Nalgene Water Fund Pledges Support to Combat Water Crisis on Navajo Nation
From your home to Navajo Nation, you can help by purchasing Nalgene’s new Tó éí iiná” (Water is Life) bottle
Rochester, NY – The Navajo Nation, America’s largest indigenous tribe, has more than 300,000 residents – the vast majority of whom do not have running water in their homes. Some must travel over two hours to a grocery store or community center for access to water. On average, Navajo Nation residents use about seven gallons of water a day – that includes drinking, cooking, bathing, and other hygiene. For reference, the average person in the U.S. uses about 100 gallons of water per day! For most in Navajo Nation, water is precious and must be transported into the home from an outside water source.
The Navajo Nation (Diné) people have a core belief that “Tó éí iiná” (Water is Life); and that water is truly sacred to all living things. Nalgene Outdoor, the “original” reusable water bottle that has encouraged a refill-to-reduce lifestyle for 70+ years, agrees! In 2019 Nalgene established The Nalgene Water Fund to help raise awareness that “access to clean water is a challenge that we face right here in the United States, right in our backyard. Not just in struggling nations abroad,” explains Elissa McGee, General Manager for Nalgene Outdoor.
The Nalgene Water Fund’s commitment to improve access to clean water in Navajo Nation encompasses two impactful efforts:
- The launch of the Nalgene Water Fund’s new Tó éí iiná” (Water is Life) bottle, from which $5 of every sale will benefit future solutions to combat the Navajo Nation water crisis. The new bottle features a striking landscape of Monument Valley by Navajo designer Jaden Redhair, 20, member of the Jemez Clan, and a life-long Navajo Nation, resident.
- Nearly $30,000 in funds and critical supplies to create sustainable long-term solutions:
- $15,000 to The Community Outreach & Patient Empowerment (COPE) Program, a Native-led community-based organization, to install six water filling stations across Navajo Nation, a notoriously rural area.
- COPE will also distribute 90 much needed Nalgene Carboys, 13 gallons reusable containers so Navajo residents can easily transport water from the refill stations. (Valued at $14,000.)
“The design symbolizes the sacred role water plays in the Diné people’s lives,” says Redhair. “I hope it draws attention to my people’s plight. Right now, on Navajo Nation more than 300,000 people struggle daily because they do not have access to running water.”
“We hope that through the sale of the new Nalgene Water Fund bottle, we help to raise awareness and support for the Diné people and create a lasting, life-changing impact on their health and well-being,” adds McGee.
Every Nalgene bottle is BPA- and BPS-free, durable, leak-proof, dishwasher safe and made in America with its tried and true, one bottle and one cap simple design that has become iconic to Nalgene.
Living by “Water is Life”
Jaden Redhair is born from the Jemez Clan and the Charcoal Streaked of the Red Running into the Water Clan. His maternal grandfather’s clan is Water’s Edge and his paternal grandfather’s clan is Bitter Water. Eldest of seven children, Jaden seeks to be a role model to his younger siblings, teaching them to be proud of their community and give back in any way they can. His work with the Nalgene Water Fund not only raises awareness about and funds for Navajo issues but also enables Navajo people to make a change for the better, one person and one community at a time.
From Your Home to Navajo Nation
Want to help get better water access to those living in Navajo Nation? Five dollars from every purchase of Jaden Redhair’s exclusive Tó éí iiná” (Water is Life) Nalgene bottle, which retails for $15, goes to efforts to help expand water access on Navajo Nation.Buy Now!
About the Artist: Jaden Redhair
For artist, Jaden Redhair, 20, Window Rock, Arizona on the Navajo Nation has always been home. Jaden was born for the Jemez Clan and the Charcoal Streaked of the Red Running into the Water Clan. His maternal grandfather’s clan is Water’s Edge and his paternal grandfather’s clan is Bitter Water.
Older brother to seven younger siblings, Jaden seeks to be a role model, teaching them to be proud of Navajo Nation and give back in any way they can. Even now as an undergraduate studying electrical engineering at Stanford University (’22), Jaden is helping to advance Navajo Nation through his education and design work for the Nalgene Water Fund.
The striking landscape he designed for the new Nalgene bottle uniquely captures Monument Valley with the powerful Navajo saying “Tó éí iiná” (Water is Life) emblazoned across it. Gorgeous to look at, the bottle design, Jaden hopes will not only raise much-needed funds but also garner a greater understanding and respect for the core Navajo belief that water is sacred and should be shared equally by all living things.
Jaden and the Nalgene Water Fund share a common goal to bring about change for the better. One person and one community at a time.
Supporting Domestic Water Challenges
The Nalgene Water Fund (NWF) was created in August 2019 to raise funds and awareness for [domestic] U.S. communities struggling with access to clean water by supporting grass-roots nonprofits serving those communities. By fall 2020 the NWF had identified programs in both Flint, MI and Navajo Nation to benefit from donations. In Flint, MI the NWF is helping to support The Flint Community Lab, a community-run lab that is for and by the local community, instilling trust as the City rebuilds from its water crisis.