Drilling Deep
7:17 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Voices from Drilling Deep: Etta Arviso

Oil and gas development near Nageezi, New Mexico.
Credit Laura Paskus

Etta Arviso is one of the Diné – or, Navajo – women who I met last year in Counselor, New Mexico. She is an “allottee,” which means her family lives on land adjacent to the Navajo reservation that is held in trust by the United States government. 

In this audio clip, she introduces herself, talks about the history of her homeland and people, and voices her opposition to increased oil and gas development on the checkerboard lands of the eastern Navajo Nation.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:50 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Navajo Nation To Tax Junk Food

Credit Jeff Adair via Flickr

Residents of the Navajo Nation will now be paying more for junk food. Last week Navajo President Ben Shelly signed the Healthy Dine' Nation Act into law, adding a tax on unhealthy food sold anywhere on Navajo land. Deswood Tome is Special Advisor to President Shelly. He spoke to KUNM about the law's implications. 

"The law imposes a tax on junk food as a deterrent, so when people go to the store they'll make a conscious decision to buy nutritious food," Tome said.

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Local News
7:29 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Services held for Navajo Code Talker Chester Nez

Chester Nez

Flags were lowered across New Mexico as family and friends gathered in Albuquerque for a funeral Mass to honor the last of the original 29 Navajo Code Talkers.

Chester Nez died last week in Albuquerque. He was 93.

The Mass was held Tuesday morning in Albuquerque, with burial afterward at the Santa Fe National Cemetery.

Gov. Susana Martinez called for flags to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sundown Tuesday. She calls Nez and his fellow Code Talkers true patriots who changed the course of history.

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Star Wars
2:37 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Navajo Star Wars: A Reason To Celebrate

Credit KUNM News

This summer Star Wars, Episode Four will get re-dubbed in Navajo. It’s the first time a major motion picture will be translated into a North American Indigenous language. As KUNM’s Christine Trudeau reports, the project may provide "A New Hope" for Navajo families wishing to learn and preserve the language.

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Local News
12:10 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Navajo Nation Hikes Sales Tax by 1%

FARMINGTON, N.M. (Farmington Daily News) — Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly is expected to sign a bill this week that would increase the tribe's sales tax by 1 percent. The Navajo Nation Council passed the bill last week. Money from the increase would go toward education and energy development when it takes effect in January.

Local News
8:32 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Sandia Lab Extends Agreement to Assist Navajo Energy Ventures

FARMINGTON, N.M. (Farmington Daily Times) — Sandia National Laboratories extended an agreement with the Navajo Nation to provide technical assistance as the tribe develops its energy resources.

The Farmington Daily Times reports ( that the agreement announced Friday extends the cooperative relationship between the federal lab and the tribe another five years.

The agreement comes as the tribe is forging an energy policy to take advantage of the coal, natural gas, wind and solar resources on Navajo land.

The tribe has rich energy resources.

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9:27 am
Wed December 7, 2011

ALEC Protesters Target Navajo Generating Station

Photo via by The US National Archives

Sixteen people were arrested at the Salt River Project’s offices in Tempe Arizona on Friday. As Devin Brown reports from the Fronteras Changing America Desk, the protesters want the utility company to stop operating their coal-fired power plant on the Navajo Nation.

4:20 pm
Mon November 28, 2011

Backyard Foods in the Southwest

Photo via www,

Tired of waiting in line at the supermarket during this holiday season? Well, there may be some food you can harvest right out your back door. From the Fronteras Changing America Desk, Jill Replogle introduces us to some native foods that are making a comeback in the southwest.

10:07 am
Wed November 23, 2011

Navajo Thanksgiving Traditions

Photo via

For some Native Americans Thanksgiving is not quite the same kind of celebration that it is for other Americans. After all, the Pilgrim arrival and settlement didn’t exactly work out well for the Natives. In the vast Navajo Nation in the southwest, many do gather with families to give thanks on this holiday, just like their Anglo neighbors. But Navajo traditions teach them that Thanksgiving is, for them, a daily practice. That’s what Navajo teacher Brent Chase passes on to the children in his Joseph City (northern Arizona) classroom when its time for the Thanksgiving lesson.

9:18 am
Fri November 11, 2011

Last of Navajo Code Talkers Shares His Experience of WWII

Photo courtesy of Caveman Chuck Coker via

Only one of the original Navajo Code Talkers remains. Those were the 29 Navajo Marines who used their native language to devise an unbreakable code during World War II. Laurel Morales of the Fronteras Changing America Desk spoke with 90-year-old Veteran Chester Nez.


4:37 pm
Wed November 9, 2011

Navajo Head Start Program Funded

Photo via

The federal government has decided to fully fund the Head Start program on the Navajo Nation. As Fronteras Changing America Desk correspondent Laural Morales reports, this is after the feds threatened to cut the tribe’s program in half three months ago.


11:30 am
Wed November 9, 2011

Navajo and Hopi Tribes Discuss Future of Coal

Photo via

Whichever direction that fight goes, some are seeing the writing on the wall. For decades the Navajo and Hopi Tribes have relied on the coal industry as their economic base. As Laural Morales reports from the Fronteras Changing America Desk, tribal leaders from the Four Corners region joined with academics and political leaders in Flagstaff last week to come up with alternative economic resources.


9:28 am
Wed November 2, 2011

Navajo Nation to Issue First Bonds

Photo by VibraCobra23 via

The Navajo Nation plans to issue its first bonds to raise funds for local infrastructure projects. Unlike their state and municipal counterparts, tribes typically face more challenges borrowing money.  As Laurel Morales reports from the Fronteras Changing America Desk, this move may pave the way for other tribes looking to stimulate their economies.


9:19 am
Wed October 26, 2011

Navajo Tribe Split on Grand Canyon Flight Noise

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons by Brian Snelson

Four months after the official public comment period ended, Grand Canyon officials are still waiting for the Navajo Nation to comment about flight noise.

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9:18 am
Mon October 24, 2011

Clothing Co. Pulls Navajo Name from Products

Photo via

The word “Navajo” no longer appears on the Urban Outfitters website. The trendy clothing chain has removed it from numerous product names in the wake of criticism from the Navajo Nation. The tribe has trademarks on the Navajo name. As Laurel Morales reports from the Fronteras Changing America Desk, all this brings up a bigger debate about private business misrepresenting and profiting from Native American imagery.

9:40 am
Mon October 10, 2011

Navajo Coal Plant to Be Demolished

Next month the last of the world’s largest coal-slurry plants will literally implode. The Mohave Generating Station in Laughin Nevada closed in 2005 after a series of conflicts with environmentalists and the Navajo Nation over pollution and water use.

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KUNM Local
12:07 pm
Fri September 30, 2011

EPA To Clean Up Uranium Mine on Navajo Nation

Photo via

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced this week plans to clean up the largest and highest priority uranium mine on the Navajo Nation. Laurel Morales reports for the Fronteras Changing America Desk.

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5:32 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

Navajo Nation Tries to Stop Snow Making With Recycled Waste Water in AZ

Photo via

The President of the Navajo Nation is in Switzerland today seeking the help of the United Nations Human Rights Council. As Laurel Morales reports for the Fronteras Changing America Desk, it's a last-ditch effort to stop recycled waste water from being used to make snow on the San Francisco Peaks north of Flagstaff.

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6:07 pm
Fri September 16, 2011

Hopi and Navajo Tribes and Redistricting in AZ

Photo via

Two tribes with competing interests are ready to cooperate in one Arizona congressional district. Laurel Morales reports from the Fronteras Changing America Desk representatives from the Hopi and Navajo tribes say they want to try something different.

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KUNM Local
4:26 pm
Wed November 4, 2009

Tony Hillerman's Daughter Examines the Landscapes that Inspired His Work

The setting of a book can be just as important as the story itself. Author Tony Hillerman was known for his Navajo Tribal Police mystery novels.

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