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'We knew it was coming'

Doctor Joseph Lashley is on the show to talk about his experience after testing positive for COVID-19. Plus freelance journalist Meghan Sullivan walks us through stories she's covering for Indian Country Today. And correspondent Carina Dominguez highlights Indigenous designers dancing their style all the way to Milan Italy.

Throughout this pandemic there has been a lot of concern about the safety of healthcare workers and rightly so. They are on the frontlines and have close personal contact with COVID positive patients. That’s what Dr. Grant (Joseph) Lashley, who is Chickasaw, faced as he started seeing patients who were sick with the coronavirus. Last April, Lashley started feeling sick. A test revealed that he was COVID positive.  The good doctor joins us today to tell us what it was like as a doctor ... to becoming the patient.

And from tackling stories on time zone changes to the latest on what the former Interior Secretary is doing these days, Meghan Sullivan, who is Koyukon Athabascan, joins the newscast to share with us the stories she's covering in her neck of Indian Country.

Plus, a love for culture and the passion for art drives for fashion designers who are all at very different phases in their careers from Rocky Boy reservation in Montana to Australia, these designers are creating art that has meaning beyond fashion. Carina Dominguez shows us their style and one collection that made it to a runway in Milan.  

A slice of our Indigenous world

  • Charges are being dropped against the president and CEO of NDN Collective Nick Tilsen.
  • The director of the American Indian Center at the University of North Carolina is stepping down.
  • In Winnipeg Canada, an Indigenous men’s support group is banding together to place red ribbons on the Maryland Bridge. 
  • The North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission is calling for nominations for candidates to be inducted into its Hall of Fame this year.
  • Indigenous elders are among the first Australians to be inoculated against COVID-19 as part of the early phases of the country's vaccine rollout.

You'll find more details on these stories at the top of today's newscast.

Some quotes from today's show.

Joseph Lashley:

"We were all learning about the COVID. It was coming into more of a common thing that we're starting to hear about in the news. We knew it was in our area. And so each day we'd go to the ER at nights and each night we discuss with the staff the plan. Everybody stay safe, everybody wash their hands, wear as much of the personal protective equipment as we could but treat every patient like they may have it because it's invisible."

"You don't see it. You don't know who has it until a test comes positive. So that's the way we went after it to keep our whole staff (safe). My group really worked well as a team. But our plan was to keep everybody safe, not just the doctors, but the nursing staff, the housekeeping staff, the laboratory staff.  So once again, our area hadn't really tested positive yet nearby areas had."

We knew it was coming. And then over the next couple of weeks we started having some positive tests. Once again, I would be called upstairs to the ICU for somebody who had passed away from COVID-19. And during that time period, they're breathing heavy, they're actually dying. But the virus stays in the air for a little while. And so it's still there. Each day at work was a little scary thing."

Meghan Sullivan:

"As I'm sure many viewers know, but which is new to me because I'm from the North, Arizona has some unique time zone considerations. The state itself does not observe daylight savings but Navajo nation does observe daylight savings. So locals say, it could be two different times on the opposite sides of the street within the region."

"And recently a bill endorsed this month by the New Mexico state Senate would make it so that the state stayed on one time zone instead of following daylight savings. And that's New Mexico, not Arizona. And so if that were the case, if this bill passes through, Navajo nation is considering following suit and matching New Mexico as well." 

"I was able to talk to Tara Sweeney about her time as assistant secretary and we covered many topics. We talked about her different accomplishments during her tenure. What she's proud of the lessons she's learned and I'm excited for people to be able to read it because she had a lot to say."

(Read more: DC tenure a gentle snow, ‘fierce blizzard’)

"And there's ongoing there's ongoing litigation about that right now in courts. So she commented on that and how she navigated that during her time as assistant secretary because that is an ongoing debate that's happening in the state right now. And it'll be interesting to see where things end up and it definitely makes I think the process a little bit more complex up here. So she talks about how she navigated that."

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Mark Trahant, Shoshone-Bannock, is editor of Indian Country Today. On Twitter: @TrahantReports Trahant is based in Phoenix.

Patty Talahongva, Hopi, is executive producer of Indian Country Today. Follow her on Twitter: @WiteSpider

Meghan Fate Sullivan, Koyukon Athabascan, is a former Stanford Rebele Fellow.  She grew up in Alaska, and is currently reporting on her home state from our Anchorage Bureau. Follow her on Twitter: @mfatesully

Carina Dominguez, Pascua Yaqui, is a correspondent for Indian Country Today. She splits her time between Phoenix, Arizona and New York, New York. Twitter: @Carinad7

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