Photo Courtesy Vanielle Blackhorse
Photo Courtesy Vanielle Blackhorse

Valentina Blackhorse, the winner of one pageant after another in the Navajo Nation, was known for helping others. When the coronavirus began tearing across her reservation, she counseled family members to stay home, wash their hands and wear masks.

Then the virus somehow made its way into her own home in Kayenta, a town in the Navajo Nation near the sandstone buttes of Arizona’s Monument Valley. Her companion, Robby Jones, a detention officer with the Navajo Department of Corrections, caught Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.

“She cared for him until she got sick herself,” her sister Vanielle said. “She was always that way, looking after others.”

When Ms. Blackhorse came down with symptoms including shortness of breath and back and knee pain, she went for a test. The results came back on April 22 and showed she was positive. A day later, Ms. Blackhorse died at Kayenta’s health clinic, where Mr. Jones had taken her after she had difficulty breathing, her sister said. She was 28.

For the full story, visit



Similar Posts