Din'e (Navajo) Water for Elders and Families C-19

Ya'at'eeh (Hello)

My name is Christopher Nagethligai-Byrd Cullen.

I have been helping raise money with my relative Wayne Bitahnii Wilson and a small group of community members on the Din'e (Navajo) reservation to get the needed supplies for hundreds of Elders in rural areas, who do not have access to basic food, water and supplies.

For some it is literally 150-300 miles to the nearest store and drinking water. At 70,  80 and 90yrs old this trip would be impossible and it also takes a sturdy 4-wheel drive to get to some of these areas.

The Din'e Nation is home to about 160,000 people. Most Din'e live in the Traditional Way, without running water and power. For hundreds of years Din'e would get water from personal or community wells.

In the 70's a coal company " Peabody Coal" forced their way into the area and made a number of shady deals to get mineral rights and start mining. 

They use the "slurry" method for transporting their coal which uses hundreds of thousands of gallons of water. Now the water table has dropped so much that most of the personal and community water wells have gone dry.

With Covid-19, curfews and lockdowns it compounds the problems of getting fresh drinking water and supplies to those that need it.

I am Din'e through my grandfather Hank Nagethligai Bainbridge.  I did not grow up in Din'etah, so I am sad to say I do not know my clans. However, we are taught to be of service to our community, especially our elders who are the repositories of thousands of years of ancient knowledge and understanding about our planet earth and how to live as a tight knit, woven community in a good way.

Our Din'e elders are some of the most intelligent, compassionate and beautiful human beings I have ever met.

In these times their particular knowledge is vital to meeting the challenges of this day and age. Not our greatest leaders and scientist have been able to stop some of the disasters we are experiencing. If we do not take care of our elders, who then will guide us with compassion and insight through our most difficult times?

Please help me in supporting some of our most vulnerable populations and true national treasures, who just need some basic needs met.

This is our second fundraiser, with the primary focus of raising funds to purchase water trailers and trucks to supply water for Din'e Elders and families living in rural parts of the Din'e Nation. 

We are also looking into even a more permanent solution of drilling more wells with the guidance and support of our Din'e relatives.

These are all costly endeavors and it takes a great deal of love and effort to make them happen.

We are grateful for your help and support.

Ahe' hee'! (Thanks!)



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Chris Cullen 
Seattle, WA
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