I, alas & alak, am NOT Navajo! But, I do identify with them very keenly & profoundly. I have spent a lot of time with them & on their reservations in Arizona since 1980. That I look like one helps & adds to why I relate with them at such a deep level. Native Navajos have said, more than once, that if they saw me in the reservation they would just think I was one of them & give it no further thought.
This increase in numbers, ironically, is related to COVID that continues to wreak havoc among the Navajo. A lot of folks that were Navajo, but had never registered as such, have done so recently to get the aid that is being given to these hard-hit folks. Sad.
COVID is still taking its toll. I just read that COVID-related Navajo deaths just surpassed 1,300. We really can’t afford to lose so many of these wonderful people.