Roots Rx donates sales of stickers and posters by Leadville artist to Najavo and Hopi pandemic relief
Recreational marijuana dispensary Roots Rx is selling stickers and posters by Leadville artist B.A. Dallas to support the COVID-19 response in the Navajo and Hopi communities, which have been hit especially hard by the pandemic.
Proceeds from $30 18” x 24” posters and $6 stickers (pre-tax) will benefit the Navajo Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund, a volunteer-led, grassroots organization. The organization purchases important resources like groceries, water and health supplies, and delivers them to safe transfer locations for Dinè (Navajo) and Hopi families. The group prioritizes the needs of the elderly and those raising grandchildren, as well as single parents and struggling families.
While the Vail Valley’s local Roots Rx stores are in EagleVail and Edwards, all six stores in Colorado will donate to the relief fund. Johier Begay at Roots Rx in Aspen said that he found out about the organization because he is Dinè.
“We always have to look out for ourselves and each other, the reservation is like a third world country when it comes to infrastructure and things like running water,” Begay said. “Due to that lack of infrastructure, the Dinè and other tribes across America have been hit really hard by this virus, with limited resources and access to hospitals, it’s a scary thing for this land’s first people. We have some of the highest numbers per capita in the nation, and nothing to combat it. By donating you’re helping contribute to getting the Dinè clean water, sanitizing supplies, masks, and tests. Navajo and Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund is just one of many organizations.”
For those living on the Navajo reservation, about the size of West Virginia, the pandemic has highlighted the overdue need for infrastructure changes. Thirty percent of the Navajo reservation population has little to no access to running water or electricity, and three of 12 Hopi villages run largely without either of those things. In addition, much of the water is contaminated with uranium and arsenic due to abandoned mine operations.
Additionally, there aren’t enough grocery stores and health care facilities to serve need, and a lack of infrastructure like roads make it difficult to travel and get those services.
Those preexisting conditions have been amplified because of the pandemic, making it hard to follow simple Center of Disease Control guidelines like handwashing. As of Tuesday, July 21, the Navajo Nation is reporting 8,617 positive cases and 422 confirmed deaths.
The Navajo Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund has received more than $5.5 million in donations since a GoFundMe was created on March 15. More than 90,000 people have donated to the fundraiser’s $7 million goal.
B.A. Dallas wanted to create a sticker and poster design that resonated specifically with the cause it hopes to promote. He spoke with Navajo representatives to create an understanding.
“We spoke about the healing symbolism of the humming bird and the rejuvenation of the land and the spring. It was a privilege and an honor to create this painting to raise funds for the Navajo and Hopi nations in this time of need,” he said.
Roots Rx previously donated 5% of edible sales to Eagle Valley’s Community Market, which has provided food assistance to thousands locally during the pandemic. Five edible brands also matched Roots Rx’s 5% donation: Canyon Cultivation, Cheeba Chews, Incredible, Iovia and Wana.
“It’s vital that we do whatever we can to support every community we are in,” said Roots Rx General Manager Brittany Centifano.