Navajo Nation’s quest for water and justice arrives at the Supreme Court

Her hands gripping the steering wheel, Marilyn Help-Hood gingerly drove her rugged Ford pickup truck along rutted unpaved roads, occasionally sliding in the mud, in search of one thing: water.

After a bumpy 4-mile drive in the eastern reaches of the Navajo Nation reservation in Twin Lakes, New Mexico, she arrived at her local well. Helped by her son Shane, 31, Help-Hood attached a hose to a tap at the base of the well and began filling a plastic barrel in the back of her truck with the untreated water.

Help-Hood, 66, has no running water at her small one-story home and needs to regularly replenish her supplies for drinking, cooking, washing dishes and feeding her small collection of sheep, horses and dogs. Even cleaning dishes is a complicated procedure without the benefit of turning on the tap, involving two different basins of water, one for washing and one for rinsing.

Trips like the one she made one day last week are a feature of life on the reservation, where thousands of the roughly 170,000 people who live there do not have running water.
— Read on


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