Flags on the Navajo Nation wil be flown at half-staff on  Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, in honor and remembrance of U.S. Army veteran Brian Irvin Yazzie, a tribal citizen of the Navajo Nation who passed away from COVID-19 on Dec. 24, 2021. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer issued a proclamation for the flags to be flown at half-staff on Friday. Yazzie was 35.

“On behalf of the Navajo people, we offer our prayers to the family and friends of our Diné warrior, U.S. Army veteran Brian Irvin Yazzie. Our words are not enough to thank him and his loved ones for all of their sacrifices for our country and our people. With this proclamation, we honor and pay tribute to Mr. Yazzie and we pray for strength and comfort for his family during this difficult time,” President Nez said.

Want more Native News? Get the free daily newsletter today.

While the Navajo Naiton issued a news release to announce the proclamation, the tribal government did not disclose the cause of Yazzie's death, however, Victoria Arviso, Yazzie’s younger sister did. She posted a statement on a GoFund Me campaign she started  for funeral expenxes. She said he fought for his life against COVID penumona. 

"My brother fought to the end. He fought fighting, even when Covid took over...the nurse called him a miracle, they said they have never seen anyone as sick as he was fight as hard and as long as he did. The medical staff stood outside his room, with their last words. 'It was an honor to work for your brother.' And thanked him for his service," Arviso wrote.

Yazzie served in the United States Army, including three tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was stationed in Germany before being honorably discharged and retiring from the military. At the time of his passing, he was studying to become an automotive mechanic with the University Technical Institute. 

Originally from St. Michaels, Ariz., Yazzie resided in Avondale, Ariz. at the time of his passing. 

Survivors include his son, Dyshean Lyle Brown, father Irvin Walter Yazzie, and siblings Victoria Arviso, Demetri Yazzie, Tia Yazzie, Tristen Yazzie, and Kalvin Yazzie. His family remembers him as “A beloved son, brother, and father. Til Valhalla.”

Yazzie will be laid to rest at the National Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix, Ariz. on Jan. 5, 2022. 

More Stories Like This

MMIP Red Dress Installation Vandalized in Alaska
NCAI Mid Year Underway on Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Homelands
Native News Weekly (June 3, 2023): D.C. Briefs
House Passes Bipartisan Debt Ceiling Deal; How Native American Members of Congress Voted
History Made as First Navajo Appointed U.S. Federal Judge in California

Native News is free to read.

We hope you enjoyed the story you've just read. For the past dozen years, we’ve covered the most important news stories that are usually overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the rise of the American Indian Movement (AIM), to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous People (MMIP) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools.

Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps.  Most readers donate between $10 and $25 to help us cover the costs of salaries, travel and maintaining our digital platforms. If you’re in a position to do so, we ask you to consider making a recurring donation of $12 per month to join the Founder's Circle. All donations help us remain a force for change in Indian Country and tell the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you. 

About The Author
Native News Online Staff
Author: Native News Online StaffEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Native News Online is one of the most-read publications covering Indian Country and the news that matters to American Indians, Alaska Natives and other Indigenous people. Reach out to us at [email protected].