facebook app symbol  twitter  linkedin  instagram 1

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

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs to Host Hearing on Public Safety in Indian Country
Native Bidaské with Kevin Sharp on Leonard Peltier’s Upcoming Parole Hearing
Senate Subcommittee to Hear Testimony on President Biden’s FY Budget for Indian Programs on Thursday
Native News Weekly (May 19, 2024): D.C. Briefs
Native Artist and Former Cultural Advisor to the Chicago Blackhawks Sues Team for Sexual Harassment, Fraud

These stories must be heard.

This May, we are highlighting our coverage of Indian boarding schools and their generational impact on Native families and Native communities. Giving survivors of boarding schools and their descendants the opportunity to share their stories is an important step toward healing — not just because they are speaking, but because they are being heard. Their stories must be heard. Help our efforts to make sure Native stories and Native voices are heard in 2024. Please consider a recurring donation to help fund our ongoing coverage of Indian boarding schools. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous-centered 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].