Top 3 Ways to Help The Navajo Nation After The Toxic Animas River Spill

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With few funds or charities available to assist the Navajo Nation affected by the toxic spill in the Animas River, lists the top 3 ways consumers can help.

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By supporting their community, people can help them through this devastating tragedy.

On August 5th 2015, a massive leak from the Environmental Protection Agency team that was trying to treat some of the contaminants in the Gold King Mine, in Southern Colorado, flowed into the Animas River in San Juan County. In immediate efforts to correct the leak, the workers accidently destroyed a dam that would have contained the treatment they were running, inadvertently causing the contaminants to go through a tributary creek and into the Animas River.

The Navajo community has been doing all they can to aid people reliant on the river’s water. Most people in the community use the water for everyday living, such as: cooking, cleaning, and even bathing. A citizen of New Mexico, Darlene Arviso, drives her truck and fills over 200 households with the fresh water they need, as one of the only members of her family and community with free flowing water. However, this is still not enough to fix the devastating impact the spill has had on the Navajo community. The EPA has directed some funds to help fix the problem, but these communities are still suffering from the long term effects of the heavy metal toxins from the mine. The Navajo Nation needs help to get their lives back to normal.

One of the ways people can help is by supporting organizations that are strictly dedicated to water cleanup and general preservation of the environment. Private Lab Results is a company dedicated to toxin testing in people, animals, and the environment. They have started a GoFundMe campaign, where the proceeds are used to purchase water for the community affected by the spill. Their campaign also insists that anyone living in the Animas River communities should contact them directly at info(at) for support. One of the biggest problems threatening the Navajo community is that the local farmers, who need the water for their crops and livestock, have had their income, almost entirely, halted. While donations continue to grow for this fund, an immediate action people can take is supporting the Native community by purchasing art, jewelry, and goods from the quality vendors across the South-west until these donations reach a more substantial amount to better solve the financial impact.

There are only a few groups setting up campaigns for people to freely donate for disaster relief. Water Defense, a non-profit organization dedicated to clean water, was at the scene of the spill soon after it occurred. By donating to them directly, people can help fund their water restoration efforts in the Animas River communities, as well as their efforts across the country. They stand on a platform of supporting basic human rights, and believe that everyone is entitled to clean water.

One of the other solutions that can help the Navajo nation is supporting their community directly. People can support local artisans affected by the spill in the South-west region and bolster their economy as a whole at the same time. offers a wide variety of Navajo handcrafted jewelry by artists in the affected communities along the South-west. By supporting their community, people can help them through this devastating tragedy. Spokesman for, Steven Onida, commented on the spill, stating that “In the wake of this heartbreaking ordeal, in which hundreds of families struggle through their day without water to drink or to farm their lands, I hope people will donate to the various causes set up to support the struggling communities.”

To help support Navajo artisans directly, visit


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Steven Onida
Native American Jewelry
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