Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Governments Worldwide Are Failing Indigenous Peoples During the Pandemic


People from the Parque das Tribos community mourn the loss of Chief Messias of the Kokama tribe who died from COVID-19 in Manaus, Brazil on May 14, 2020. Photo by Michael Dantas (AFP via Getty)

Vanessa Dundon has spent 16 weeks supporting her fellow Navajo Nation members as they continue to grapple with the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the United States.

"It feels like biological warfare," said Dundon, a Dine Bikeyah woman and enrolled member of the Navajo Nation.

In May, Navajo Nation, which has a population of 173,647 people living within its borders, surpassed New York City as the region with the highest per capita rate of COVID-19 in the U.S. At its peak, Navajo had an infection rate of 2,304.41 cases per 100,000 people. (Comparatively, Texas currently has an infection rate of of 942 cases per 100,000 people and Florida is reporting 1,315 cases per 100,000 people.) As of Monday, the Navajo reported a total of 8,243 confirmed virus cases, with 402 deaths. And after three months of fighting COVID-19, mandatory weekend curfews have flattened the nation's curve, but outbreaks are ongoing.


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