Diné designer and student Jaden Redhair creates coyote-inspired design for new “Tó éí iiná” (Water is Life) bottle to support efforts to combat water crisis on the Navajo Nation
ROCHESTER, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Nalgene Water Fund (NWF) today announces a new design within the “Tó éí iiná” (Water is Life) limited-edition series created by Diné designer Jaden Redhair. Five dollars of every bottle sale will continue to go toward supporting local nonprofits addressing the water crisis on the Navajo Nation.
According to The Navajo Water Project, 30% of Navajo families live without running water. Incredibly, they are 67 times more likely than other Americans to live without running water or a toilet. Nalgene Outdoor partnered with Redhair in 2020 to create the first artist-designed, limited-edition bottle for the NWF. After record sales and multiple rounds of reprints, the NWF has donated nearly $80,000, to date, to two nonprofit partners on the Navajo Nation that work to make safe drinking water more accessible, DigDeep and Community Outreach and Patient Empowerment (COPE).
“I’m so pleased that my passion for design can educate so many people outside of the Navajo Nation about the essential role of water in our culture and continue to help raise funds toward improving access to clean water for our people,” says Redhair, age 22, an accomplished Navajo artist and recent Stanford University graduate, born for the Jemez Clan.
“The most recent “Tó éí iiná” bottle, featuring a starry sky in the shape of a coyote, draws from the Navajo story that the stars in the night sky were scattered in place by a coyote,” adds Redhair.
The new limited-edition “Tó éí iiná” (Water is Life) bottle is available exclusively at Nalgene.com and retails for $20. The 32-ounce Sustain™ bottle is made from Eastman’s Tritan Renew™ material derived from 50% recycled plastic. Like all Nalgene bottles, it is leakproof, dishwasher-safe and ready for all of life’s everyday adventures.
“It is so meaningful to see our customers’ continued support of the Navajo Nation,” says Elissa McGee, general manager, Nalgene Outdoor. “We’re thankful to have partners like Jaden Redhair who can create amazing designs and DigDeep and COPE who can immediately put the money into the Navajo community creating jobs, installing water systems, and benefiting the Navajo people.”
The Nalgene Water Fund (NWF)
The NWF supports domestic communities struggling with access to clean water by partnering with grassroots nonprofits to raise funds and awareness. As Nalgene Outdoor proudly makes its products in the USA, the fund aims to support local communities. NWF donations are not just monetary, but also in-kind support with a focus on benefiting the community and infrastructure for future success. Nalgene Outdoor created the reusable water bottle category over 50 years ago with a simple idea that we can refill drinking water in reusable containers to help the environment. Yet, clean water for all is critical to this mission.
Since its inception in late 2019, the NWF, with the support of Thermo Fisher Scientific, has contributed more than $650,000 in financial and in-kind donations to programs in Navajo Nation, Benton Harbor, MI and most notably to helping establish the Flint Community Water Lab in Flint, MI, a unique water quality testing program.
DigDeep is a national nonprofit organization working to ensure every American has access to running water and sanitation inside their homes. Thus far, the Nalgene Water Fund has supported DigDeep’s Navajo Water Project, a community-managed utility alternative that brings hot and cold running water to homes on the reservation that are not connected to piped water or sewer lines. The $47,500 donated to date supports DigDeep’s work to install running water inside homes on the Navajo Nation (which spans the corners of Utah, New Mexico and Arizona) and have also helped to fund water truck deliveries, truck maintenance, and staff training, including CDL training that is offered to Navajo technicians wishing to become licensed water truck delivery drivers. DigDeep’s Navajo Water Project is Indigenous-led and locally staffed.
Community Outreach and Patient Empowerment (COPE) is a non-profit organization working to address health disparities in Navajo Nation through community-based outreach and food security initiatives. During the height of COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021, the NWF donated nearly $30,000 in critical funding and supplies to help install water refill stations and provide carboys (large vessels) to transport water from source to residence in one container. Recently, the NWF donated an additional $3,000 and 100 30-ml Nalgene sampling bottles to help fund a new pilot COPE program. The “Student Citizen Water Project” empowers six students to collect water samples in Nalgene water bottles in some of Navajo Nation’s most marginalized areas. Data from these results are currently being analyzed to prioritize the placement of the filtered water refill stations donated by the NWF.
This student-centered approach models The Flint Community Lab, also a recipient of NWF support, and a first-of-its-kind, community-based water testing facility in Flint, Michigan. A novel concept — for the community, by the community — the Lab relies on high school students to collect water samples. A multi-generational approach, this concept builds trust in the process where younger members work side-by-side with elders to help assess water safety. The Flint Community Lab who has generously offered to test the water for COPE using their state-of-the art testing equipment.
Marcia Gray, Gray Communications