Portugal. The Man is donating $20,000 to the Navajo Water Project in the American Southwest through the band’s charitable organization, PTM Foundation. The donation is timed with a new single, featuring Weird Al Yancovic and a limited run of T-shirts, the sales of which will go toward the expansion of water access in Native American. communities.
The Navajo Water Project is led by human rights organization DigDeep. It aims to expand access to water for the Navajo Nation in New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. Thirty percent of native peoples are living without access to clean running water in their homes, according to DigDeep.
“This campaign is an opportunity for us to help raise awareness, highlight Indigenous artists and activists, and fundraise in support of water access for communities of Indigenous peoples, who are 19 times less likely to have running water than non-natives, said John Gourley of Portugal. The Man. “Over 2 million Americans have no access to running water. We’re taking action because the government won’t. We can’t just sit back and watch our friends get sick and die. It’s enough.”
Portugal. The Man launched the PTM Foundation earlier in 2020 to engage with and advocate for communities in which the band members grew up or are a member of. The Portland band hopes to focus on universal issues related to human rights, healthcare and the environment. The band previously contributed to efforts for Get Out the Native Vote and COVID-19 Relief Native Community Relief Grant Program.
“Lack of running water has been a historical problem and has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Emma Robbins, director of the Navajo Water Project.
The new song, titled “Who’s Gonna Stop Me,” will be released on Monday, which is also Indigenous Peoples’ Day. An accompanying video aims to honor the histories, cultures, contributions and resilience of contemporary Native peoples by highlighting over a dozen Indigenous leaders.
T-shirts are now available to purchase on Portugal. The Man’s website, with proceeds to be split between DigDeep’s Navajo Water Project and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs in Oregon, the band’s home state.