Courtesy of the Navajo Nation

The Navajo Nation — Murderous dogs and new delta variant plagues the reservation

The Navajo Nation reports three new "Delta" COVID-19 cases as they pass a new pandemic-related bill. Along with this, dogs roaming the nation are brutally maiming residents.

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The Delta Variant is more transmittal and effective than the original variation. Luckily, fully vaccinated individuals are nearly immune to this variant, reports said.

“We have several variants on the Navajo Nation and now we have the Delta variant identified in our communities,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, said. “This should encourage more of our people to get fully vaccinated to push back on the severity of the variants.”

The total number of deaths to COVID-19 in the reservation remains at 1,348 out of 30,979 exposed persons.  

Officials released the latest cases organized by service unit:

  • Chinle Service Unit: 5,627
  • Crownpoint Service Unit: 2,977
  • Ft. Defiance Service Unit: 3,678
  • Gallup Service Unit: 4,909
  • Kayenta Service Unit: 2,742
  • Shiprock Service Unit: 5,274
  • Tuba City Service Unit: 3,762
  • Winslow Service Unit: 1,991
  • 19 residences are not specific enough to be placed in an accurate service unit  

Nez announced earlier this month — with help from the Department of Health — that they will begin lifting off COVID-19 restrictions, easing back into everyday life by allowing in-person meetings and ceremonies of 25 people or fewer and drive-thru gatherings of up to 100 vehicles.

Along with this, the Navajo Nation Council passed the bill to move on to the second round of the nation’s program to assist their enrolled members with financial issues.

The check for each Native American is up to $1,350 for adults and $450 for minors, reports say.

No matter what the case may be, this second round is to help those who haven’t gained the assistance provided by their current council, as said by Delegate Eugenia Charles-Newton.

“This amendment that I’m proposing, it applies only to 1,865 individuals who have not received their hardship checks. Their names are in the system. They have been approved but, again, because maybe they weren’t able to submit their CIB or they weren’t able to verify their address, they did not receive a check,” Charles-Newton said.

Elizabeth Begay, The Acting Controller, elaborates on how each individual was denied financial aid out of the 18,000.

• 1,378 applications that were submitted by the November 2020 deadline;

• 208 applicants who have payments pending; 

• 279 applicants who had checks returned by the Postal Service, and the controller’s office is working on reissuing those payments.

Nez has eight remaining calendar days to approve or veto the bill.

Vital Signs....witnessing our times.: Ghost Dogs of the Navajo
Courtesy of the Vital Signs….witnessing our times.: Ghost Dogs of the Navajo

Man Bites Dog | Navajo Dogs and the controversy surrounding them

Dogs roaming across the country prove themselves dangerous for the Navajo natives. Lydia Rose, 13, went out for a stroll before dinner when one of her neighbors’ dogs mauled her.  

“She had no skin on her legs,” Rose’s mother, Marissa Jones, told the Santa Fe New Mexican. “They chewed her legs. She was gone.”

Rose was beyond excited to join her 17-year old brother on the track and cross country teams for her local high school.

“She was excited to be in high school her first year with her brother,” Jones said.

Rose was buried on May 25.

Estimates say that around 250,000 stray and neglected dogs are roaming around the reservation.  

“We’ve had a total of six deaths involving dog packs,” Animal Control Manager Kevin Gleason told the Navajo Nation Council’s Law and Order Committee on May 24.

In 2012, an eight-year-old boy was mauled by nine dogs, and in 2016, a three-year-old boy was fatally killed by canines. 

“The dog population is just too large for [the Navajo Nation], and people are just not being responsible for their pets,” Gleason told tribal officials.

“None of the laws hold dog owners responsible [if their dog] kills somebody,” he said. “But also, we’ve had several incidents on [the reservation] where dog attacks had severely mauled people where they lost limbs and stuff. Ears, arms.”

Annually, more than 3,000 natives are treated for animal-related attacks.

These natives consist mostly of children and the elderly.

“It is literally the wild, wild West,” said Tiffany Hubbard, a Texas-born animal control officer who works for the city of Gallup. “I grew up in a big city, and this is a whole ’nother ball game.”

The Navajo Nation Council recently established criminal penalties for these attacks: a $1,000 fine for each offense and $3,000 for a victim’s funeral expenses.  

However, Rose’s mother expects more from the legislature, deeming that a $1,000 fine isn’t enough for the criminalistic act.

“I have [had] several people come to me and tell me they’ve been attacked by those dogs,” she said.

“My niece has been attacked the exact same way. She went jogging up there, and she got cornered,” Jones said.

During the council’s Law and Order Meeting last month, a woman told tribal officials that her son was brutally maimed by a pack of dogs in 2016 — a three-year-old Colter Begay.  The attack was in Seba Dalkai, Ariz..  

“It’s affected us in so many ways that to this day, it’s hard to breathe and find comfort,” she said.  “Citations were the only thing given, but citations [are] not enough to bring my son back,” the woman said, crying. “Citations don’t help heal my heart. Please, I’m begging, please, please do something about this.” 

The Navajo Nation — spreading across four separate states — has been struggling for weeks on issues that have plagued their reservations, from roaming dogs brutally attacking natives to the new COVID-19 variant spreading through their lands.  The Navajo Nation needs help now more than ever.

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