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Area Briefs | NTUA electric journeyman team places 2nd in LA

Area Briefs | NTUA electric journeyman team places 2nd in LA


A team of Navajo Tribal Utility Authority journeymen competed in Los Angeles in a Lineman Rodeo on May 14 and placed second in the journeyman wire-down category.

The team was invited by the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power and IBEW Local 18.

More than 20 teams were competing in different events, including major utilities throughout California, such as California Edison, PG&E, and the city of Anaheim.

“It was an honor to represent the Navajo Nation at this event,” said NTUA lineman coach Arthur Blacksheep. “The guys did a great job, matching their skills against some of the major utilities that were invited and finishing in the top three.”

The journeyman team is pictured from left to right: Tyrell Begay, Donathan Hunter, and Javier Jim. Other team members included Pernell Begay and Triston Cody.

In addition to the competition, the Lineman Rodeo was a training opportunity for the NTUA linemen and apprentices to sharpen their skills in electric line work.

Chinle Chapter says thank you to Navajo-Hopi families relief fund

Courtesy photo
Chinle Chapter on Monday hosted an appreciation luncheon for work by the Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund. Relief fund staff included, left to right, Amanda Yazzie, Executive Director and Navajo Nation president candidate Ethel Branch, Glenda Tsosie Wheeler and Hector Begaye.

CHINLE – On Monday Chinle Chapter hosted an appreciation luncheon to recognize the Phase I and Phase II relief efforts of the Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund.

During the two phases, Chinle Chapter helped relief efforts by mobilizing volunteers through a partnership with AmeriCorps, served as a distribution hub, and organized food and PPE distributions throughout the chapter and beyond.

“Chinle Chapter wanted to say thank you and show our appreciation to the staff from Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund,” said Rosanna Jumbo-Fitch, the chapter’s president. “We’re very appreciative of the staff who participated in helping our community and surrounding chapters.”

Ethel Branch, executive director of the relief fund and candidate for Navajo Nation president, said it was an honor to work with them.

According to Cassandra Begay, deputy director of the relief fund, much of the success of the relief effort can be attributed to the chapter, which helped organize and lead food and PPE distributions.

“Honestly, they are the MVPs and heroes who helped protect and save many Navajo and Hopi lives during the pandemic,” Begay said.

Shawna Claw, the chapter’s vice president, said everyone who assisted the relief efforts as a volunteer became a leader.

Theresa Hatathlie, logistics coordinator for the relief fund and Arizona senator for Legislative District 7, spoke virtually and said the Relief Fund started with one goal.

“We wanted to make sure that our relatives, our children, parents, and grandchildren would be safe,” Hatathlie said. “Our matrilineal teachings and our ancestral knowledge had been brought forth.”

Native voting rally aims to gather signatures for progressive measures

PINETOP, Ariz. – Democrats in Northern Arizona are working to build the largest-ever Native Voting Rights Rally, to be held on the Arizona portion of the Navajo Nation on Friday, May 27, according to a news release.

Petitions for three progressive voter initiatives will be available for signing at 66 chapter houses on May 27, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (MST), during the Navajo Power Day of Action.

The three initiatives are: abolishing voter suppression, protecting people from predatory debt collection practices and ensuring that sources of political contributions are disclosed.

All three need 237,000 valid signatures by the July 7 deadline.

Information: Eric Kramer, erickramer102@gmail.com or 201-230-3457.

Native-led gathering considers history, impacts of railroad expansion

OGDEN, Utah – The “Railroads in Native America Gathering,” Utah’s first Native-led public history conference, is planned to amplify the voices of Indigenous scholars, leaders and students in exploring the 160-year interaction with America’s railroad systems.

The event will take place May 19 to 21 at the Ogden Union Station (2501 Wall Ave.)

Hosts are Utah’s eight federally recognized tribes: Confederated Tribes of Goshute Indians, Navajo Nation, Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe, Northwestern Band of Shoshone Nation, Skull Valley Band of Goshute, Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah & Ouray Reservation, and White Mesa Band of the Ute Mountain Ute.

Sponsors include the Utah Division of Indian Affairs, the Ogden Union Station and the Utah Department of Cultural & Community Engagement.

The steering committee planned the event for Ogden, the heart of Utah’s railroad country, and emphasized Native American ideas of knowledge, knowing and scholarship over more “Western” historical authority.

The gathering is a mask-friendly event. Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, seats will be capped at 200 in the Ogden Union Station’s Browning Theater.

A live-steam of the event will also be available on the Utah Division of Indian Affairs’ website.

The event follows a 2019 Native American-focused railroads gathering in Omaha, Neb., pegged to the 150th anniversary of the completion of the railroad.


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