Stories of Resilience from Indian Country, Volume #7

A group of ASU alumni organized an essential-needs drive for tribal communities affected by COVID-19. The group sent a 21-foot moving truck full of essentials to the Navajo Nation last week and is planning more donation drives in the future. Planned donation drives include help for other tribal nations, including the Hopi and San Carlos Apache, as well as an unnamed Pueblo in New Mexico. Check out the First People’s COVID-19 Resource Drive site for more information on any upcoming drives and requested donations. 

In Western Arizona, the Cocopah and Quechan tribes donated 10 ventilators to the Yuma Regional Medical Center. The donation brings the total number of ventilators at the hospital -- which serves Native and non-Native populations -- up to 51. “This just demonstrates to us the strength of [our] partnership and the trust [the tribal communities] have put in us,” said Dr. Robert Trenschel, President and CEO of the hospital. 

The Blackfeet (MT) Food Distribution Program delivered more than 400 meals to tribal members on Thursday. The Program provides commodities to income-qualified members living on the reservation or the border. Commodities are distributed once per month. 

As a result of heightened media coverage, The Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund continues to grow exponentially as it now approaches $4 million raised. The media frenzy comes after donations from Ireland were recognized as “a beautiful act of solidarity” in remembrance of Choctaw donations to the Irish in 1847. Nearly 175 years ago, the Choctaw Nation, still recovering from the Trail of Tears, pulled together a $170 donation (approx. $5,000 today) for victims of the Irish famine. Now, several generations later, the favor is returned by many. Additionally, Diné seamstresses have organized to create more than 18,000 masks to mitigate the spread of the virus. As a result, the Relief Fund will be including masks with all food boxes next week. To date, the Relief Fund has served over 4,300 households in more than 50 communities on Navajo Nation and in 5 of the 12 Hopi Villages.

Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund image 1

Image Credit: Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund