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Colorado Navajo Resiliency Project

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Original art by Take Joledus. "Hozho" (Harmony and balance).

Dear Friends,

In an effort to make a difference for communities in the Navajo Nation that are struggling with some of the highest per capita rates of COVID-19 in the country, we have embarked on a campaign to assist a number of Diné (Navajo) families and aid groups. We are asking for your help if you are able.

Many people in the Navajo Nation, elders especially, live in remote areas with bad roads, no electricity or running water. Local health care and social services are being overwhelmed. The need for basic food and supplies is great and they can be very difficult to access. 

Both Kirsten and Denise have been working in the environmental justice movement for over 25 years, and have made friends and connections over time, joining a network of folks involved in indigenous support groups. We organized several trips to Standing Rock, taking donations to North Dakota to support the effort to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Now we feel the situation in the Navajo Nation is one in which we need to lend our support. We are both fortunate to live in areas with generous and giving communities.

Margaret Montano is a long time Chicana/Diné community activist. Margaret has been instrumental in forging the connections necessary to make this happen, having already taken a couple of supply runs down to the Navajo Nation in the last few weeks. 

We are collaborating in this effort with Jake Toledus, a Diné artist and activist, and Janene Yazzie, a Diné Community Organizer, who are doing mutual aid work on the ground in the eastern part (New Mexico) of the Navajo Nation. They are delivering goods to remote households, to those who are unsheltered, and working with other groups in the area. Our plan is to raise funds, purchase supplies, and personally drive them down and transfer them to the folks that will deliver them. 
We hope to be able to supply both short-term needs such as food, health care supplies, tents and sleeping bags for isolation in crowded households,  educational materials and games for kids, pet food, and batteries; as well as long-term needs related to food sovereignty and community sustainability, such as water catchment systems, rototillers, a hoop house, gardening tools and composting systems.

We will be taking both material and monetary donations, and will have drop off locations both in Crested Butte and the Jamestown and Boulder area.

The Crested Butte drop location will be at the Union Congregational Church on 4th and Maroon (at the side door near the back of the church on 4th St).

The drop location in the Jamestown area will be the Jamestown Mercantile (only during their limited hours: Mondays and Thursdays 6-7pm, and Saturdays 10am-12noon). For donations in the Boulder area, please email Denise at [email redacted] and I will come pick them up.

A full list of needed items will be posted as an update, so stay tuned. We are tentatively planning on a mid-June date for the run.

Thank you in advance for being as generous as you can, and for showing how our communities can hold each other up and also care for others in these difficult times.

Denise, Kirsten, and Margaret


  • Martin Smilkstein
    • $200 
    • 2 yrs
  • Deborah Spiegel
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs
  • Cini Jackson
    • $150 
    • 2 yrs
  • Timothy Stokes
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs
  • Jeff Ramsey
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs

Fundraising team: Kirsten and Denise (3)

Denise Luttrell
Ward, CO
Kirsten Atkins
Team member
Margaret Montano
Team member

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