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SHIPROCK — The chapters of Gadii'ahi, Shiprock and Tsé Daa K'aan were the latest to receive food and supply donations to the Navajo Nation to address the coronavirus crisis.

The items were distributed by the tribe's Office of the President and Vice President on June 12 at the Northern Navajo Nation Fairgrounds in Shiprock.

Community members waited to receive the items from Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Vice President Myron Lizer, members of the New Mexico Air National Guard and others by a no contact method, meaning occupants stayed inside their vehicles as the supplies were loaded.

Shiprock was the 102nd chapter visited by the office and the donations were from businesses, churches, organizations, state and county governments, and entities such as the Phoenix Indian Center, Nez said.

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He added that his office focused on chapters in remote areas before holding distribution events in larger chapter areas or those with grocery stores in the community.

Adrian Tutt, a registered member of Shiprock Chapter, criticized the slow response by Nez and his office.

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Shiprock faces unique challenges as the community works to address the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has disproportionately impacted minority communities. Farmington Daily Times

Tutt explained that he and other concerned citizens submitted several requests to the president's office and to other elected leaders to hold a distribution event in Shiprock.

"I mean it took everything just to get them here," he said.

Nevertheless, community members arrived at the fairgrounds for the supplies and some showed appreciation with homemade signs placed on the dashboards of their vehicles.

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"Ahéhee'," an older Navajo woman said before driving her truck away from the distribution area.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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