I started a fundraising initiative with Joshuaa Allison-Burbank and Inclusive Storytime to support Diné authors and children during this difficult time.
The Navajo Nation, which is over 27,000 square miles, has the most COVID-19 infections per capita. Many students do not have access to WiFi and the virus has led to decreased access to important educational resources like in-person schooling, summer programs, and camps. Many children are not able to leave their homes/communities due to evening and weekend curfews and a stay at home order. These books will be a huge support to young Navajo children during these tough times by bringing light to their traditional stories of resilience.
We are raising money to support Diné authors and children by buying Diné children’s books and sending them out to children for free through local COVID-19 Relief packages for families in Navajo Nation.
According to the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2018, less than 1% of published children’s books featured Indigenous characters. This means that Indigenous children have little access to characters that look like them, to books that are in their language, and to authors with their cultural background.
Our goal is to raise $10k so that we can send out as many books as possible to kids across the Navajo Nation for free. This support is important to both the authors and the children who may not receive these books otherwise.
This fundraiser was started by two Indigenous educators and authors both dedicated to serving underrepresented populations, with a focus on children through everything from health to robotics.
Joshuaa Allison-Burbank (Diné & Acoma Pueblo)
Little Moccasins Education Services
Joshuaa is a speech-language pathologist and early childhood researcher who works on the Navajo Nation. He is the founder of Little Moccasins Education Services (LMES) based on Waterflow, NM. Through LMES, Joshuaa provides culturally responsive early literacy instruction and consultation to tribal early childhood programs. His work focus on culturally responsive teaching practices, parent coaching, and kindergarten readiness.
Learn More: www.lilmoccasins.com
Danielle Boyer (Ojibwe)
The STEAM Connection
Danielle is a teen educator, author, inventor, and entrepreneur in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math). She works to increase STEAM educational accessibility, affordability, and diversity through her nonprofit, The STEAM Connection, and her affordable robotics program Every Kid Gets a Robot. She is an award-winning speaker and volunteer who is currently studying both Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering in undergraduate school.
Learn More: www.steamconnection.org. The website you are on right now is run by Danielle.
Thank you Inclusive Storytime for your collaboration and efforts to help us reach more children with diverse content that represents them.
Learn More: (https://inclusivestorytime.com/)
All funds raised will be used to purchase books to send to Navajo children for free. We will not be using the funds to buy any of our own books, but to support other Indigenous authors and their work.
Support Navajo Families Being Affected by COVID-19
List compiled by Kinsale Hueston. Donate or share to help.
Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund: tinyurl.com/vfszkdy
Adopt-an-Elder Program: www.anelder.org
ORENDA Tribe’s COVID-19 Fund: tinyurl/com/orendatribe
Dennehotso Families COVID-19 Relief Fund: tinyurl/com/dennehotso
Navajo Strong: navajostrong.com
Hopi Relief: tinyurl.com/hopi-relief
Other places to donate: Food Baskets for the Elderly, Internet for 100 homes on the Navajo Nation, and the Navajo Water Project.