The Navajo Nation is the largest U.S. Indian reservation, spreading over 16 million acres of high desert in Arizona, New Mexico and Southern Utah. Many of the 255,000 Diné, as the Navajo call themselves, live in communities so remote that they are accessible only by four-wheel-drive vehicles.
Most of these communities offer few employment opportunities. Many families struggle to survive in the face of extreme poverty, substandard housing, sporadic medical care, and limited educational opportunities.
|In the harsh Southwestern Desert, |
Navajo families try desperately
to overcome extreme poverty and isolation.
The shocking truth is that in the remotest corners of our great country thousands of First Americans suffer in Third World conditions. Life on the reservation is, according to one Navajo leader, an unending cycle of despair.
You may wonder why tribal members don’t just move to more populated areas, and many do just that. But others will tell you that they could not bear to leave the land their ancestors have inhabited for centuries, their traditional language and ceremonies, and their extended families.
The Navajo Relief Fund (NRF) brings hope to these struggling people. Even more importantly, NRF helps build strong, self-sufficient Native American communities
by drawing on the deep commitment to clan and culture that is prevalent on many reservations. How can I help?
|Inadequate nutrition, |
make every day
a struggle on the
Our approach is to help Native Americans improve the quality of their lives by providing opportunities for them to bring about positive changes in their own communities.
Unlike many other humanitarian groups, we insist that substantial community volunteerism be a part of the processing or distribution of goods and services. NRF Program Partners
are local Navajo volunteers who have an intimate understanding of the needs of their communities. This partnership ensures that we are addressing the genuine needs of each area. Moreover, the community develops a shared purpose, and the Program Partner expands his or her leadership skills.
|Many Navajo feel |
a deep connection
to the land
|Whenever disaster strikes, |
NRF is ready to help.
Poverty among the Navajo takes the greatest toll on those who are most vulnerable: infants and children, young mothers, and fragile Elders. NRF services
address a wide variety of needs among these groups.
- Disaster Relief
In June 2006, a large wildfire along the Arizona-Utah border contaminated the only source of water for 1,400 Navajos. Within days, NRF services delivered a truckload of food, water, toiletries, and other emergency supplies. In 2008, NRF services responded to four environmental emergencies affecting seven tribes.
- Healthy Living
NRF supports our Program Partners who offer classes, home visits, or assistance with appointments that help kids, teens, and youth.
- Pantry Packages
Nonperishable food is delivered quarterly to hundreds of Navajo families.
Holiday food is provided so that hundreds of Elders and community members may participate in community-wide holiday meals.
- Home Repair
Homes of Elders are weatherized and made safer through NRF’s home repair service. Many of the structures we repair would be considered unlivable by most people.
When you give to the Navajo Relief Fund, you send a remarkable message of comfort and hope to the ancient peoples of the Southwestern desert.
How can I help?
|Children, mothers, and Elders |
are among the vulnerable groups
served by NRF.