Navajo Nation reported 105 new positive cases of COVID-19 and one additional death, and 14.5% Of Navajo Nation has received COVID-19 testing as of Sunday. Meanwhile, construction of a major water pipeline to move water from the San Juan River to various communities of the Navajo Nation continues and part of the project on the Eastern Agency of the Navajo Nation is near completion.
The Kewa Pueblo in New Mexico reported 50 COVID-19 cases as of May 22, more than double the number of reported cases on May 1.
The Winnebago Comprehensive Healthcare System, which is comprised of the Winnebago Public Health Department (WPHD) and Twelve Clans Unity Hospital (TCUH), have confirmed one additional case of COVID-19 in Winnebago. The Winnebago Reservation now has had a total of fourteen positive cases of COVID-19.
President Donald Trump’s former deputy chief of staff Zach Fuentes, won a $3 million federal contract to supply respirator masks to Navajo Nation hospitals, but the Indian Health Service has found that 247,000 of the masks delivered by Fuentes’ company may be unsuitable for medical use.
Attorneys for Governor Kevin Stitt and nine Oklahoma gaming tribes filed documents Friday telling a federal judge why they believe he should rule in their favor in a legal dispute over gaming compacts between the tribes and state.
The Chehalis Tribe is the first in the nation to be allowed to open a distillery following the repeal of a nearly 200-year-old law, and they plan to use their distillery to make hand sanitizer to help with the spread of COVID-19.
Keep reading for a full news update.
Why Native Americans Took Covid-19 Seriously: ‘It’s Our Reality’
The Guardian, Nina Lakhani, May 26
In the first few weeks of 2020, as President Donald Trump dismissed and mocked warnings about a novel virus killing people far away in China, Native American leaders were taking the deadly threat seriously.
Monday Update: 105 New Reported COVID-19 Cases On Navajo Nation; One More Death & 1,491 Recoveries
Native News Online, May 25
The Navajo Department of Health in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service reported 105 new cases of COVID-19 for the Navajo Nation. The total number of deaths has reached 157 as of Monday. Preliminary reports from eight health care facilities indicate that approximately 1,491 individuals have recovered from COVID-19, with more reports still pending. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases for the Navajo Nation has reached 4,794.
Kewa Pueblo (New Mexico)
Indianz.com, May 25
Kewa Pueblo, also known as Santo Domingo Pueblo, continues to see an increase in coronavirus cases within the tribal community in New Mexico.
Kewa Pueblo Health Corporation reported 50 COVID-19 positive cases as of May 22, 2020. That’s more than double the cases reported on May 1.
One New COVID-19 Case Confirmed in Winnebago
Indianz.com, May 25
The Winnebago Comprehensive Healthcare System, which is comprised of the Winnebago Public Health Department (WPHD) and Twelve Clans Unity Hospital (TCUH), have confirmed one additional case of COVID-19 in Winnebago. The Winnebago Reservation now has had a total of fourteen positive cases of COVID-19. Of those fourteen cases, six individuals have recovered.
‘Callous And Dangerous’: Tribes See COVID-19 Spitting Incidents Amid Rise In Cases
Indianz.com, Kevin Abourezk, May 25
An incident at a grocery store on the Omaha Reservation in northeast Nebraska last week forced a tribally-owned corporation that owns the business to conduct an expensive deep cleaning of the facility. Lance Morgan, president and chief executive officer of Ho-Chunk, Inc., which owns the Heritage Foodtown in Walthill, said a clerk asked four women who entered Thursday to leave the store. The clerk believed the four had been recently diagnosed with COVID-19.
Cherokee Nation Makes Strategic Plan To Reopen Government Offices And Businesses
Indianz.com, Chuck Hoskin Jr., May 25
In light of the worst public health crisis in generations, we have used medical science, facts and compassion as our guide. Throughout this crisis, our decision-making has been guided by Cherokee Nation health experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Based on this guidance, limiting access to government headquarters and temporarily shutting our businesses was the right thing to do.
Prairie Edge Adapts During Pandemic
Indianz.com, Travis Dewes, May 25
Businesses have been changing ways of operation and avenues of income from day to day during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the businesses that have changed is Prairie Edge & Sioux Trading Post. The downtown vendor, unlike many others, is thriving amidst drastic change.
A Navajo Water Pipeline Nears Completion
Indian Country Today, Vida Volkert, May 24
Growing up without running water or electricity in rural New Mexico on the Eastern Agency of the Navajo Nation in the 1950s, Daniel Tso contracted tuberculosis at the age of 5 and had to spend the next five years of his childhood in a TB sanatorium in Albuquerque.
Native Colleges Navigate Virus Challenges
Indian Country Today, Eddie Chuculate, May 24
Across the country, Native American higher-education institutions are dealing with financial loss, delayed graduations, distance learning and varying degrees of uncertainty with the upcoming fall semester in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
14.5% Of Navajo Nation Has Received COVID-19 Testing As Of Sunday; Death Toll Reaches 156
Native News Online, May 24
The Navajo Department of Health in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service reported 56 new cases of COVID-19 for the Navajo Nation. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases for the Navajo Nation has reached 4,689.
How A Pandemic Made Rural Internet Even More Critical
Indian Country Today, Sara Diggins, May 23
Zak Hoops is completely in the zone. His feet hit the still-frozen dirt, where he has worn a circle through the snow with his grass dance. The March wind rips across the frozen landscape, ruffling the feathers in his roach and ribbons on his arms and legs as he moves to the beat of the song, played from a phone.
Rural Areas, Tribal Lands Hit Hardest By Census Interruption
Indian Country Today, Mike Schneider, May 23
Even though they’re neighbors, two New Mexico counties couldn’t be further apart in the rate of people answering the 2020 census. Los Alamos County, where the atomic bomb was born and many people are highly educated, has one of the nation’s highest response rates at 79%. Rio Arriba County, where a language other than English is spoken in over half of homes, is at the bottom at 9%.
Some Tribes Distribute Relief Money To Citizens
Indian Country Today, Dalton Walker, May 22
For Jennie Collins, any financial relief can go a long way in the COVID-19 era.
Collins learned earlier this month that her tribe planned to directly disburse a portion of its relief funds to citizens’ pockets. The aid comes from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act.
Former Trump Aide Provided Faulty Masks To Indian Health Service
Indianz.com, May 22
A former White House aide won a $3 million federal contract to supply respirator masks to Navajo Nation hospitals in New Mexico and Arizona 11 days after he created a company to sell personal protective equipment in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Zach Fuentes, President Donald Trump’s former deputy chief of staff, secured the deal with the Indian Health Service with limited competitive bidding and no prior federal contracting experience.
Navajo Nation Is Under A 57-hour Curfew This Memorial Day Weekend As COVID-19 Death Toll Climbs To 149
Native News Online, Levi Rickert, May 22
While many parts of the country are beginning to reopen to business, the Navajo Nation will be on a 57-hour curfew this Memorial Day weekend with businesses closed.With the Navajo Nation having the highest per capita COVID-19 cases, more than any of the 50 states, the leadership find it necessary to keep the hard measures in place on the country’s largest Indian reservation.
Mass Burials Teach Same Lessons
Indianz.com, Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, May 22
Dozens of American Indian Tribal Leaders across America are at these moments of this early spring, gathering their people to talk of decisions to be made that will not be business as usual. They will be the cause of unimaginable loneliness. These acts of courage, how to choose the fears and confront them will be told as history. It is a time of endemic viral infection throughout the world.
Sac And Fox Nation Announces COVID-19 Economic Support Program For All Enrolled Tribal Citizens
Native News Online, May 22
An Oklahoma tribe is giving money it received from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act directly to its tribal citizens. Tribal citizens will begin to receive the relief checks in the mail in June.
Gov. Stitt, Tribes Submit Legal Arguments In Dispute Over State Gaming Compacts
The Oklahoman, Randy Ellis, May 24
An Oklahoma City federal court lawsuit between Oklahoma gaming tribes and Gov. Kevin Stitt moved one step closer to a potential judicial resolution Friday. Attorneys for Gov. Kevin Stitt and nine Oklahoma gaming tribes filed documents Friday telling a federal judge why they believe he should rule in their favor in a legal dispute over gaming compacts between the tribes and state.
Catawba Tribe Clears One Hurdle But Faces New Foe In Casino Land Fight
Indian Country Today, Joseph Martin, May 23
The Catawba Indian Nation announced one legal decision in its favor, but the South Carolina-based tribe has new opposition to its quest to get land put into trust in North Carolina for the purposes of establishing a casino.
Seminole Tribe Buys Rights For Las Vegas Hard Rock
Indian Country Today, Sandra Hale Schulman, May 23
The Seminole Tribe of Florida has consolidated its control over the “Hard Rock” hotel and casino brand. The tribe’s Hard Rock International recently announced it bought the intellectual property rights for a Las Vegas hotel and casino, opening the door for the brand to buy — or more likely build — a new property in the city.
Wado (Thank You) To Cherokee Foster Parents
Native News Online, Chuck Hostin, Jr., May 25
May is Foster Care Awareness Month, an opportunity to thank all Cherokee foster parents for the selfless time and love they give for our Cherokee children. Wado (Thank you) for stepping up to care for our precious children while we work to reunify their families and bring healing.
Take A Moment To Honor Fallen Heroes
Indian Country Today, Terry Rambler, May 25
Hello everyone. I will share with you some thoughts about Memorial Day. It is a day to honor our fallen heroes, a day to look at the flag and to remember the sacrifices made by our military members, to honor their place of final rest. For some, this is a day for picnics, family gatherings, and barbeques, but it is so much more.
A Change In Honoring, Saying Goodbye
Indian Country Today, Joaqlin Estus, May 25
Normally on Memorial Day people would gather for services honoring those who died serving in the military. Thousands of people would be traveling to veterans’ powwows where veterans would lead the grand entry. They’d enter the powwow circle carrying U.S. and tribal flags, state flags, prisoner of war flag, missing in action flags, and eagle staffs.
Chehalis Tribe First In The Nation To Open A Distillery On Tribal Land
KOMO News, Keith Eldridge, May 25
A new source for COVID-19 hand sanitizer is part of a history making enterprise in the Pacific Northwest. The Chehalis Tribe is the first in the nation to be allowed to open a distillery following the repeal of a nearly 200-year-old law.
YES! Magazine: Gardening Advice From Indigenous Food Growers
Indianz.com, Stephanie Woodard, May 25
Many Americans are now experiencing an erratic food supply for the first time. Among COVID-19’s disruptions are bare supermarket shelves and items available yesterday but nowhere to be found today. As you seek ways to replace them, you can look to Native gardens for ideas and inspiration.
Tribe Aims To Improve Dental Health By Bringing Smiles To The Dental Visit
Indianz.com, Madison LaBerge, May 25
As she looked at the Disney characters decorating the walls of the San Carlos Apache Healthcare Dental Clinic and at the smiling, laughing children watching dental health demonstrations, Suzanne Haney thought back to what a trip to the dentist used to be.