High Country News - Features

The U.S. stole generations of Indigenous children to open the West
The U.S. stole generations of Indigenous children to open the West
Indian boarding schools held Native American youth hostage in exchange for land cessions.
Colorado farmers fight to save their water and their community’s future
Colorado farmers fight to save their water and their community’s future
‘We can either wait on Mother Nature — or we can give it a shot ourselves.’
The Mormon Church supplied tainted water to its members for years
The Mormon Church supplied tainted water to its members for years
Utah regulators turned a blind eye to faulty water systems at a girls’ summer camp, trusting the LDS Church would eventually fix the problem.
Climate criminals
Climate criminals
In 2068, as the world’s last climate change deniers are brought to justice, those tasked with going after them face a final challenge: retirement.
The mysterious cow murders at Missouri Breaks
The mysterious cow murders at Missouri Breaks
In 2068, a West Obsessed investigation.
Who pays for infrastructure in Borderland colonias?
Who pays for infrastructure in Borderland colonias?
In places like Vado, New Mexico, good roads are hard to find.
When Arizona catches fire, prisoners step up
When Arizona catches fire, prisoners step up
In one of the West’s harshest penal systems, incarcerated wildfire fighters learn to see themselves anew.
Can Bacone College reclaim its roots as a center for Native art?
Can Bacone College reclaim its roots as a center for Native art?
The private college redefined Indigenous art but faces financial and infrastructure challenges today.
A dangerous cocktail threatens the gem of North Idaho
A dangerous cocktail threatens the gem of North Idaho
Upstream mining has left a toxic legacy at the bottom of Coeur d’Alene Lake.
‘None of this happened the way you think it did’
‘None of this happened the way you think it did’
For years, the clients of a Colorado funeral home kept their loved ones’ cremated remains. Then the FBI called.
Where water is life, many on the Pine Ridge Reservation go thirsty
Where water is life, many on the Pine Ridge Reservation go thirsty
A pipeline’s promise is fulfilled for white ranchers while tribal communities are left waiting.
The transformation of a centuries-old refuge in New Mexico
The transformation of a centuries-old refuge in New Mexico
With 300,000 visitors every year, how can Chimayó’s history be preserved?
A road trip through New Mexico’s atomic past
A road trip through New Mexico’s atomic past
As nuclear tourism booms in the Land of Enchantment, histories of violence are packaged, sold and consumed.
Indigenous educators fight for an accurate history of California
Indigenous educators fight for an accurate history of California
The Golden State is ignoring a history of violence against Native Americans.
How a tiny endangered species put a man in prison
How a tiny endangered species put a man in prison
The Devils Hole pupfish is nothing to mess with.
The disease devastating deer herds may also threaten human health
The disease devastating deer herds may also threaten human health
Scientists are exploring the origins of chronic wasting disease before it becomes truly catastrophic.
Militias, MAGA activists and one border town’s complicated resistance
Militias, MAGA activists and one border town’s complicated resistance
How Arivaca, Arizona, became a magnet for anti-immigrant activists – and what locals did next.
Racist policing plagues Portland’s nightclubs
Racist policing plagues Portland’s nightclubs
A reckoning is coming for Oregon’s white supremacist past.
The Two Bulls family leads an Indigenous art renaissance
The Two Bulls family leads an Indigenous art renaissance
The Lakota family’s first group show is a celebration of tradition and experimentation.
The making of a desert surf rock band
The making of a desert surf rock band
Meet the Nizhóní Girls on the road to stardom.
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