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Friday, April 3, 2020

Covid-19 in Indian Country

Today's Headlines
April 3, 2020
A travel advisory near Zuni Pueblo in New Mexico. The tribe has confirmed a COVID-19 case and is asking community members to limit travel outside the reservation. (Photo-Pueblo of Zuni, Facebook)
Some Pueblos communities confirm first cases of COVID-19

Volunteers deliver traditional herbs to elders in Rapid City

Doctor discusses anxiety and stress during the pandemic
Coming up...
The federal government's response to the COVID-19 crisis includes a $2.2 trillion stimulus package. Of that, $10 billion is aimed specifically toward helping tribal health, housing, education, and business recovery, among other things. The crisis is already severely affecting tribes, businesses and individuals. Health and business experts are still not able to predict the full extent of the financial damage. We'll talk with tribal policy and economic experts about what the stimulus package makes available for tribes and how you might see those funds working in your community.
Native child adoptions, court hearings and in-person family visitations are some of the things grinding to a halt because of efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus. Many child welfare advocates are also worried that states may use the current confusion to withhold information important to adequately assessing cases where the Indian Child Welfare Act may apply. We'll check in with the National Indian Child Welfare Association on suggestions they are providing for tribal child welfare agencies, attorneys and individuals about how to navigate the new normal of COVID-19 restrictions.
The Trump Administration took the unprecedented step of disestablishing the Mashpee Wampanoag's more than 300 acre reservation in Massachusetts. Tribal Chairman Cedric Cromwell described the action as "cruel" and "unnecessary." It sent shock waves through Indian Country and unnerved some tribal leaders who fear such a precedent could lead to more trust land reversals in the future. We'll get updates about the issue and get reaction from tribal leaders.
As the country grapples with an unprecedented pandemic threat, there is another health concern on the rise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's most recent report shows rates of sexual transmitted disease (STDs) are at an all-time high. The revelation comes in the Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2018 report. Native Americans have some of the highest rates for diseases like chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. We'll talk about what can be done to prevent further infections and how that is affected by COVID-19 pandemic.
Many people turn to prayer, traditional practices or messages of encouragement during times of personal or communal crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic limits people's ability to connect in groups to heal. But there are still ways to find fellowship and access spiritual solace. We'll get perspective from three people about what they are leaning on during this crisis. How are you managing? Send us an email to with how you are getting through this challenging time.


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The program is hosted by Tara Gatewood (Isleta Pueblo) and airs live each weekday from 1-2 pm Eastern.

Join the conversation by calling 1-800-996-2848.

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Rebecca Tallbear entitled: “DNA, Blood, and Racializing the Tribe”, bearing out what I only inferred:

Detailed discussion of the Bering Strait theory and other scientific theories about the population of the modern-day Americas is beyond the scope of this essay. However, it should be noted that Indian people have expressed suspicion that DNA analysis is a tool that scientists will use to support theories about the origins of tribal people that contradict tribal oral histories and origin stories. Perhaps more important,the alternative origin stories of scientists are seen as intending to weaken tribal land and other legal claims (and even diminish a history of colonialism?) that are supported in U.S. federal and tribal law. As genetic evidence has already been used to resolve land conflicts in Asian and Eastern European countries, this is not an unfounded fear.

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