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'This is our Pearl Harbor moment' ... and Indian Country is right there

INDIAN COUNTRY MEDIA NETWORK - April 5, 2020 - 10:00pm

The Navajo Nation has more confirmed COVID-19 cases than the states of West Virginia, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Alaska or Guam and the Virgin Islands

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Bracing for the 'hardest, saddest' week of our lives

INDIAN COUNTRY MEDIA NETWORK - April 5, 2020 - 3:04pm

Worldwide, more than 1.2 million people have been confirmed infected and more than 65,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University

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Federal rules: Tribal casinos are ineligible for payroll help

INDIAN COUNTRY MEDIA NETWORK - April 5, 2020 - 2:29pm

‘Congress said ‘any’ small business can get paycheck protection for its people, the SBA has no right to say anything less to small tribal gaming businesses’ * Updated 12 MST

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In a huge blow to Native artists, Santa Fe Indian Market postponed a year due to COVID pandemic

NATIVE NEWS ONLINE - April 5, 2020 - 12:00pm

Santa Fe Indian Market – Photo courtesy of SWAIA

“Virtual market” being considered

Published April 4, 2020

SANTA FE, N.M. — Another major American Indian event has been postponed due to public health concerns relating to  COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). On Saturday, the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA), organizers of the annual Indian Market postponed this year’s event until August 2021.

The 99th Santa Fe Indian Market had been planned for August 15 – 16, 2020. With the postponement, the Centennial Celebration, slated for 2021, will be moved back until 2022.

According to SWAIA’s announcement on its website, the decision to postpone this year’s event was made by the organization’s board of directors last week.

“This is a difficult decision because Indian Market is a big part of my livelihood, but it is more important to protect the well-being of fellow artists, their families, our customers, and all of our communities. We pray for your health and safety and look forward to seeing you when Indian Market goes live again in 2021,” said board member and Native artisan Dominique Toya.

The Santa Fe Indian Market is promoted as the largest and most prestigious juried Native arts show in the world and the largest cultural event in the southwest. The event brings in more than 150,000 visitors into Santa Fe from around the globe.

The Indian Market allows for a great opportunity for buyers to meet some of the most talented artisans from Indian Country. These artisans are quick to tell the story behind creations that are inspired from their own personal experiences, family influences and rich American Indian heritage.

Mud Heads clay pottery by Lee Moquino – Courtesy photo

For some American Indian artists, the postponement represents a large loss of their annual income. For Lee Moquino (Tewa/Apache), a micaceous clay potter, who participates in the Indian Market every year, 30 to 40 percent of his annual income is made at the Indian Market.

“It’s understandable. Everyone’s safety, health and well-being is most important. It’s devastating and a financial blow to me as an artist, my family relies on money made at Indian Market and all art shows to survive,” Moquino said to Native News Online on Saturday evening.

The postponement of the Indian Art Market is also another blow to artists like Moquino, who generates significant sales come from art galleries and art shows throughout the United States that are now shuttered because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I pray that collectors will continue to support me by purchasing my work online.”

Choctaw/Cherorkee artist Lauren J. Reed

Lauren J. Reed, a Choctaw/Cherokee artist from Norman, Oklahoma, who creates paintings, drawings and hand-painted clothing, also says she hopes people buy Native art online during this difficult time.

“Many of us artists depend on Indian Market to get us through a majority of our year financially. Some people support their whole family through it. Although I agree with the postponement, I encourage collectors to take to buying online this year. We are still creating,” Reed said.

Artisans Refunds

SWAIA says all artists who juried into the 2020 Market are considered automatically accepted into the 2021 Market. Artisans who have already paid booth fees to reserve their spot for 2020 have a choice: 1) Full refund (SWAIA staff will contact artisans to find the best way to process their refunds); or 2) the fees paid can be applied towards a 2021 booth.

Virtual Market Being Considered

The SWAIA announcement says a Board Committee was formed and will explore the feasibility of conducting a “virtual market” for 2020. A virtual market would promote online sales for artisans because of the potential to reach a wide audience. SWAIA is accepting comments and ideas for a virtual platform through emails to SWAIA board member Mark Bahti; mbahti@swaia.org.

The post In a huge blow to Native artists, Santa Fe Indian Market postponed a year due to COVID pandemic appeared first on Native News Online.

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Arizona National Guard Delivers Supplies to Help Fight COVID-19 to Navajo Nation

NATIVE NEWS ONLINE - April 5, 2020 - 11:52am

The Arizona Army National Guard delivers supplies in Chinle, Ariz. on April 4, 2020.

Published April 5, 2020

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — With the expected peak of the coronavirus still ahead for the Navajo Nation, the Arizona National Guard on Saturday delivered some Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in Chinle, Ariz., one of the hotspots on the largest Indian reservation in the country.

The PPE will be sorted and distributed to surrounding medical facilities for health care workers to use in the fight against the spread of COVID-19. The items were donated from various businesses in the Phoenix area.

“We don’t have the best health care on the Navajo Nation, but we are stepping up to get as much equipment as possible to help those on the frontlines,” Navajo Nation President Nez said. “As the first people of this country, we should not be the last to get equipment. We thank all of the businesses who contributed to help our health care workers. 

“We just have to constantly remind our federal and state partners that we are still here! We are resilient just like our ancestors and we will continue to prosper long after this pandemic is over.”

The Navajo Nation leaders also met with the Chinle Comprehensive Healthcare Facility Incident Command team to discuss strategies to mitigate the surge in new COVID-19 cases and to increase staffing for the federal medical station. 

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer assist the Arizona Army National Guard with delivering supplies in Chinle, Ariz. on April 4, 2020.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will complete a rapid risk assessment on potential sites in the coming days in Chinle and Kayenta, then provide recommendations on which facility best meet the needs and standards, according to the healthcare guidelines and health experts.

The establishment of these medical stations will likely shelter patients who test positive for COVID-19 from those who show less severe symptoms, to isolate the virus and prevent it from spreading. 

More supplies will continue to be delivered by the National Guard, as first responders continue to fight COVID-19 on the frontlines.

A Public Health Emergency “Stay at Home Order” remains in effect on the Navajo Nation requiring all residents of the Navajo Nation to stay home and isolate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except for essential work and activities.

The Navajo Nation’s daily curfew also remains in effect from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. The curfew does not apply to essential employees reporting to or from duty, with official identification and/or a letter of designation from their essential business employer on official letterhead which includes a contact for verification.

The post Arizona National Guard Delivers Supplies to Help Fight COVID-19 to Navajo Nation appeared first on Native News Online.

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Updates: Albuquerque retirement facility has 18 coronavirus cases

INDIAN COUNTRY MEDIA NETWORK - April 5, 2020 - 10:14am

The latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.

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Virus alarms sounded in January. Then two months 'wasted'

INDIAN COUNTRY MEDIA NETWORK - April 5, 2020 - 9:43am

'You now literally will have a company call you up and say, 'Well, California just outbid you,'' said New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. 'It's like being on eBay with 50 other states, bidding on a ventilator'

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'It's hard when you love something'

INDIAN COUNTRY MEDIA NETWORK - April 5, 2020 - 9:20am

COVID-19 pandemic threatens health in Alaska Native villages and the thousands of workers who usually arrive for the short, lucrative Bristol Bay fishery

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CDC Now Says To Wear Cloth Face Coverings to Prevent Spread of COVID-19

NATIVE NEWS ONLINE - April 4, 2020 - 10:44pm

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez wearing a mask on the frontline at a roadblock to enforce curfew on Navajo Reservation this past Monday night.

Published April 4, 2020

ATLANTA — As COVID-19 spreads rapidly throughout the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now recommending that individuals wear face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) — especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

In its recommendation, the CDC says recent studies show evidence that a significant portion of individuals with COVID-19 lack symptoms, known as being asymptomatic. The studies show  that even those who eventually develop symptoms—pre-symptomatic—can transmit the deadly virus to others before showing symptoms.

As of Saturday morning, April 4, the number of deaths in the United States surpassed 7,000 and there are at least 278,458 diagnosed cases across the country.

The virus can be spread between even causal interaction between individuals when speaking, coughing or sneezing—even if no one is showing symptoms of having the coronavirus.

Friday’s announcement does not replace social (physical) distancing of staying six feet apart or frequently hand washing for 20 seconds.

Due to the lack of national supply of medical masks, the CDC states:

“The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators.  Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.”

While the CDC recommends that cloth face coverings can be homemade, it is important to know that not just any fabric is effective in allowing viral particles through the material.

According to Dr. Scott Segal, chair of anesthesiology at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, “The best masks were constructed of two layers of heavyweight ‘quilters cotton’ with a thread count of at least 180, and had thicker and tighter weave.”

One rule of thumb:  If you can see a substantial amount of light to shine through, it is probably ineffective because it will allow tiny viral particles through as well.

National Nurses United denounced the federal government’s recommendation that nurses wear bandannas and scarves if there are no medical masks and respirators to wear while testing and treating COVID-19 patients.

If you simply use a bandanna, make sure it is large enough to be folded at least twice and preferably three times, as the fabrics tend to be made of thin material.

Cloth face coverings should cover your nose and mouth.

On the Navajo Nation, President Jonathan Nez has been wearing a mask during the past couple of weeks when he interacts with the public. Friday night the Navajo Nation announced that there have been 270 diagnosed cases of the coronavirus and 12 confirmed deaths as the result of COVID-19.

The post CDC Now Says To Wear Cloth Face Coverings to Prevent Spread of COVID-19 appeared first on Native News Online.

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‘This is a matter of life and death’’

INDIAN COUNTRY MEDIA NETWORK - April 4, 2020 - 10:13pm

Navajo Nation is an Indian Country COVID-19 hotspot, as medical supplies are dwindling nationally. A summary of COVID-19-related news for Saturday April 4, 2020

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Saturday Update: COVID-19 Cases Rise to 321 on Navajo Nation with 13 Deaths

NATIVE NEWS ONLINE - April 4, 2020 - 9:36pm

The temporary facility in the Chinle Community Center will house 58 beds.

Breaking News

Published April 4, 2020

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Coronavirus case numbers continue to rise on the Navajo Nation, with 321 positive tested cases for COVID-19 with 13 confirmed deaths. 

The Navajo Nation reported an additional person has died from COVID-19 with 51 new cases since last reported on Friday evening.

Of all Indian reservations in the country, the Navajo Nation, the largest with approximately 27,000 square miles, has been hit the hardest.

The 321 confirmed positive cases include the following counties:

Navajo County, AZ: 137

Apache County, AZ: 31

Coconino County, AZ: 90

McKinley County, NM: 17

San Juan County, NM: 30

Cibola County, NM: 7

San Juan County, UT: 7

Socorro County, NM: 2

With the increase in diagnosed cases and deaths from COVID-19, Navajo Nation leadership are stressing containing the spread of the deadly virus.

“This is a matter of life and death, especially for those who have underlying health issues. Before you consider going out for any reason, think of the well-being of your elders and your children. Be mindful that the numbers we are seeing are two to three days old due to the delay in test results for COVID-19. We are demanding that rapid testing be offered immediately and that testing laboratories be established in our communities,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said.

On Saturday, the Navajo Police Department began issuing citations and fines for individuals who violate the Navajo Nation’s “Stay at Home Order” and nightly curfew that requires all residents to be home between 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.

President Nez and Vice President Lizer will hold another online town hall COVID-19 update on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. (MDT) via Facebook. Radio forums are also scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:00 p.m. on KTNN 660AM and 101.5FM.

For more information including reports, helpful prevention tips, and more resources, please visit the Navajo Department of Health’s COVID-19 website at http://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/COVID-19. To contact the main Navajo Health Command Operations Center, please call (928) 871-7014.

For up to date information on impact the coronavirus pandemic is having in the United States and around the world go to: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/?fbclid=IwAR1vxfcHfMBnmTFm6hBICQcdbV5aRnMimeP3hVYHdlxJtFWdKF80VV8iHgE

For up-to-date information about COVID-19, Native News Online encourages you to go to Indian Health Service’s COVID-19 webpage and review CDC’s COVID-19 webpage. 

 

 

 

The post Saturday Update: COVID-19 Cases Rise to 321 on Navajo Nation with 13 Deaths appeared first on Native News Online.

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Adorable #DontRushChallenge participants in regalia win the internet

INDIAN COUNTRY MEDIA NETWORK - April 4, 2020 - 2:48pm

Jayda saw her auntie Tanisha do a #DontRushChallenge video and wanted to do one with her cousins. The result was a well-deserved viral video

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As the country disinfects, diabetes patients can’t find rubbing alcohol

INDIAN COUNTRY MEDIA NETWORK - April 4, 2020 - 11:30am

'We’re all supposed to be staying at home, and I’m out going to 10 different stores'

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Top 10 Stories: What Indian Country read this past week as of April 4, 2020

INDIAN COUNTRY MEDIA NETWORK - April 4, 2020 - 8:31am

What you, our Indian Country readers, read most

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Military recruiting struggles as enlistment stations close

INDIAN COUNTRY MEDIA NETWORK - April 4, 2020 - 7:39am

Coronavirus quarantines have shut down most recruiting stations

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COVID-19 Death Toll Rises to 12 on Navajo Nation; 270 Total Positive Cases

NATIVE NEWS ONLINE - April 3, 2020 - 11:35pm
COVID-19 Coverage in Indian Country

Published April 3, 2020

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The number of confirmed deaths rose to 12 on the Navajo Nation, according to a press release issued Friday evening by the Navajo Nation Office of President and Vice President.

The Navajo Nation has 270 confirmed cases of coronavirus, an increase of 279 from Thursday.

The Navajo nation also reported that there is an overall total of 1,796 individuals who have tested negative for COVID-19.

A total of 2,353 COVID-19 tests have been administered, with 1,796 negative results as of Thursday, which means almost one-quarter of those tested (23.7 percent) have tested positive of all those who have been tested.

The 270 confirmed positive cases include the following counties:

Navajo County, AZ: 112

Apache County, AZ: 22

Coconino County, AZ: 83

McKinley County, NM: 15 *changed due to verification of residency for one individual

San Juan County, NM: 26

Cibola County, NM: 4

San Juan County, UT: 7

Socorro County, NM: 1

Navajo Police Chief Phillip B. Francisco said enforcement officers will being issuing citations and fines for individuals who violate the Navajo Nation’s “Stay at Home Order” and daily curfew that requires all residents to be home between 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.

“We’re at a point where the number of new cases will continue to climb each day, unless everyone begins to take this matter serious. Today, we received reports of bingo games taking place in a few areas – this needs to stop immediately! We have a public health crisis going on, and this is the type of irresponsible activities that put us all at risk,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.

The Navajo Nation’s daily curfew remains in effect from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. The curfew does not apply to essential employees reporting to or from duty, with official identification and/or a letter of designation from their essential business employer on official letterhead which includes a contact for verification.

President Nez and Vice President Lizer will hold another online town hall COVID-19 update on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. (MDT) via Facebook. Radio forums are also scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:00 p.m. on KTNN 660AM and 101.5FM.

For more information including reports, helpful prevention tips, and more resources, please visit the Navajo Department of Health’s COVID-19 website at http://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/COVID-19. To contact the main Navajo Health Command Operations Center, please call (928) 871-7014.

For up to date information on impact the coronavirus pandemic is having in the United States and around the world go to: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/?fbclid=IwAR1vxfcHfMBnmTFm6hBICQcdbV5aRnMimeP3hVYHdlxJtFWdKF80VV8iHgE

For up-to-date information about COVID-19, Native News Online encourages you to go to Indian Health Service’s COVID-19 webpage and review CDC’s COVID-19 webpage. 

The post COVID-19 Death Toll Rises to 12 on Navajo Nation; 270 Total Positive Cases appeared first on Native News Online.

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Coalition calls on Montana Gov. Bullock and TC Energy to halt pipeline activity due to Coronavirus threat

NATIVE NEWS ONLINE - April 3, 2020 - 8:59pm

A coalition of Native American, rural and environmental groups have called on Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and Canadian company TC Energy to halt all work on the Keystone XL pipeline project due to the COVID-19 public health threat. (Photo from Wikipedia Commons)

Lake Andes, S.D. — A coalition of Native American, rural and environmental groups have called on Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and Canadian company TC Energy to halt all work on the Keystone XL pipeline project due to the COVID-19 public health threat. 

The Promise to Protect coalition today delivered petitions by email to Montana Governor Steve Bullock signed by 44,598 people, urging the Canadian corporation and elected officials in the U.S. to take action immediately to halt construction during the coronavirus public health emergency. 

TC Energy recently announced plans to go forward with the controversial pipeline project, despite ongoing lawsuits and its potential to intensify the spread of coronavirus in rural communities across Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.  

“It is unethical and down right dangerous for TC Energy to send hundreds of workers into rural communities during this pandemic,” said Dallas Goldtooth, campaigner for Indigenous Environmental Network. “Native communities are already at risk for sexual violence associated with transient oil company workers, and now add in the risk of Covid-19 infection? We have to draw the line in defense of our families.”

According to Promise to Protect, TC Energy plans to send hundreds of workers into rural communities to build a half dozen “man camps” across Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska — temporary housing where hundreds or even thousands of pipeline workers live together in close quarters throughout months of pipeline construction. Residents fear that the close proximity to very rural towns, and reservation and treaty lands could create additional public health risks, according to the group.   

Rural hospitals and Indian Health Service facilities along the proposed route are already straining to serve tribal citizns and community members with the coronavirus public health threat. The Keystone XL, which Promise to Protect calls a clearly “non-essential” construction project, would create additional strains and threats as thousands of out-of-state workers move close to the work sites.  

Over the past weeks, several cities and states have instituted bans on construction projects, including Boston, San Francisco, and New York. In Pennsylvania, construction on a Shell ethane cracker plant and further construction of the proposed Mariner East pipeline have been halted. 

“TC Energy is putting their workers and our communities at risk by recklessly moving forward with construction on the Keystone XL pipeline amid this public health crisis, when experts are urging us to isolate in order to protect people’s lives,” said Summer Nelson, Director of the Sierra Club Montana Chapter. “TC Energy executives aim to ram this disastrous tar sands project forward without addressing the many concerns of communities and tribes along the route, and at a time when we need everyone to work together to protect our communities. It is time for them to stand on the right side of history and abandon this costly, polluting project and protect public health.” 

Promise to Protect also launched an online petition urging the Canadian corporation, Montana Governor Steve Bullock, and other elected officials in the U.S. to take action immediately to “Cancel KXL.”

 “This is public endangerment,” said John Harter, Board Chair of Dakota Rural Action. “Not only is the pipeline itself a danger to the public, but with the current coronavirus emergency it is doubly so. Bringing in workers to build a pipeline creates a pipeline for the virus to enter and spread in our rural communities.” 

Native News Online reached out to TC Energy for comment, but did not hear back prior to press time. 

The post Coalition calls on Montana Gov. Bullock and TC Energy to halt pipeline activity due to Coronavirus threat appeared first on Native News Online.

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Amid crush of PPP applicants, Wells Fargo asks Native and other small businesses to file online

NATIVE NEWS ONLINE - April 3, 2020 - 8:56pm

(Photo Courtesy Wikipedia Commons)

SAN FRANCISCO — Banks nationwide struggled to meet the surging demand from small businesses trying to apply for loans and grants under the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).  

Wells Fargo & Co., one of the largest national lenders that serves Indian Country, was among those saying they weren’t ready for the crush of applications and were grappling with lack of detailed guidelines from the government, according to Bloomberg News

As the day progressed, the San Francisco-based bank urged small business clients, including Native-owned small businesses, to use its online portal to file PPP loan applications. 

Wells Fargo sent the following statement to Native News Online this afternoon: 

“Our customers are experiencing challenges during the COVID-19 crisis and we want to help during these unprecedented times. Wells Fargo is working as quickly as possible to be ready to assist small business customers as part of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). We will update our  Paycheck Protection Program website as soon as possible, so we encourage customers to check our website often.  Applications will only be accepted via our online portal to ensure our small business customers get the support they need as quickly as possible.”

A core aspect of the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus relief package, the Paycheck Protection Program allocates $349 billion to the U.S. Small Business Administration to loan to businesses with fewer than 500 employees. The loans provide 2.5 times a company’s average monthly payroll and SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. 

Wells Fargo has long standing relationships with tribal governments and American Indian/Alaska Native customers. In 2017, the banking company announced a five year, $50 million commitment to AI/AN communities to help address their unique economic, social and environmental needs.

The post Amid crush of PPP applicants, Wells Fargo asks Native and other small businesses to file online appeared first on Native News Online.

Categories: UNITED STATES

Mask wars: 3M versus Trump

INDIAN COUNTRY MEDIA NETWORK - April 3, 2020 - 8:28pm

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said essential health supplies and workers flow both ways across the border, and blocking exports of 3M masks would be a mistake

Categories: UNITED STATES

‘Worried sick’ about spreading virus during pipeline construction

INDIAN COUNTRY MEDIA NETWORK - April 3, 2020 - 7:53pm

CDC urges everyone to wear a mask in public (but president says it's voluntary and he won't do that) * Updated 7 MST

Categories: UNITED STATES

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