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Showing how to do this well

Today we speak with a doctor Mary Owen who will give us the latest information on Indian Country's vaccine rollout. Plus Natasha Brennan takes a look at a tribe that’s brewing beer.

*03/31/2021 Correction, Natasha Brennan's last name was misspelled once in this article and has now been fixed. Indian County Today wholeheartedly apologies for the error.

Doctor Mary Owen, who is Tlingit, is the Director of the Center of American Indian and Minority Health at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Duluth Minnesota. She joins the show today to update us about the vaccine and how well tribes are doing with their rollouts.

And Natasha Brennan, who is Cahuilla, is on the newscast to give us more details on a southern California tribe that is getting into a variety of enterprises, including craft beer.

A slice of our Indigenous world

  • The Bush Foundation is addressing the wealth gap with $100 million dollars in grants.
  • The Manitoba Metis Federation is creating a $100 million dollar fund to support families with missing or murdered loved ones.
  • In the Native Nerd review we visit Julian Dennison, an Indigenous Maori actor known for such films as “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” and “Deadpool 2.”

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

Some quotes from today's show.

Mary Owen:

"I think all the overall Indian Country is doing a fantastic job of getting these vaccines out. We have a public health infrastructure that's helping get that done better than probably anywhere else in the country. I don't know about the regional differences of distribution. Tribes could either get the vaccines from the federal government or from the tribes. So I understand there are some differences depending on the state that you're in on how it was distributed, but I can't give you specifics on that. And then dissemination, I think all of our tribal communities have done great again because that public health infrastructure and having public health nurses who can reach out to our community members. We're showing other people how to do this well."

"You should still get the vaccine if you've had COVID. People are worried about if they have immune problems, if they're immunocompromised, that's even more reason to get the vaccine. You just need to talk to your doctor about it. Pregnant people can get the vaccine. There are very few people who can't get the vaccine. If you've had an allergic reaction before you can still get the vaccine, we just need to know about it and prep for it. What are the other groups sometimes? Those are the main ones that I hear about almost everybody can get it. Of course, children can't and anybody under 16."

"As a health care provider, I'm going to say the same thing. We need everybody vaccinated. And if that's what your clinic has, they all show good efficacy and they all been tested more than any other vaccines that we've ever had. So get the vaccine that's available to you.  (And) if we can convey that same message about the flu vaccine, because it does, it protects people in our community, the same way that this vaccine does for COVID. Then we're going to be on spot and probably increase our rates.  

Natasha Brennan:

"The Rincon Reservation Road Brewery, which is located in San Diego and Southern California, they're brewing their own beer. The hops are grown on their own land, with their own aquifers, by their own farmers. They bring in all sorts of flavors and they all have different names based off of their, their own tribe's history, like the Tupaash ale, which is the Luiseño word for sky, and they have Rez Dog."

"All sorts of interesting names that mean so much to the tribe. Their brew is all done by the tribe. They brought in a head brewmaster who takes care of that. But the REDCO, which is the Rincon tribes economic development company, they've created the brewery. They've rebranded. They originally started as SR-76 a couple of years ago, but last year in January they relaunched as 3 R brewery and then the pandemic hit. And so then they had to close."

"But this past fall, they came back with a vengeance and they're starting to have really great sales. They opened a tasting room. They're gonna reopen a new tasting room later this summer. They have deals with Costco, local casinos, and are bringing their culture to the San Diego area with brew. And as many know the San Diego area is one of the capitals for craft brewery in the world. So they're really out there competing and doing great."

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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

Vincent Schilling, Akwesasne Mohawk, is associate editor of Indian Country Today. On Twitter: @VinceSchilling.

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