Category Archives: Health

Navajo Nation Reopens 2 casinos–with Safety Measures in Place

Two casinos on the Navajo Nation will reopen this week as the tribe eases its restrictions on businesses amid a downturn in coronavirus cases and high rates of vaccination. All employees must test negative for COVID-19 before they return to work and be retested at least every two weeks.” F. Fonseca, ICT, March 17, 2021

Navajo Fire Rock Casino in Gallup, NM

 

Excerpt: By Felicia Fonseca, ICT, March 17, 2021

“The Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise has four casinos but will open only two Friday and limit patrons to those who live on the vast reservation that stretches into New Mexico, Arizona and Utah.

Robert Peterson from Thoreau said Friday he’s happy Fire Rock Casino has reopened. Navajo Times | Donovan Quintero

The enterprise will keep Fire Rock east of Gallup, New Mexico, and Northern Edge in Farmington, New Mexico, open for two weeks before determining whether to reopen two other casinos — one in northwestern New Mexico and the other east of Flagstaff.

‘What it’s intended to do is demonstrate that all our safety protocols, which we know are very, very comprehensive, are in place, the program is going to work and keep everyone safe, and then we can open it to a broader audience later,’ Brian Parrish, the enterprise’s interim chief executive, said Wednesday.

Northern Edge Navajo Casino, Framingham NM (Times photo- Cindy Yurth)

The casinos will operate at 25 percent capacity with no food or drink services and only within the time allowed by the tribe’s nightly curfew.

Service lights on the slot machines will let customers request that the machines be sanitized.

Smoking will be allowed only in designated outdoor areas. Social distancing will be enforced throughout the properties.

The casinos also are setting aside a couple of hours on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings for elderly patrons.

Customers must wear masks, get their temperatures checked and provide contact information if they needed to be reached later.

Handheld devices will be used to swipe driver’s licenses to ensure customers live on the reservation, Parrish said…The tribe is planning a virtual day of prayer Friday to remember those who have died and been infected by the virus.”

 

COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR NATIVE AMERICANS

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act

https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/public_indian_housing/ih/Covid_Recovery

Apply for NCAI Relief Funding 

https://www.ncai.org/Covid-19/Get-Involved/apply-for-ncai-funding

Center for Disease and Control (CDC): COVID Data Tracker: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations

Indian Health Services (IHS): COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution List https://www.ihs.gov/coronavirus/vaccine/distribution/

Indian Health Services (IHS): Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine: https://www.ihs.gov/coronavirus/vaccine/

NCAI’s COVID-19 Response Fund (Donate) With the generous support of our donors, NCAI is providing financial relief support to tribal nations affected by COVID-19 through NCAI’s COVID-19 Response Fund for Indian Country.

 

Category: Culture, Health, Navajo | Tags:

President Joe Biden Signs Disaster Relief for Navajos

“Navajo Nation health officials on Wednesday reported 70 new COVID-19 cases and six more deaths.The latest numbers raised the totals to 28,544 cases and 1,038 known deaths since the pandemic began…The move will provide the tribe more federal resources to address the pandemicAP-ICT Feb 3, 2021

President Biden signing executive orders. 2021-Credit- Jim Lo Scalzojpeg

Excerpt: Joe Biden signs Navajo disaster declaration as cases rise —AP-ICT Feb 3, 2021

On Tuesday, tribal officials said they received word that President Joe Biden had signed a long-awaited major disaster declaration for the Navajo Nation.

It will provide more federal resources and prompts the release of federal funds for the reimbursement of emergency funds expended to address the COVID-19 pandemic on the Navajo Nation which covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. The tribe has tribe extended its stay-at-home order with a revised nightly curfew to limit the spread of COVID-19. The Navajo Department of Health has identified 56 communities with uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus, down from 75 communities in recent weeks.”

For More Information Contact:

Navajo Department of Health

Indian Health Services  (The Federal Health Program for [All] American Indians and Alaska Natives)

Financial Aid for Native Students

 

 

JUST FOR FUN: WATCH GIANT PANDAS SLIDE IN THE SNOW!

#NatZooZen: Giant Pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian in the Snow Feb 1, 2021

Chickasaw Nation President Jefferson Keel Endorses Joe Biden!

‘Vice President Biden is a proven leader with exceptional grace and diplomacy’Jefferson Keel, Chickasaw Nation, ICT

Jefferson Keel, Chickasaw Nation, is the former president of the National Congress of American Indians. (File photo)

Excerpt: Electing Joe Biden stops Trump’s termination policies, By Jefferson Keel, Chickasaw Nation, ICT

“Indian Country is at a crossroads as deep divisions take shape within our country. Native people have borne the brunt of racism for hundreds of years and have seen Presidents attempt to eliminate tribal rights and our communities.

Additionally, the pandemic is impacting Natives at alarmingly high rates, highlighting disparities that have long existed in healthcare and other services.

I witnessed huge strides to foster tribal self-determination during the eight years of the Obama-Biden Administration, elevating tribal voices to unprecedented levels and prioritizing Native issues to heights we had never experienced (or even dreamed of) before… But the sad truth now is that many of the achievements and progress we made during the Obama-Biden Administration have been erased in the last four years… Tribes have been alienated and ignored…[Joe Biden] has shown through his decades of public service a respect and commitment to tribal sovereignty. He is a spiritual man who truly understands and respects the service of Native veterans, and will never disparage them in any way.”

5 key takeaways from Joe Biden’s town hall with ABC News, By Meg Cunningham and Quinn Scanlan, October 16, 2020 NYT   

Democratic Presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden and moderator George Stephanopoulos participate in an ABC News town hall event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

Biden’s persistent message of concern for others, which he follows up with action, is a stark contrast to the actions of the current president.

“I’m less concerned about me than the people, the guys with the cameras, the people working in the, you know, the Secret Service guys you drive up with, all those people.”~Democratic Presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden

“With less than three weeks until Nov. 3,…Already, more than 18 million voters have cast their ballots, and while that’s an unprecedented turnout this far out from Election Day, many more Americans have yet to officially make their voices heard.”

Tribal Community Sub-Grants

“The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is committed to American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) exercising their right to vote in all tribal, local, state, and federal elections through nonpartisan activities and education. To meet this commitment, we rely on our tribal nations, partner organizations, and tribal citizens to become actively engaged in the campaign. Community Mini Grants – NCAI is offering Community Mini Grants for projects in support of its Native Vote campaign for the 2020 election cycle. Please note: NCAI will consider funding projects/events in whole or part up to a maximum of $2,000 per tribal organization. For More information Visit:  Native Vote 2020 Community Grants Application

*A state-by-state guide to voting in the age of COVID-19  By Nathaniel Rakich and Julia Wolfe   NOTE:  “This page will be updated on a regular basis with the latest developments.” October 15, 2020

STAY HEALTHY During Flu Season!

The Navajo Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises Navajo citizens to get a flu vaccine this fall to protect yourself, your family, and your community and help reduce the strain on healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The flu vaccine can prevent influenza (flu) and is not a COVID-19 vaccine. Flu is a contagious disease that spreads around the country every year, usually between October …See More

Also Visit: Navajo Department of Health for COVID-19 Updates

Native Vote Declines Due to Covid-19!

“After the COVID-19 pandemic ripped through Indian Country in New Mexico this spring, voter turnout among Native Americans declined… according to a new report from Common Cause New Mexico.” M. Gerstein, Santa Fe New Mexico Press

Excerpt: Native American vote suppressed by pandemic, By Michael Gerstein, Santa Fe New Mexico Press

“The report shows while the rest of the state experienced a voter turnout increase of 8 percent as county clerks grappled with a record flood of absentee ballots, turnout among Native Americans declined by 1 percent compared to the 2016 primary.

The tribal communities with the lowest turnout lined up with some of the areas of the state hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Turnout among Zia Pueblo members decreased 29 percent from the 2016 primary, while a number of precincts in the New Mexico portion of the Navajo Nation saw turnout drop 17 percent or more from the 2016 primary, according to the report.

‘COVID-19 hit Native American communities disproportionately, and people faced new obstacles to voting,’ said Amber Carrillo, Native American voting rights organizer for Common Cause New Mexico, in a statement…Many Native voters who tried to cast their ballot during the June 2 primary election did not know where to go in person, and although voting was considered an essential activity and exempt from lockdown requirements on the Navajo Nation, many had to travel longer distances to vote, the report said.

Carrillo said one of the biggest hurdles for Native American voters was a lack of information about where to cast a ballot.‘There just needs to be a lot more information on radio and TV,’ Carrillo said. ‘Those are probably the primary places where tribal folks in rural [communities] are going to be engaged with.’

Voters also faced mail delays, long distances to drop off absentee ballots at post offices or post office boxes and in some cases had absentee ballots rejected due to signatures not matching or missing information…‘With less than 100 days until the 2020 general election, this is an urgent call for action,’the report said.

‘New Mexico’s leadership has taken several commendable steps to promote safe and accessible elections, but Native American voting rights will not be upheld unless best practices … are implemented and maintained.’

For the 2020 general election, the report urged every tribal administration building have a drop box where people can deposit absentee ballots.

It also calls for legislation to allow the U.S. Postal Service to deliver mail at non-conforming addresses, audio recordings that translate and explain ballot items in tribal languages, prepaid postage on absentee ballots, counting ballots postmarked on or before Election Day and keeping in-person polling locations open on tribal lands, among other changes. The new emergency election law that passed during the special session this year, Senate Bill 4, allows tribes to keep polling locations open even if they’re closed to the general public…NM Native Vote has encouraged county clerks to create ballot drop boxes to ease ongoing worries over how turmoil within the U.S. Postal Service might affect absentee voting.”

“The right to vote is the most sacred American right there is — exercise it. Make your voice heard this November.”

~Democratic Presidential Leader Joe Biden~

~Democratic Vice-Presidential Leader Kamala Harris~

YOUR VOTE IS NEEDED

Indian Country’s Updated COVID-19 Syllabus

Coronavirus Q&A: What is it? The symptoms. And how it spreads
An explainer of every frequently asked question in relation to COVID-19.

Are you a Native student whose college or university has been closed or switched to online classes? Visit this spreadsheet for resources involving technology in Native communities. It is updated by San Juan College’s Native American Center.

• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Basic information.

Indian Health Service

National Congress of American Indians

National Indian Health Board

COVID-19: Native advisories and event updates

Category: Culture, Health, Politics | Tags:

Navajo Nation Extends Lockdown for Labor Day

“With the Labor Day weekend approaching, we have to remain focused and be diligent to avoid another surge” Navajo President Jonathan Nez

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez speaks at a virtual town hall in May. (Screenshot from Facebook)

Excerpt: Navajo Nation Extends Partial Lockdowns

“Navajo Nation officials are extending partial weekend lockdowns and daily curfews through September to help control the spread of the coronavirus on the tribe’s reservation. The lockdowns on the vast reservation in the Four Corners region start at 9 p.m. Saturday and run until 5 a.m. Monday.

They were shortened in August from previous versions that began on Fridays… tribal President Jonathan Nez said the public should avoid traveling to nearby towns and cities on weekends. Travel increases the risk of contracting the virus and bringing it home, potentially exposing family members…All businesses, including stores, gas stations, restaurants, drive-thru food establishments and hay vendors, are required to shut down during the lockdowns and curfew hours.”

2020 Election Live Updates: Biden Visits Kenosha and Meets With Jacob Blake’s Family

Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his wife, Jill Biden, arrived in Milwaukee on Thursday, where they met with the parents of Jacob Blake, who was shot and paralyzed by a Kenosha police officer. Credit: Kriston Jae Bethel for The New York Times

“Mr. Biden met privately with several of Mr. Blake’s closest relatives for an hour as soon as his plane landed in Milwaukee. He then convened a community meeting at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha, which is still reeling after the shooting of Mr. Blake and subsequent protests that saw sporadic outbreaks of violence and looting.

“Hate only hides,” Mr. Biden said, as he described the ways, in his view, Mr. Trump has emboldened bigots. But he predicted that the country had reached an “inflection point.”

“Get off Twitter,” Mr. Biden scolded Trump in a speech on Wednesday, urging him to engage with congressional leaders to help support schools and pass an economic aid package.”

Resource Sites for the COVID-19: Indian Country today

Are you a Native student whose college or university has been closed or switched to online classes? Visit this spreadsheet for resources involving technology in Native communities. It is updated by San Juan College’s Native American Center.

• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Basic information.

Indian Health Service

National Congress of American Indians

National Indian Health Board

COVID-19: Native advisories and event updates

From Cartoonist Ricardo Caté : Wash Your Hands!

“New Mexico has a colorful way of spreading a strong message. The state’s Indian Affairs and Human Services departments have partnered with cartoonist Ricardo Caté to create a COVID-19 coloring book for tribal youth. Caté’s cartoon ‘Without Reservations’is published daily in the Santa Fe New Mexican and The Taos News.” P. Talahongva, ICT

Santo Domingo Pueblo artist Ricardo Caté’s thought-provoking cartoons remind us there is always a different point of view.

 

Excerpt: Indian Country Today newscast for Thursday August 27th, 2020 Without reservations: Wash your hands By Patty Talahongva, ICT

Cartoon Book by Ricardo Cate

“He’s [Ricardo Caté] on the newscast today to discuss the coloring book with Lynn Trujillo, the Indian Affairs Department Cabinet Secretary.”

A few comments:

Ricardo Cate:

“I started with the lockdown and as the whole pandemic progressed, whatever was on the news, I started drawing on a day to day basis.”

Lynn Trujillo:

“As we all know, unfortunately, many of our Native American Alaska Native relatives continue to be disproportionately impacted and really suffered from high prevalence and mortality rates. Luckily here in New Mexico, the latest statewide data shows that, 32.9 percent of positive cases here in New Mexico are Native American and Alaska native. We seen a flattening of that curve, which I think has been phenomenal… And what is the goal of this coloring book?

Cartoon by Ricardo Caté

Ricardo Cate:

“…I come up with these ideas and like I said, I’ve already been drawing them. And so from not only a parent or a community member standpoint but from a teacher standpoint. I’m also a teacher and I work a lot with kids. In fact, I had been passing out art supplies in our community the same week that they had asked me. So when this fell into my lap, so to speak, it was a very opportune time for that to happen because I was thinking of kids at the time and wondering how I could help them a little more and this coloring book seemed to be right up that alley. So it was a very opportune time…I’m glad this coloring book turned out really nice. And hopefully it makes a huge impact on what we’re trying to do here to educate everyone. Yeah one time I had a (dance) partner and she was (staying) six feet away but it just turned out that she didn’t like me.”

Credit: Ricardo Caté, ICT

Lynn Trujillo:

“The coloring book is available on our website. We’re also really excited because we’ve been approached by a foundation to pay for another reprinting that we would really like to get out to our urban Indian centers and different organizations. The first round of books went out to the sovereign nations here in New Mexico that we would really love to get those out to our centers and communities. Ricardo can talk to you about what ‘stoodis’ means. I think we also want to make sure that there’s an opportunity for everyone not only little ones, but everyone to draw their own cartoon and to share it and use the hashtag. We love to share people’s cartoons and their artwork.”

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION

The 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, at the close of the Democratic National Convention Thursday night. [8/20] Photo: Olivier Douliery

On Thursday night, [8/20] he was introduced by a video that referenced the loss of his first wife and daughter early in his Senate career and, years later, of his son Beau to brain cancer. “I know how mean and cruel and unfair life can be sometimes…your loved one may have left this earth, but they’ll never leave your heart. They’ll always be with you. You’ll always hear them.”

Vice President Biden with his son Beau at Camp Victory on the Baghdad outskirts in 2009.Credit…Pool photo by Khalid Mohammed

As president, the first step I will take will be to get control of the virus that’s ruined so many lives… Because I understand something this president doesn’t. We will never get our economy back on track, we will never get our kids safely back to school, we will never have our lives back until we deal with this virus.”

Brayden Harrington, 13, spoke about how former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. helped him overcome his stutter in a speech on Thursday at the Democratic National Convention.

“As God’s children, each of us has a purpose in our lives… And we have a great purpose as a nation: to open the doors of opportunity to all Americans; to save our democracy; to be a light to the world once again; to finally live up to and make real the words written in the sacred documents that founded this nation that all men and women are created equal. Endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. Among them, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” 

Biden and Harris For The American People!

“I will have a great vice president at my side, Senator Kamala Harris,” Biden reminded his listeners. “She is a powerful voice for this nation. Her story is the American story. She knows about all the obstacles thrown in the way of so many in our country: women, Black women, Black Americans, South Asian Americans, immigrants, the left out and left behind. But she’s overcome every obstacle she’s ever faced. No one’s been tougher on the big banks or the gun lobby. No one’s been tougher in calling out this current administration for its extremism, its failure to follow the law, and its failure to simply tell the truth.” 

~Democratic Presidential Leader Joe Biden~

~Democratic Vice-Presidential Leader Kamala Harris~

From Indian Country Today (ICT):

Resource Sites for the COVID-19:

Are you a Native student whose college or university has been closed or switched to online classes? Visit this spreadsheet for resources involving technology in Native communities. It is updated by San Juan College’s Native American Center.

• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Basic information.

Indian Health Service

National Congress of American Indians

National Indian Health Board

COVID-19: Native advisories and event updates