fbpx
facebook app symbol  twitter  linkedin  instagram 1
 
Tó éí iiná: Water is life. That’s the message behind Jaden Redhair’s newest water bottle design he produced in partnership with the Nalgene Water Fund that hit the market last week.

Nalgene Water Fund is an arm of Nalgene, a popular water bottle company that supports domestic communities struggling with access to clean water by partnering with grassroots nonprofits to raise funds and awareness. 

Never miss Indian Country’s biggest stories and breaking news. Sign up to get our reporting sent straight to your inbox every weekday morning. 

The company originally partnered with Redhair in 2020, and $5 from every sale of the limited edition bottle he designed was earmarked to end the Navajo Nation’s water crisis. Together, they raised $80,000 to donate to DigDeep and Community Outreach and Patient Empowerment, two nonprofit partners on the Navajo Nation that work to make safe drinking water more accessible.

According to The Navajo Water Project, 30 percent of Navajo families live without running water, while one in three Navajo don’t have a sink or a toilet. Growing up on the Navajo Nation, Redhair told Native News Online that many residents accepted their lack of access to water as a way of life rather than an injustice.

“There’s a lot of people that still live out in very rural areas, and because of that, it’s hard for them to get…[water] infrastructure set in place because it’s so expensive,” Redhair said. “So most of the time, they have to haul their own water with their own vehicles. Showing people that [access to water] can be easier for them is something I think is important, as well as getting actual money to help and increase water accessibility.”

In his newest water bottle design, Redhair incorporates a traditional Navajo teaching. His design features a coyote silhouette filled with images of the starry night over Asaayi lake, a local lake in his hometown. 

“The reason those stars are in the sky is because coyote kind of placed them there, in a way,” Redhair told Native News Online. He added that coyote stories are typically only told in the winter when the water bottle was originally slated for release.

The new limited-edition “Tó éí iiná” bottle is available exclusively at 

Nalgene.com for $20. Five dollars from each purchase will again go towards fighting the water crisis on the Navajo Nation.

Redhair, currently earning his master’s degree in electrical engineering at Stanford University, said that purchasing the water bottle helps in messaging as much as it does in fundraising.

“When I’m out here in Stanford in such a very diverse area, I still get asked,’ Oh, wow, you really Native American? I didn’t know Native Americans still existed.’” Redhair said. “Creating that design with Nalgene— because Nalgene is a worldwide distributor— I think it’s very important to have a platform to be able to show that Native American people are still here, and there’s a lot of issues that we face that are pretty important.”

More Stories Like This

Top Native Chefs Will Be Featured at American Indian College Fund NYC Event
Here's What's Going in Indian Country, April 19th— 25th
2024 Sundance Institute Native Filmmakers Lab Kicks Off April 24
Moses Brings Plenty Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award
Photographs from the 2024 Grand Valley State University Powwow

Native Perspective.  Native Voices.  Native News. 

We launched Native News Online because the mainstream media often overlooks news that is important is Native people. We believe that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers.  We hope you'll consider making a donation to support our efforts so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous-centered journalism. Thank you.

 
About The Author
Jenna Kunze
Author: Jenna KunzeEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Senior Reporter
Jenna Kunze is a staff reporter covering Indian health, the environment and breaking news for Native News Online. She is also the lead reporter on stories related to Indian boarding schools and repatriation. Her bylines have appeared in The Arctic Sounder, High Country News, Indian Country Today, Tribal Business News, Smithsonian Magazine, Elle and Anchorage Daily News. Kunze is based in New York.