In the United States, the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in January 2020 within the Lummi Nation outside of Seattle, Washington. Now it is September, 2020, and COVID is still moving rapidly through many Nations like the Lakota on Pine Ridge, Kogi in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia, Yanomami in Brazilian Amazon, Dine' (Navajo) Nation of Big Mountain on Black Mesa, Maya Kaqchikel town of Patzun, First Nations in British Columbia, Aboriginal Peoples in Australia, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, tribal People of Liberia, and Hopi Nation on the 2nd and 3rd Mesas.
Harm suffered by Indigenous communities is extreme due to conditions in which the majority of Indigenous populations live, which include lack of access to essential services, poor sanitation, and key preventive measures, such as clean water, soap, and disinfectant. Medical facilities, if and when there are any, are often under-equipped and under-staffed. All of these factors, and many more, constitute a real risk for the spread of COVID-19 among communities resulting in multiple deaths.
In addition, Many are experiencing significant socio-economic impacts caused by the pandemic. Jobs and homes are being lost, utilities shut off, and access to basic necessities like diapers, transportation to medical appointments, food for livestock, and food insecurity is available. People are unable to get enough food to feed their families or seeds to plant gardens.
Many Territory and Spiritual Authorities have reached out to the Center for Sacred Studies and the Fountain and asked us to step forward and provide support and resources. Mindahi Crescencio Bastida Muñoz, for example, is one such ally. Mamo Manuel Coronado Simongama of the Kogi Community in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia is another, and another Loretta Afraid of Bear Cook of the Lakota in Pine Ridge, South Dakota.
Simultaneously, because of our established long history of standing in solidarity and in deep relations with Indigenous relatives and communities, many of you within the Center for Sacred Studies community have asked how you can be of service.
So far, your generous gifts have provided:
· 80 water barrels and pumps, food, clothing, herbal/nutritional supplies, personal hygiene equipment, wipes, masks, sanitizer, and additional supplies to the Hopi Nation on the 2nd Mesa of Soöngopavi Village
· Food baskets feeding 80 families in Peru and Guatemala
· 3,100 N95 masks to an urban Native community in Akwesasne, New York and Dine' on Big Mountain
· Garden supplies, seeds and the use of tractor to Pine Ridge communities in South Dakota
Multiple requests are waiting to be fulfilled. Your tax-deductible gift will provide emergency mini-grants to meet the highest priority needs of many more Indigenous families and communities impacted by COVID-19. Key items such as:
• 55-gallon water barrels/pumps providing for clean drinking water and for sanitation, and glue to repair small cracks in the barrels - (2) barrels to each family minimum
• medical/PPE supplies (eye protection, gowns, gloves, face masks) and sanitation supplies
• perishable food, non-perishable bulk food and nutritional supplies proven to increase immunity against COVID-19
• seeds, gardening supplies and equipment
• childcare products such as diapers
• toilet paper, baby items, and feminine hygiene products
• animal foods and other necessary items like brown salt blocks with minerals for livestock
If you would prefer to mail your donations, you may send them to:
Center for Sacred Studies, PO Box 2904, Guerneville, CA 95446
(Please put COVID-19 Relief on the memo line.)
Thank you for creating a real difference!