College student partners with company to improve water access in Navajo Nation

New Mexico News

NAVAJO NATION (KRQE) – A 21-year-old Stanford student from the Navajo Nation is teaming up with a popular water bottle company. It’s all in an effort to improve access to water throughout the Navajo Nation.  “It’s not just about yourself, it’s about the whole Navajo Nation,” said 21-year-old Jaden Redhair. “I think the more people we have aiding to our nation the better off we’ll be.”  

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Redhair is from Window Rock, AZ in the Navajo Nation and is trying to make a difference, one water bottle at a time. In hopes of providing better access to water for the community he loves. 

“A lot of people don’t have running water and sometimes people have to drive from half an hour to an hour and a half to water fill stations, to fill up huge tanks of water that they have on back of their pickup trucks and they drive it back home where they drink and they use it for livestock,” said Redhair.  

Redhair is going to be a senior at Stanford this fall majoring in Graphic Design. His skills grabbed the attention of Nalgene which has been making water bottles for decades. They asked him to design a new water bottle. It features the iconic Navajo Tribal Park, “Monument Valley” and says “Water is Life” in the Navajo language.  

“I really hope it brings awareness to the Navajo Nation, like understanding that Indigenous people are still here, Indigenous people are still thriving and also I hope it brings awareness to some of the problems that we face in getting aid in those regards,” said Redhair.     

The unique bottles have been selling since the beginning of the year, at $15 a piece with $5 going toward non-profits that are dedicated to improving water access to the Navajo Nation. Officials with Nalgene said they’ve sold more than 3,000 bottles which equates to nearly $15,000 to the cause. Redhair is overwhelmed with the support and hopes it inspires Navajo children to keep striving to make an impact. 

“There’s a chance for a lot of these children to make it out there and to also come back and help the communities, help the communities grow, and see what areas need to be improved,” said Redhair. “Where they can add their own value and their own passions back home to the Navajo Nation.”     

Officials with Nalgene said they plan on selling Redhair’s water bottle design for the foreseeable future.

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