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Month: April 2020

COVID-19 in Native American Communities–Daily Digest for 27 April 2020

COVID-19 in Native American Communities–Daily Digest for 27 April 2020

We are in our seventh week of shut-down, I think. It feels like we have been indoors for a long time. On a walk in a state park Saturday on a beautiful spring day, I saw too many hikers choosing not to keep their distance from others, choosing not to wear masks. It may be a burden, but please, help flatten the curve and stop the spread of Coronavirus. There are so many stories of grief and mourning. Let’s not…

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COVID-19 in Native American Communities–Report for April 24th, 202

COVID-19 in Native American Communities–Report for April 24th, 202

While some states are beginning to contemplate reopening their economies in the wake of an apparent flattening of the curve, and while the President continues to demonstrate his incompetence to anyone with the eyes to see and the ears to listen, a simple cold truth remains: this pandemic is a long ways from being over, and the disease is hitting Native American communities and other peoples of color particularly hard. Some of the media, once it takes its eyes off…

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COVID-19 in Native American Communities: Report for April 22, 2020.

COVID-19 in Native American Communities: Report for April 22, 2020.

Happy Earth Day. It is snowing today in western New York. Here is your latest update. The shutdown of colleges and universities has brought significant change and challenges to families around the country.  In Indian Country, where internet access can be limited, attendance and enrollment have declined as courses have moved online.  You can read a Montana Public Radio story focusing on Aaniiih Nakoda College on the Fort Belknap Reservation here. There is a growing number of stories focusing on…

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COVID-19 in Native American Communities–Report for 20 April 2020

COVID-19 in Native American Communities–Report for 20 April 2020

The Reno Gazette Journal ran an interesting story on Saturday morning profiling Velda Lowery, know to her friends and neighbors as “Auntie Jen in the Reno Sparks Indian Colony. It sheds light on how the Coronavirus pandemic has caused suffering in Native American families. The story is well-worth your time. That Tara Sweeney, President Trump’s appointee to oversee the administration’s Indian affairs, has lost whatever support she once had in the Native American community was abundantly clear this week. “Every…

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Living in a Fever Dream

Living in a Fever Dream

It might be worth noting that on the same weekend that witnessed the anniversaries of the the ATF raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco and the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building–both terribly violent events involving anti-government, gun-crazy extremists–the President of the United States encouraged armed protests against state governors who have asked their citizens to stay home in order to “flatten the curve” and halt the spread of the Coronavirus. These governors recognize that various “social…

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COVID-19 in Indian Country, 17 April 2020

COVID-19 in Indian Country, 17 April 2020

As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the country, the damages the Coronavirus does in Native American communities is getting more attention. Senator Tom Udall’s denunciation of federal incompetence in dealing with tribes and tribal governments was picked up by Huffington Post. The Democratic senator from New Mexico pointed out that the Treasury Department “is not familiar with tribes,” and that it does not “know how to interact in the appropriate way with tribes and they’re not getting the…

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COVID-19 in Indian Country, 15 April 2020

COVID-19 in Indian Country, 15 April 2020

Governor Steve Bullock of Montana has released a report analyzing infection rates by race. 3.7 of the reported cases in Montana are Native American. In Minnesota, only about 1% of the cases thus far have occurred in the state’s Native American population. Still, the Shooting Star Casino on the White Earth Reservation has opened a drive-thru coronavirus test site. Minnesota does not compile detailed figure by race. Los Angeles County is trying to gather more data on infection rates by…

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COVID-19 in Indian Country, April 12th, 2020.

COVID-19 in Indian Country, April 12th, 2020.

There is plenty of news coverage of the Coronavirus Pandemic, but information on how the outbreak is affecting native peoples is harder to find. I know that many of my students are interested in this most important story, so perhaps yours will, too. I will post the stories I find to the blog as frequently as my other duties permit. New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has been bringing attention to her state’s struggle against the outbreak, pointing out that…

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The Coronavirus Pandemic and Native American Communities: A Current Events Reading List

The Coronavirus Pandemic and Native American Communities: A Current Events Reading List

I have just completed reading the first batch of papers from my course on American Indian Law and Public Policy. I require all the students to complete a current events project. The requirements for the assignment is that they have 20 sources (which I have defined broadly owing to the students’ inability to in-person library research or make use of Interlibrary Loan); that they consult with me on the topic beforehand (most did so before the campus shut down); and…

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Covid-19 and Writing History: The Stories We Tell

Covid-19 and Writing History: The Stories We Tell

What stories will we tell about this pandemic spring, and how will this time of dislocation, isolation and, in places, overwhelming grief, shape the stories we historians tell about those pasts we choose to investigate? The answers to these questions are always more connected than we care to admit. There are of course the daily stories of the blundering incompetence of our most craven President, who fiddled while the virus burned up much of what seemed familiar and comfortable.  There…

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