PSA: Be a good relative and stay home

Aliyah Chavez

Playful new #WarriorUP video uses well-known figures and Native humor to deliver a serious message.

Flashes of Taika Waititi … then Congresswoman Sharice Davids … then Notah Begay. Celebrity after celebrity.

That is the concept behind a new video published Thursday by IllumiNative as part of their #WarriorUp campaign. It encourages Native people to stay home to protect their loved ones from the coronavirus, but it does so with some Native humor too.

The three-minute video includes artists, actors, government officials and activists who urge community members to wash their hands, stop visiting friends and to seek help if they feel sick.

“I am going to be a good nephew … good niece … good relative,” the video says. 

The “Warrior Up” campaign will also feature an upcoming virtual town hall and 30-minute podcast. 

IllumiNative partnered with artists like Steven Paul Judd to create artwork to encourage Native communities to stay home as part of the “Warrior Up” campaign. (Photo courtesy of IllumiNative)

The virtual town hall will be hosted by Taboo on April 30. It will address the impact of COVID-19 on tribal communities. In addition, it will include appearances by Native leaders, influencers and advocates. 

“For decades, we have been fighting for the visibility of Native peoples, but now this fight has become absolutely vital to our survival,” said Crystal Echo Hawk, executive director of IllumiNative. “We need to ensure that tribes and Native communities are seen, heard and included in solutions and conversations about this public health emergency.”

IllumiNative, a Native-led nonprofit organization, aims to develop and advocate for accurate and contemporary representations of Native people.

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Aliyah Chavez, Kewa Pueblo, is a reporter-producer at Indian Country Today's Phoenix Bureau. Follow her on Twitter: @aliyahjchavez or email her at

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