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  • 3% have electricity...
  • 10% have running water...
  • 95% are unemployed...
  • Right in our own backyard.

In the 1960's, the US government froze all development on 1.5 million acres of uranium-contaminated land in northeast Arizona. This region was home to untold thousands of Navajo people whom time and the rest of the nation forgot.

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Four Decades of Third World Conditions

How do you forget about an area of land larger than the state of Delaware? It sounds impossible, but the United States federal government managed to do it for almost 45 years. In 1966, then Director of Indian Affairs Robert Bennett ordered the complete cessation of all development on one and a half million acres of Navajo land in northeast Arizona. While officially repealed in 2009, the policies embodied in the "Bennett Freeze" drastically reduced the quality of life for a generation of Navajo. Two years into the "thaw", the humanitarian challenges in the region are still immense.

  • 95% unemployment in the Bennett Freeze region and 65% reservation-wide.
  • The highest death rates from malnutrition, plague, and exposure in the United States.
  • Life expectancy is 44.6 years for men and less than 47 years for women.

Something in the Water

The third-world conditions encouraged by the Bennett Freeze were further intensified by long-standing environmental concerns. Some 1,300 open uranium and coal mines severely contaminated the region's water supplies. Unsafe drinking water has devastated the reservation, resulting in the highest infant mortality rate in the United States and cancer cases upwards of 17 times the national average. Finding safe and accessible drinking water remains one of the most significant challenges facing the Navajo people on the journey toward recovery.

A Mission of Hope

With a combined 37 years of hands-on experience in the mission field, Wings of Faith Ministries and Operation 29:11 are committed to working with local Navajo authorities to bring new life to those most effected by the Bennett Freeze. More than simply digging wells and rebuilding homes, we're expressing the love of Christ in tangible ways. It's this love that has given hope to countless forgotten and disparaged people throughout history. As 1 Peter 2:10 boldly declares, in Christ "those who were not a people are now the people of God".

Get Informed

For a more complete picture of the Forgotten People and the Bennett Freeze, we recommend the following resources:

How to Help

The challenges caused by the Bennett Freeze won't be remedied overnight, but positive change can start by meeting a few basic needs.

  1. Safe Drinking Water

    You can give safe drinking water to a Navajo family for as little as $10 per person.

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  2. Food & Clothing

    Donations of new or slighly used clothes and non-perishable food items will be flown to the reservation by Wings of Faith pilots.

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  3. Housing

    Raw materials and labor will help provide proper housing for those who need it most.

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