by The Red Nation Council
Download the report here: NO DEAD NATIVES: THE GALLUP REPORT.
Church Rock, N.M.—On Tuesday, Jan. 12, The Red Nation presented its findings on border town violence in Gallup, N.M. and the rash of exposure deaths of Natives in the city to the Navajo Nation Council Health, Education and Human Services Committee and the Law and Order Committee. In collaboration with the Gallup Immediate Action Group, the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission, and Lorenzo Bates of the Navajo Nation Speaker’s Office, The Red Nation will provide input and direction to forthcoming Navajo Nation policy and legislation regarding rampant border town violence in Gallup.
On Thursday, Jan. 21, The Red Nation, the Immediate Action Group, and the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission will present the “No Dead Natives: The Gallup Report” before the Navajo Nation Naabik’iyátí Committee in Window Rock, A.Z., the Navajo Nation capital.
Widespread mobilization to provide direct services and relief to unsheltered Natives from the No Dead Natives Campaign in Gallup spurned the Navajo Nation into action, with grassroots and community groups leading the way.
This is truly a collaborative effort that came from the demands of Native people.
We look forward to progressive measures and substantial material support for those on the frontlines saving lives. We also hope these efforts expose border towns like Gallup for profiting off the death and poverty of Native people.
Why No Dead Natives?
Last winter (2014-2015), 17 Natives in Gallup died from exposure, plus three others who died “unattended deaths.” In total, 20 Natives—mostly Diné—have died violent unnatural deaths due to the lack of housing and vital social infrastructure. This winter (2015-2016), 6 have died from exposure.
Yet, many still many remain unhoused, exposed to the elements. More violent, unnatural deaths are inevitable and should be anticipated.
Meanwhile, payday lenders, pawnshops, and liquor stores in Gallup continue to exploit Natives and reap huge profits. These highly exploitative enterprises create an economic and social system in Gallup that not only profits from the immiseration of Native life, but literally depends on it.
Natives in Gallup lack adequate housing and health and social services. Too many are unsheltered. Those who suffer from family violence and trauma, or extreme poverty have no access to behavioral and mental health services, and most wind up on the streets.
Rather than help those in need, local law enforcement, community service aids, and private security all too often antagonize and selectively target, detain, and arrest those they perceive as Gallup’s criminal element—the poor and unsheltered, the stereotypical “drunk Indian,” or what they pejoratively call “transients” and “inebriates.”
Since city, county, and state officials have refused to respond to this crisis, The Red Nation, along with the Immediate Action Group, launched No Dead Natives a campaign to confront the crisis facing Natives in Gallup. No Dead Natives is an entirely volunteer-run project that provides immediate relief to prevent exposure deaths.