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Articles by Shondiin Silversmith, Arizona Mirror

Shondiin Silversmith is a reporter for the Arizona Mirror. She is an award-winning Native journalist based on the Navajo Nation.

Featured Article

This story was originally published by the Arizona Mirror.

In an effort to address the ongoing drought affecting the Southwest, the Gila River Indian Community is taking an innovative step forward by launching its Solar Canal Project to construct the country’s first solar-over-canal project. 

“A tribe is leading the way,” Gila River Indian Community Governor Stephen Roe Lewis said, adding that the shovel-ready project will immediately address water conservation.

The Gila River Indian Community and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers signed an agreement on Thursday in Sacaton, Arizona, kicking off construction on the first phase of the Pima-Maricopa Irrigation Project Renewal Energy Pilot Project, which is expected to be completed in 2025.

“This new technology fits and supports our culture and tradition as we look forward to being sustainable in the future in a very real way,” Lewis said. The project may break new ground for the tribe, but he said it furthers their role as steward... Read more