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Corrina Thinn, former Navajo Nation Police Officer, in uniform and on-duty.  Corrina passed away from COVID-19 in April, as did her sister, Cheryl.

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. As of Thursday, there were 71 reported COVID-19 related deaths on the Navajo Nation, the country’s largest Indian reservation. 

Behind the growing number of deaths is the sadness of the tragic loss of lives that impact Navajo families.

One Navajo family is mourning the deaths of two sisters, Corrina and Cheryl Thinn, who both died last month from the novel coronavirus.

Both sisters spent their careers serving the Navajo Nation. 

Corrina served in the Navajo Nation Police Department for 11 years, starting in 1999. She served with the Tuba City District until 2010 as a Senior Navajo Police Department Officer. While a Navajo Police officer, she obtained her master’s degree in social work and went on to work various health centers on the reservation and the Navajo Nation Division of Social Services. She was also a Licensed Master of Social Work at the Tuba City Regional Health Care Center.

"On behalf of the Navajo Police Department, we extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to the family of Corrina Thinn during this difficult time," Navajo Police Chief Francisco said. "To the family of Corrina, there is no amount of words that will ease the pain of losing a loved one but please know that you are in the thoughts and prayers of our police family as you navigate through this time of mourning.”

Cheryl Thinn and her son. (Photograph provided to by her family.)

Corrina’s sister, Cheryl, served as a Navajo Nation Juvenile Detention Officer and Navajo Nation Emergency Medical Service member. She also worked for the Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation.

“Our hearts are with the families of Corrina and Cheryl Thinn,” said Speaker Seth Damon. “Both sisters served the Navajo Nation on the front-lines for the health and safety of our communities. On behalf of the Navajo Nation Council, I extend my deepest condolences to the friends and family of Corrina and Cheryl, each taken by the coronavirus.”

Speaker Damon was notified Thursday of the passing of both Corrina and Cheryl Thinn by members of the 24th Navajo Nation Council and the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.

“In the spirit of k’é, I call on all our relatives to honor Cheryl and Corrina for their service to the Navajo Nation and extend support to their families. They chose public service to protect and assist our families who were in critical need. Many of our heroes on the Navajo Nation are social workers and those who work on the frontlines as police or corrections officers. Their legacy will never be forgotten, and today we honor Cheryl and Corrina,” Navajo Nationi Council Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty said.

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Levi Rickert
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Levi Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. Rickert was awarded Best Column 2021 Native Media Award for the print/online category by the Native American Journalists Association. He serves on the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He can be reached at [email protected]