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Ready and hungry for change

Chairman of the Northern Arapaho tribe Jordan Dresser tells us more about his vision for his tribe's future. And national correspondent Dalton Walker joins us to talk about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

Our guest today is the newly elected Chairman of the Northern Arapaho tribe Jordan Dresser. He's telling us what his motivations were as he ran for tribal chairman especially in the middle of a pandemic.  

Plus national correspondent Dalton Walker is on the show. Dalton has more about the COVID-19 vaccine as it makes its way into Indian Country.

Some quotes from today's show

 Jordan Dresser:

"Just like everybody else in the country I've been ready for change and I've been hungry for change. So I just kept thinking about who was going to be the candidate I was going to believe in and who was going to be the candidate that was going to take this tribe to a better place. And I kept thinking about it. And finally I thought well maybe it could be me." 

"Maybe I could be that person. So that's what started the initial thought in my head. And then I started thinking of different ideas that I wanted to do. I thought about the power of going green. I thought about using my journalism background and what kind of leader I was going to be. So I slowly started clicking everything together in my head and then I just decided to do it."

"I just said okay, now's the time. We're in the middle of a pandemic and things are crazy but it's a challenge but it's a challenge I was up for. In the beginning the Arapaho tribe was really progressive. The Arapaho tribe shut it down very quickly and had stay at home orders and told people to stay home to the workers and things like that. So they're really aggressive."

Dalton Walker:

"We learned last week that the food and drug administration approved the COVID-19 vaccine. And on Monday it was rolled out to healthcare facilities across the US and Indian Country. We were curious which one out of the Indian Health Services got the first one. And we learned that it was this smaller hospital up in Northern Minnesota on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation. And it was kind of neat to document that historic moment and capture it."

"I spoke with the tribal health director Vince Rock and he said that the hospital side will receive a hundred by Friday. And then the tribal would receive 100 for elders who are especially the ones who might be a little have a little more health issues. And that's only Friday and he expects once a second vaccine is approved. They'll receive more in the coming weeks."

"Vince Rock explained that they had a strong push earlier this year to get the word out related to the flu shot. That he credits as a transparent and open safety measure that would be in place for what they plan to do. And he attributes that to why more people are coming forward to show interest in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. He even said more people were reaching out to him yesterday after they learned of the initial event on Monday."

Patty Talahongva, Hopi, is executive producer of Indian Country Today. She is also the anchor of the weekday newscast. Follow her on Twitter: @WiteSpider

Dalton Walker, Red Lake Anishinaabe, is a national correspondent at Indian Country Today. Follow him on Twitter: @daltonwalker Walker is based in Phoenix and enjoys Arizona winters.

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