St. Bonaventure Indian Mission
& School

Serving the People of the Eastern Navajo Reservation for Over 40 Years!

Outreach Services

Each day at St. Bonaventure Indian Mission brings renewed commitment to ensure all of God’s children on the Eastern Navajo Reservation can meet their daily survival needs and maintain their dignity.

Through our outreach programs we provide direct, often life-sustaining, assistance to the Navajo people including water, food, clothing, home repair, housing assistance, and home visitation services.

The Mission is often the last, best hope for our Navajo brothers and sisters as they struggle to maintain health and wellness amidst poverty and survive the hardships of daily life on the Eastern Navajo Nation.


The need for adequate, safe housing for residents of the Eastern Navajo Nation is immense.

St. Bonaventure Mission is deeply committed to increasing the affordable housing options for…


Water is an extremely limited and precious resource in the dry and nearly barren environment of the Eastern Navajo Nation.

It is also a constant concern for forty percent of Navajo households who rely on water hauling to meet their daily… 


The Mission Thrift Store provides quality new and used clothing, blankets and household items to thousands of individuals and families at nominal prices and for free to those in greatest need.

Most of these items are donated by…


It’s easy to miss this corner of the Navajo Nation, just 100 miles west of Albuquerque. Most things pass the Reservation right by, including progress.

A hardworking 50-year-old grandmother, Arviso visits more than 250 families on the reservation, leaving each with just enough water to last a month: about 7 gallons per day to be used for drinking, cooking and cleaning.

Every morning, Darlene Arviso picks up her water truck at the St. Bonaventure Indian Mission, a cluster of brown trailers in Thoreau, New Mexico, and fills her 3,500-gallon tank from a metal water tower before setting out across the Navajo Nation

It’s not uncommon that Navajo families travel several miles to their local watering hole to haul barrels, jugs and tanks of clean water for their needs at home.

The yellow truck slogged along the red-dirt roads in this impoverished corner of the Navajo reservation last week, its belly full of water — liquid gold in a treasure chest…

As soon as Lorraine Herder steps into her sheep pen with a stack of hay, her flock of wooly Navajo Churro sheep run over for a morsel of food.

our response to the boarding school tragedies

There have been recent reports in the media about native children being removed from their homes and put in church-run boarding schools. In these institutions they were prohibited from speaking their native languages and in some instances were abused. These practices began in the late 1800s and continued into the 1900s in the US and Canada.

While this system ended well before St. Bonaventure Indian Mission & School was founded, the staff and board of the Mission want to use these reports as an opportunity to express our sadness about these practices and empathy for its victims. We feel that it is critical that we tell the truth about the past and attempt to shed light on traumas such as these. This will be hard but only after doing so can we can we move into a future for our children that we can be proud of.

The Mission encourages the understanding of the Navajo language by its students and has made pride in Navajo culture a central goal of its teaching practices. We believe that it is imperative that our students learn their unique culture and have brought in many Navajo elders to our classrooms to share their life lessons and the values of the Dine.

We believe that, as former Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez has said, considering the traumatic parts of our history is important so that we “…can better understand our society today and work together to heal and move forward.”

Give the Gift of Hope to the People of the Eastern Navajo Reservation!