fbpx
 
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. (left) and Deputy Principal Chief Bryan Warner with some of the 7,500 masks donated both locally and to the Navajo Nation. - Courtesy Photograph

For many first responders, securing protective masks has been difficult due to low supplies and high demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Nation Businesses mobilized to address those needs. Today we are proud to be supplying personal protection equipment to emergency personnel, medical professionals and first responders across northeast Oklahoma. It’s part of Cherokee Nation’s effort to fight back against COVID-19 in local communities.

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr.

The effort began with a strategic idea from our Emergency Management Team. We wanted to do as much as possible to provide safety measures to personnel as they entered the homes of potentially infected citizens. We reached out to our traditional partners to identify others who may need PPE.

Once we were assured that Cherokee Nation’s own health system was properly stocked with personal protective equipment, tribal leaders worked for several weeks to secure a large supply of KN95 masks for area first responders. The tribe has donated more than 2,500 KN95 masks to every fire and police department that expressed a need. Cherokee Nation also donated 100 masks to emergency management teams in each of the Cherokee Nation’s 14 counties.

The tribe is sending an additional 5,000 KN95 masks to the Navajo Nation, which has been hit particularly hard by COVID-19. Our Navajo brothers and sisters have more coronavirus cases per capita than all but two states, with a 367% rise in two weeks. We could not in good conscience watch others in Indian Country struggle through this crisis without protective equipment when we had an adequate supply.

These contributions will in no way undermine our capacity to provide the critical protective equipment to Cherokee Nation’s own medical professionals and front-line workers. As Redbird Smith famously said, “A kindly man cannot help his neighbor in need unless he have a surplus, and he cannot have a surplus unless he works.” It is a true testament to the foresight and hard work of our professional staff that we have the ability to make these donations.

Our health and emergency care staff embraced the challenge to develop express COVID-19 testing and help protect our community care workers and first responders while maintaining all other health care needs. When we support committed medical professionals and courageous first responders who serve our communities, it also benefits the Cherokee Nation. We start by protecting those who will protect us. We are a blessed nation, and we multiply our blessings by sharing with others in need.

Chuck Hoskin, Jr. is the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation.

More Stories Like This

Native News Weekly (November 27, 2022): D.C. Briefs
Sen. Schumer Announces $7.625 Million Federal Grant on Seneca Nation
#GivingTuesday: Here are 16 Native Nonprofits Worthy of Your Support
CBS Broadcasters Mock Native American College Basketball Player
Alcatraz Island: Indigenous People Gather at Sunrise on Thanksgiving

You’re reading the first draft of history. 

November is  Native American Heritage Month in the United States. We feel like every month — and every day — is a reason for celebrating Native Americans and our heritage. That’s what we try to do here at Native News Online, with stories each day that celebrate, inform and uplift American Indian and Alaska Native people. Over the past year or so, we have been especially busy with three important reporting projects that are having an impact across Indian Country:

  • Indian Boarding Schools. We’ve reported and published more than 150 stories and special live stream video events to help shine a light on the dark era of boarding schools — and help create momentum for change.
  • Native Health Desk. Launched in January, this reporting initiative was created to heighten awareness of Native American health inequities and spotlight pockets of progress in Indian Country. So far we’ve reported and published nearly 120 stories and launched a monthly health newsletter that reaches more than 23,000 readers.  
  • Native Bidaske. In March, we launched this live stream interview program to highlight the work of Native Americans who are making news and leading change in Indian Country.  We have hosted guests from the federal government and Native rights advocates as well as Indigenous actors, comedians, journalists and models.   

We hope you will join us in celebrating Native American heritage and history this November and invite you to consider the old adage that “Journalism is the first draft of history.” If you appreciate the voice Native News Online gives to Native American people, we hope you will support our work with a donation so we can build our newsroom and continue to amplify Native voices and Native perspectives.

Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.  Most often, our donors make a one-time gift of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10.  Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news. 

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you. 

About The Author
Author: Chuck Hoskin JrEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.