Native American reservations and their people are suffering greatly during this COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Maria Michael, a Lakota Diné spiritual leader, is working to raise funds for Diné (Navajo) and Hopi reservations. She says the current crisis has shone a spotlight on existing inequities on the reservations.
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Many do not have running water in which to bathe or wash their hands, nor do they have electricity.
“On the Diné reservation which encompasses two states, 27,000 square miles, it’s long distances in between where people live. More than a third to a half have no running water or electricity, still, in this day and age. So the reason we’ve started focusing there is because they don’t even have the water to wash their hands to keep themselves safe during the coronavirus pandemic,” says Dr. Michael.
Uranium mining in the 1950s has contaminated the land and water, leaving many relying on bottled water.
“So the tribal government has to provide bottled water to those very specific large area of people. The problem is financially they also can’t keep that up and so what happens is when the bottled water stops coming in, the people start drinking the contaminated water because there is no other source of water.”
Dr. Michael is fundraising to pay for food, masks, gloves and water tanks to drive the water and regular soap to remote areas.
The goal of the campaign is to reach as many of the inhabitants of the Diné and Hopi reservations as possible with essential, life-supporting supplies, such as masks, PPE, soap, seeds, food, and clean water, so that they may remain safe, sheltered, and to support their good health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Find out more about the go fund me campaign: https://www.gofundme.com/f/urgent-covid19-help-for-dine-amp-hopi-reservations
Find out more about Dr. Maria Michael and the weekly Zoom prayers: