By DAVID CRUMM
Editor of ReadTheSpirit magazine
Indian leaders often refer to the original scale of their North American communities as “500 Nations”—and in the summer of 2021 they recognize that COVID responses have been as diverse as those cultural communities spread across this continent. Some tribes have experienced the tragic loss of Elders and little—or late—help from government agencies throughout 2020 and early 2021.
Other tribes have become models of public health response.
At their best, Native American leaders have demonstrated the strengths of truly caring communities. Here are some news stories about those efforts that you may have missed—reminders of the potential of Native wisdom and culture in the midst of a public health crisis.
- PBS News Hour was one of the first to focus on this aspect of the COVID story. In November, 2020, PBS News Hour reported, How the Cherokee Nation has curtailed the pandemic
- Pew Charitable Trusts in February 2021, In Hard-Hit Indian Country, Tribes Rapidly Roll Out Vaccines
- National Public Radio in February 2021, Why Native Americans Are Getting COVID-19 Vaccines Faster
- Washington Post in May 2021, How Native Americans launched successful coronavirus vaccination drives: ‘A story of resilience’
- NBC News in June 2021, Covid deaths ravaged this Native American tribe. Now, 98% of eligible citizens are vaccinated.
Care to Read More?
Since our publishing house’s founding in 2007, we have worked with Native American writers and journalists to encourage their voices to be shared. Please, read this column in our Front Edge Publishing website that explains the two most important books we have published with Native American writers.