The Stream

Is COVID-19 endangering Native American culture?

On Monday, February 22 at 1930GMT:
Native Americans are twice as likely to die from COVID-19 as white Americans and face disproportionately high rates of infection, according to the APM Research Lab, leading to worries their very culture is at stake.

Tribal elders are most susceptible to the virus and tribes in the US are now rushing to fortify their communities against the pandemic. For them, it is both a life and death situation for their elderly – and for a way of life.

The average age of a Lakota speaker, a tribe based in the states of North and South Dakota, is 70, firmly within the age range of those most at risk. Native American elders hold knowledge that others in their community don’t have and are responsible for passing along the language, customs, and history of the tribe to younger generations.

In this episode of The Stream, we meet a panel of Native Americans to discuss.

In this episode of The Stream, we are joined by:
Abigail Echo-Hawk, @echohawkd3
Director of the Urban Indian Health Institute

Jason Salsman, @RealJSals
Press Secretary, Muscogee (Creek) Nation in Oklahoma

Stephanie Hebert, @TalonBeading
Co-Founder, Social Distance Powwow