Good morning, NUNAverse:
Yesterday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to wear masks or practice social distancing indoors or outdoors, except under certain circumstances. The requirement to wear masks during travel – on buses, trains, planes, and public transportation – still stands, Walensky said. Guidance for travel will be updated as science emerges. People who develop COVID-19 symptoms, even those who are vaccinated, should put their mask back on and get tested.
Following the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration approving use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in children earlier this week, several health care facilities on the Navajo Nation began offering the vaccine to adolescents yesterday, with more beginning today. “We are working with all of the health care facilities on the Navajo Nation to rollout the Pfizer vaccine for 12- to 15-year-old adolescents as quickly and efficiently as possible. Our goal is to administer the first dose to at least 5,000 adolescents in the 12-to-15-year age group by this weekend,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said.
Hawai‘i House Speaker Scott Saiki recently announced the members of a working group that’s been asked in a House resolution to develop recommendations for how to manage Mauna Kea — the Big Island mountain that’s seen conflict over the construction and operation of some of the world’s most advanced telescopes. Three of the 15 group members were leaders of 2019 protests that blocked construction crews from reaching the mountain’s summit to build the Thirty Meter Telescope.
Despite an order from Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer demanding a complete shutdown of Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline by May 12, the Canadian pipeline company said that only the federal government has regulatory authority over its operations and has continued operating the pipeline. Line 5 moves oil and natural gas liquids for 645 miles (1038 kilometers) through northern Wisconsin and Michigan to Sarnia, Ontario. Governor Whitmer warned the company this week that continuing to operate the line would be trespassing and the state would claim Enbridge’s profits from doing so.
Keep reading for a full news update.
People Vaccinated Against COVID-19 Can Go Without Masks Indoors And Outdoors, CDC Says
CNN, Elizabeth Cohen, May 13
People fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to wear masks or practice social distancing indoors or outdoors, except under certain circumstances, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday. Walensky’s announcement has a few caveats. She warned that people who are immune compromised should speak with their doctors before giving up their masks. The requirement to wear masks during travel — on buses, trains, planes and public transportation — still stands, Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. Guidance for travel will be updated as science emerges.
Navajo Nation Health Facilities To Offer Vaccines For Adolescents This Week
Native News Online, May 13
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended the use of the Pfizer vaccine for the 12-15 years old adolescent population on Wednesday, which was also approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday. Several health care facilities on the Navajo Nation will begin offering the Pfizer vaccine for adolescents as early as Thursday, while others will begin on Friday and Saturday. More information about the vaccine rollout for adolescents will be provided during an online town hall on Thursday, May 13 at 10:00 a.m. (MDT) on the Nez-Lizer Facebook page and YouTube channel to provide more Covid-19 updates.
Uber is Donating 2,000 Free Or Discounted Rides To Native Community In Washington D.C. Metro Area
Native News Online, May 13
The National Council of Urban Indian Health (NCUIH) has teamed with American LifeLines Baltimore to get more urban Native Americans to Covid-19 vaccination sites in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia (DMV). This unique partnership will provide 2,000 free or deeply discounted Uber rides to ensure vaccine equity. Transportation is often a critical barrier that prevents Native people access to health care.
Lithium Mining Proposal In Northern Nevada Threatens Paiute And Shoshone Land
Native News Online, Claire Carlson, May 13
Situated between the high peaks and low valley floors of northern Nevada is Thacker Pass, an expanse of land that is bordered from the north and south by the Montana and Double H mountain ranges. The pass is in traditional Paiute and Shoshone land and holds great ecological and cultural significance, yet a new proposal to build an open-pit lithium mine threatens to disturb the area. Located atop an extinct supervolcano called the McDermitt Caldera, Thacker Pass sits on one of the largest lithium deposits in the United States. According to the company Lithium Nevada, who will be running the project, the operation has a lifespan of at least 46 years. The lithium would be used in renewable energy technology like batteries for electric cars. The process for approving the mine has been sped up in the past year due in part to former President Trump’s passage of Executive Order 13927. This order expedited the environmental impact statements (EIS) of numerous energy and natural resource projects across the country as coronavirus cases soared throughout the United States.
Alaska Native Teen Makes Waves As May Vogue Mexico Covergirl
Native News Online, Jenna Kunze, May 13
Growing up in rural Alaska, 18-year-old Quannah Chasinghorse (Han Gwich’in and Oglala Lakota) didn’t see herself as beautiful. Now, Chasinghorse is setting a new beauty standard. This month, she is featured on the front cover of Vogue Mexico in the second shoot she landed since signing with IMG models—an international management company—in December. The Alaska Native teen’s 20-page spread features photos of her donning high fashion paired with her own Indigenous jewelry on the beaches of Mexico, on a horse in Native garb, and striking a pose in a Mexican villa. In all the photos, viewers can readily see Chasinghorse’s Native identity made apparent by traditional tattoos on her chin and temples.
Hawaii House Announces Names Of Mauna Kea Working Group
AP News, Audrey Mcavoy, May 13
House Speaker Scott Saiki on Monday announced the members of a working group that’s been asked in a House resolution to develop recommendations for how to manage Mauna Kea — the Big Island mountain that’s seen conflict over the construction and operation of some of the world’s most advanced telescopes. Opponents of the telescopes say Mauna Kea’s peak is sacred and building observatories there desecrates the site. Supporters of the telescopes say the optimal observation conditions at the summit help astronomers conduct critical research that has contributed to humanity’s understanding of gravity, black holes and other scientific concepts.
Enbridge Defies Michigan Governor’s Order To Close Line 5
AP News, John Flesher, May 13
An Upper Midwestern oil pipeline continued operating Wednesday, despite a shutdown demand from Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that the operator warned could lead to fuel disruptions similar to those resulting from a cyberattack on an East Coast system.