'Really frustrated' trying to get people to stay home

Indian Country Today

Indian Country Today reporters' roundtable for Friday May 15

Indian Country Today

Comments from KTNN's Dee Yazzie on Friday's reporters' roundtable.

"So I talk about the people that are going through it right now, what their symptoms are, what they're telling me, the pain that they're experiencing, the cough, the sickness, the high fever."

"I tell them that if this thing gets worse, you can end up on a ventilator to where you can't have no visitors, you can't have your family, you'll have no contact, you'll lose contact and you suffer alone and how you either get better or you know, you don't come home."

"They're getting really frustrated trying to plead with the Navajo people to stay at home even during lockdowns and during curfew."

"We still have a lot of our Navajo people on the roads, going shopping."

"They got together and they wanted to come up with a Navajo word for COVID-19. So since COVID-19, the symptoms of it is pneumonia. So they called it Dikos Ntsaaigii and which is another name for pneumonia."

"Of course there's still people out there that think it should have been named something else."

"People aren't wanting to accept the fact that this is real." "It's killing our Navajo people."

"Within Navajo, they say that you can't give something that kills a name and you can't continue to call it by that name because when you're calling it by the name that you've given it, what you're doing is you're inviting it in."

"They're recommending cremations, but again, that's against our tradition. I understand there are some families that are taking that route."

"There are some that were still burying them and their recommendation, from the mortuary, what they're doing is, they're double bagging with body bags and then they're sealing the caskets and then there's no service. It's just from the mortuary straight to the burial ground. And it has to be just a quick going into the ground and covering up. And from my understanding, only the pallbearers are allowed to go."

"We have problems where we're trying to get pallbearers to attend some of these funerals. Because of the virus people are afraid to do the burial. Those are some of the things that we're facing here now."

"This weekend's lockdown, President Nez changed out to have all the stores, all the gas stations, they're all going to be closed. Nothing is going to be open."

"Our domestic violence cases have gone up."

Here are some comments from Indian Country Today's Dalton Walker on the roadblocks set up by tribes in South Dakota. 

"Governor Noem sent the letters again this week asking for some type of solution. It was a three step plan. Basically said, take down the checkpoints on state and federal roads, move them to BIA tribal roads."

"Both tribes have since responded, but there hasn't been any solution that Noem has said works for her but she's waiting to see."

"This comes a week after she had threatened both tribes with legal action, but has since kind of backed down from that specific angle."

"There's been plenty of support for both tribes regarding the checkpoints regarding their sovereignty and doing the best they can to protect their people from this virus."

"I believe, Native Americans in South Dakota, there's about 240 cases according to the state health department as of this morning. And that's about 6 recent of the total cases."

"A lot of the tribes and reservation lands don't have cases or either have early single digit cases right now. So right now they're just trying to keep that low with these checkpoints."

"Bear Runner has been pretty open on what he's been doing, what the council has been doing."

"His lockdown remains, I believe, through the weekend. And it's basically, if you have a medical appointment, or groceries, you can go. But he's recommending people stay home during this time."

"You have another tribe that's nearby in Rosebud who announced that they're implementing similar checkpoints on state and federal roads through their community. After a spike, they had."

"We're seeing these roadblocks and other tribes and other states are also putting up their own kind of roadblocks or at least blocking entry into their reservations."

Also on the daily newscast, Washington Editor Jourdan Bennett-Begaye reports updated COVID-19 numbers in Indian Country.

The anchor and executive producer of the program is Patty Talahongva. 

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