Pauly Denetclaw

Pauly Denetclaw is a citizen of the Navajo Nation and from Manuelito, New Mexico. She is Haltsooí (Meadow People) born for Kinyaa’áanii (Towering House People). Denetclaw is currently the Indigenous Affairs reporter for the Texas Observer. Previously, she was a staff reporter for the Navajo Times. She is a board member for the Native American Journalist Association. She was a Knight-CUNYJ Journalism Fellow in New York City, Emerging Fellow for the Journalism and Women Symposium and an Indian Country Today Tribal Media Fellow in Washington D.C. Her radio work has aired on National Native News, NPR's Latino USA and Texas Public Radio.

Indigenous Identity at the Heart of San Antonio City Council Race

For years, candidate Marie Crabb has claimed to be Mescalero Apache. Those claims cannot be verified.

In early February, on a warm, sunny day, Marie Crabb left campaign literature for her neighbors in the Lone Star neighborhood on the south side of San Antonio. She wore a black cloth mask and a casual outfit with grey … Read More


‘Truly Texas Mexican’ Bites Off More Than It Can Chew

A new food documentary fails to recognize the complexities of Indigenous identity in Texas.

From the March/April 2021 issue. Adán Medrano’s new documentary, Truly Texas Mexican, begins with a disclaimer: “This film may make you uncomfortable and it should.” For the next 90 minutes, Medrano, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, tells the story … Read More

Alabama-Coushatta Reservation welcome sign
News, Topics

As Companies Build Thousands of Cell Towers, Indigenous Nations are Faced with Difficult Choices

In Texas, a tiny staff of tribal officials field hundreds of requests each day to build 5G towers in areas of cultural and historic importance.

Every day, Bryant Celestine opens his email to find around 80 messages that require immediate responses. Most of those emails come from the Tower Construction Notification System (TCNS) that alerts the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas of a new proposal to … Read More

Large sign at the Alabama–Coushatta Reservation east of Livingston, Texas
Health Care

COVID-19 Response has Been Starkly Different for Indigenous Communities in Texas

While coronavirus rates remain high, officials have taken unprecedented actions not found anywhere else in the state.

On March 23, the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas issued its first stay-at-home order. In April, the tribe would restrict out-of-state travel, and in May, officials shut down nonessential tribal offices and businesses and eventually banished a tribal citizen for 90 … Read More

Traffic flows through the main gate past a welcome sign, Tuesday, July 9, 2013, in Fort Hood, Texas. U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan faces execution or life without parole if convicted in the 2009 rampage that killed 13 and wounded nearly three dozen on the Texas Army post. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Criminal Justice

After the Deaths of Two Soldiers at Fort Hood, the Navajo Nation Wants Answers

Navajo families say their loved ones faced hazing and harassment at the Army base outside Killeen.

Corlton Lane Chee came to the Fort Hood Army base from the high deserts of New Mexico. He grew up in a satellite community of the Navajo Nation called Ramah Navajo, an area nestled between mesas where the rolling hills … Read More