, medicine, vaccines and response support services – that states and Tribes need to respond to foreign animal disease outbreaks.

This exercise with the Navajo Nation marks the first Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)-sponsored full-scale exercise on Tribal lands.  I want to acknowledge the enthusiasm and commitment of Tribal personnel to gain experience and identify gaps, shortfalls, limitations that could impair the Navajo Nation’s ability to receive, store and distribute NVS countermeasures in a real emergency. Read more »

Thousands of Members of the Navajo Nation in New Mexico Will Soon Get Running Water

By Ernie Watson – Public Information Coordinator, USDA Rural Development

Although Earth Day won’t be celebrated until April 22nd, the dedication and blessing of the Eastern Navajo Waterline at Counselor, New Mexico on Monday epitomized the very essence of what former Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson envisioned 40 years ago when he established the first celebration of Earth Day.

The new water line will serve 10,000 members of the Navajo Nation with another 10,000 to be served within the next decade.  Currently, 4,500 residents that will be served by the waterline drive up to 100 miles round trip to haul water for their home use and to provide water for their livestock.

The Navajo Chapters of Huerfano, Nageezi, Burnam, Counselor, Ojo Encino, Torreon, Pueblo Pintado and Whitehorse Lake are in the midst of a major water crisis. The residents of these communities do not have a sustainable long-term water supply and the aquifer in this harshly arid region is pumped much more quickly than it can be recharged by rainfall.

USDA Rural Development, the State of New Mexico, the Navajo Nation, the Indian Health Services and these eight Navajo Chapters to be served by the waterline, partnered to fund the $28.6 million to construct the water supply system. Rural Development provided $8.7 million in Tribal Set-Aside Water and Environmental Program funds for the project.  When completed in two years, the water line will stretch 70 miles across four counties to provide clean, healthy water to those living in this remote area of New Mexico.

During the dedication ceremony, Earl Herrera the Hataalii (medicine man) asked the officials from each of the agencies, including RD State Director Terry Brunner, to participate in the traditional blessing of the water system.  Each sprinkled corn pollen on themselves and the earth to give thanks for the construction of the water system.

A weaver from the Pueblo Pintado Navajo Chapter created a USDA rug commemorating the ceremonies that said “Ahehee” or “Thank you” in Navajo.

A Navajo rug was presented to State Director Terry Brunner during the dedication and blessing of the Eastern Navajo Waterline ceremonies. The rug was crafted by a local artesian. The word “Ahehee” means ““Thank you” in Navajo.
A Navajo rug was presented to State Director Terry Brunner during the dedication and blessing of the Eastern Navajo Waterline ceremonies. The rug was crafted by a local artesian. The word “Ahehee” means ““Thank you” in Navajo.

New Mexico Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner (center) participates in a traditional Navajo blessing by sprinkling corn pollen on the ground during the dedication ceremonies for the Eastern Navajo Waterline in northwest New Mexico.
New Mexico Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner (center) participates in a traditional Navajo blessing by sprinkling corn pollen on the ground during the dedication ceremonies for the Eastern Navajo Waterline in northwest New Mexico