English, yes — Navajo, no

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


On election day, Arizona voters resoundingly passed an Engish-only ballot initiative that’s meant to kill bilingual education for the state’s many Latino schoolchildren. But the LOS ANGELES TIMES reports that the California millionaire who brought that state’s successful English-only initiative to Arizona, didn’t think about the consequences for Arizona’s large population of Native Americans.

Recent Must Reads

11/8 – Hopis vs. hippies

11/7 – Jews, Arabs genetically linked

11/4 – Death by lawyer

11/3 – Oops with nukes

The tiny fraction of Indian children who attend tribal schools won’t be affected, but the vast majority are in public schools. Some public elementary schools in Indian communities teach early grades in both English and the local Native American language to help kids become proficient in the native language, then phase into all English in higher grades. It’s an effort to protect and preserve Indian languages, some of which are in danger of vanishing entirely.

For some Arizona Indians, the passage of the initiative brings back memories of the time from the 1860s through the 1960s when Indian children were sent to government-run boarding schools and punished for speaking their native languages. “This is like history repeating itself,” said one Indian official.

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate