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Livestreamed virtual concert Monday will aid DV programs

WINDOW ROCK

Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Jewel will partner with Diné-owned upcycled clothing brand Orenda Tribe for a livestreamed concert next Monday to raise funds for domestic violence programs on the Navajo Nation that have not received any government funding for over a year.

“Voices of Hwoldzil (Resilience)” will be livestreamed from 5 to 7 p.m. MST on Oct. 12, Indigenous Peoples Day, on Jewel’s official Facebook page.

All proceeds will go to Amá dóó Alchini Bighan in Chinle and Todenasshai Shelter Home in Kayenta, Arizona.

The programs have relied on donations for the past year while their contracts for federal pass-through funds have been held up by the Navajo Nation Division of Social Services on a series of technicalities. As of Wednesday, the shelters still did not have contracts for fiscal 2020, although they had been informed they would be allowed to back-bill for expenses from the past year, and had been given contract numbers they could provide to creditors.

“These shelters provide safety and security for our relatives experiencing trauma,” said Amy Yeung, founder of Orenda Tribe and member of the Dzil Asdzáán Command Center, a charitable group that has been working to provide food, PPE and other relief to the Navajo Nation during the pandemic. “It breaks my heart to see and hear what they have been subjected to during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Submitted
Cover art for Voices of Hwoldzil, an event featuring Jewel and Orenda Tribe fashion designers to benefit efforts to combat domestic violence.

In addition to a performance by Jewel, the concert will feature speeches, poems and songs by Radmilla Cody, Kinsale Hueston, U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty and many others.

Sponsors include Missing and Murdered Diné Relatives, The Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women, Stronghearts Native Helpline, Songlines by Jewel, Anna Sheffield, Core Response, Faherty Brand and Toyota.

Lorena Halwood, director of ADABI, said she appreciates the help and isn’t sure what she would have done without it.

She said the idea for a benefit concert was the brainchild of Diné singer and activist Radmilla Cody, who often performs pro bono for various causes.

“Radmilla has been wanting to do this concert for a long, long time,” she said. “I think this is the perfect time since it’s Indigenous Peoples Day and also Domestic Violence Awareness Month.”

Halwood said ADABI and Todenasshai, as the only two programs actually on the Navajo Nation other than the tribe’s own Shiprock shelter, “are always forgotten.”

“Until these women came along, nobody raised money for us,” she said. “We’re the ones who are in the trenches every day.”

According to Halwood, people have already started donating and the last time she looked, the fund was up to $3,000. The goal is $200,000.

Information or to donate: https://www.orendatribe.com/voices-of-hwoldzil


About The Author

Cindy Yurth

Cindy Yurth is the Tséyi' Bureau reporter, covering the Central Agency of the Navajo Nation. Her other beats include agriculture and Arizona state politics. She holds a bachelor’s degree in technical journalism from Colorado State University with a cognate in geology. She has been in the news business since 1980 and with the Navajo Times since 2005, and is the author of “Exploring the Navajo Nation Chapter by Chapter.” She can be reached at cyurth@navajotimes.com.

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