Multicultural News

Indy church aids tribe in Arizona during Native American Heritage Month

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Access to health care, food and the internet are major concerns for Native American tribes living on reservations around the county.

An Indianapolis mission group recently visited a Navajo reservation in Arizona to provide much-needed resources. Members of the mission group from Solid Word Bible Church on the northwest side said the work they are doing is what all people are charged to do: to help our fellow man.

The Navajo Nation calls Window Rock, Arizona, a place high in the mountains where internet access is spotty. Chauntal Mark grew up around here. “Everywhere someone goes in the U.S., you’ll find yourself a Navajo person, so, yeah, we’re here now,” she said.

Native American tribes often operate as sovereign nations within the United States, and often rely on themselves for resources and support. Mark said, “Stories of just what our people went through, the sacrifices we had to make, a lot of our traditions, a lot of our culture as the years went by disappeared.”

Curtis McManus is the global director of missions for Solid Word Bible Church. “Given the high level of poverty on the reservation, how do you manage your money and your other resources,” McManus said about the Navajo Nation’s challenges.

Navajo leaders, the church leader said, asked the mission team to come, to provide food and also to speak on health issues of anxiety, anger and domestic violence. “This kind of work is how we are charged to serve, and whenever we cannot serve others, there’s a gap there’s a void.”

November is Native American Heritage Month.