COVID-19 and sports in Native American communities

Indian Country Today

Conversation is a joint production between Global Sport Institute at Arizona State University and Indian Country Today

Native American communities have been hit harder than others in the wake of the pandemic. The realities of lacking resources have been brought to the forefront during this time.

Communities have been forced to cancel large gatherings, like most of the world, including the 2020 Native American Basketball Invitational, which has far reaching impact for young people and the community on and off the court. The games brought the community leaders together developing collaborative bonds across different tribes, as well as opportunities for higher education with college and job fairs.



In this episode we will speak with experts on the impact of COVID-19 on Native American communities and sport, and what reset means for recovering.

How is the pandemic impacting Native athletes? Panelists include:

Jordan Marie Brings Three White Horses Daniel is a fourth generation runner and citizen of Kul Wicasa Oyate, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. Nationally known for her advocacy and grassroots organization for anti-pipelines/climate justice efforts, change the name/not your mascot, the epidemic and crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), Native youth initiatives, and now raising awareness of those lost to COVID-19, using her platform, #RunningForJustice. 

Dr. Michelle Tom, Navajo, grew up in Dilkon, Arizona on the Navajo Nation Reservation. A daughter of two silversmiths who are both nationally recognized for their work, she was recruited to play Division 1 Arizona State University Basketball and became a starter and captain. After receiving her Master of Public Health degree, Dr. Tom attended medical school at Nova Southeastern University. She returned to serve her community in March 2019, and is currently treating COVID-19 patients at Winslow Indian Health Care Center and Little Colorado Medical Center on the border of Navajo Nations and Hopi Reservation in Eastern Arizona. She labels herself as an advocate because she wants her Native people to flourish so to preserve the rich language and culture of all Native communities.

Brent Cahwee, Pawnee and Euchee, is a Co-founder of NDNsports, established in 2000, promoting awareness of Native American athletes competing in a wide variety of college and professional sports to the public and native community online.

Natalie Welch is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Natalie grew up on the Qualla Boundary in North Carolina. Previously, she's worked with Nike’s Native initiative, Nike N7 and the advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy, and has conducted extensive research on Native American athletes and Cherokee stickball. Currently, she teaches Sport Management courses at Linfield college, builds relationships with local Native community promoting Native athletes and issues, and hosts a podcast featuring Native American athletes, called The Creative Native.

 Patty Talahongva, Hopi, Executive Producer of Indian Country Today is the host of this 

conversation. https://globalsport.asu.edu/

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