As tribal communities across the country cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, SACNAS recognizes the Native and Indigenous members of our community who are responding and supporting those who are disproportionately affected.
As scientists work to create a vaccine, we need to protect our most vulnerable community members — our elders, the immunocompromised and those experiencing homelessness — by mitigating the impact of COVID-19. Unfortunately, many of our Indigenous communities do not have strong public health systems, and we need to follow the evidence-based protocols and prevention measures set out by WHO and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
LPSLI alumnus Dr. Matthew Anderson (Eastern Cherokee) and his lab, along with support from Dr. Katherine Crocker (Kaw), Dr. Aleeza Gerstein and Dr. Max Turgeon, created a distribution page for tribes and tribal clinics that are in need of PPE.
Disparities in health and healthcare access that exist between Indigenous people and the general US population were amplified by COVID-19. Thus, Tribal nations must be given the resources to insure safety and adequate healthcare of community members. Academia has an obligation to assist in these efforts through its mission to serve the public.
SACNAS Lifetime member and Outstanding Mentor Award Recipient Dr. Mary Jo Ondrechen (Mohawk) received a fast-track grant from the National Science Foundation to study the protein structures of the coronavirus.
Scientific knowledge in Indian hands, together with Indian ingenuity and Indian values, is a powerful force for positive change in the world. We will work together to fight the virus for the good of all people.
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