Southwest Indian Relief Council
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A Program of PWNA

Success Stories

 Thank You — A'he'hee

Photo of water damage in Flora's Bedroom Ceiling
SWIRC will be replacing the sheetrock in Flora's bedroom that had water damage.

In 1934, Flora was born, not too far from her current residence.

As an 83-year-old Elder, Flora lived alone in a huge house. She attended boarding school in Oklahoma at the Chilocco Indian School. She went on to attend what was called a “Five Year Special.” This was where students started school at a late age usually 9-11 years old and learned English, math and a trade at an accelerated rate.

Flora did not say what she learned to do, but said she met her husband, David, at school in Oklahoma. Her husband built their home in the early 1970’s because they moved closer to Flora’s aging parents. She and David were married for 47 years. He was employed as a laborer with the BIA Road Department and a uranium miner. Their family did not receive any compensation for the years David worked in the uranium mines.

Flora participated in PWNA’s Southwest Indian Relief Council (SWIRC) program’s Home Improvement service for the second year.

Last year, the service provided panels to finish a section of her roof that was leaking. The repair was completed and Flora liked it so much that she asked the chapter to re-do her entire roof.

Photo of Flora with her new stove
The new changes made her home safer and better maintained.

The day we visited, she told us the roof panels were “Nizhoniyii,” meaning it’s beautiful or good. No more water leaks plagued Flora. She really enjoyed not having to put out buckets or worry about the drywall getting wet. This year, SWIRC will be replacing the sheetrock in her bedroom that had water damage. The taping job will also be completed.

The new changes made her home safer and better maintained. During the visit, she started to cry. She shared that no one helps her, her children lived too far away, and she was lonely at times. However, Flora was very thankful and appreciative that SWIRC and the Cove Chapter, our Program Partner, would be making the long overdue repairs.

She also mentioned that the other day she was in her garage putting away her husband’s tools. She got very emotional and said if he were still alive they would be doing their best to make the repairs themselves. He built her home, as he was also a carpenter by trade, a skill he learned while attending Chilooco Indian School.

She was looking forward to having all the repairs completed by September. She said, “Thank you — A’he’hee!”

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