Reporters' Roundtable on COVID-19

Indian Country Today

Each Friday, Indian Country Today talks with Native journalists about their reporting

Lori Edmo is the editor for the Sho-Ban News in Fort Hall, Idaho. Kolby KickingWoman is a reporter for Indian Country Today.

Edmo covers news for the Shoshone Bannock Tribes in Idaho.

"We see a lot of traffic and even though the reservation's closed, we still see a lot of people coming in.

"They wanna see the streams, it's really pure water and you can drive through there and we're seeing more people coming through there just to check it out. And I think that's some concern for our tribal people"

"Right off the bat we did some features on some community members who make masks because they saw a need for it."

"We did a feature on some beadworkers because we're known, our tribe's known, for the beautiful beadwork they create."

"We got a shipment right away of PPE, personal protective equipment through the state of Idaho. So we did a feature on that."

"Our local early intervention program, in part of their grant, is to provide supplies for mothers like diapers and wipes and so we've covered that."

KickingWoman is based in Washington, D.C. and covers stories from across Indian Country.

"I think a lot of people have realized that this isn't going to end anytime soon."

"It's pretty neat to see people investing in themselves and putting that (federal relief fund) money away."

"I talked to a woman that reinvested in her home office. She worked in graphic design and so she needed two monitors. And then I talked to a woman in north central Montana who was kind of making her family more self-sufficient and invested in chickens and seeds for her garden."

"I'm working on a story about tribal resorts and casinos that are beginning phase in reopenings."

"(One Michigan tribe's) GM told me, 'We don't see staying closed forever as a solution.' So as long as they're comfortable with their guidelines that they put in place, they're going to definitely start opening their doors to their patrons."

"As far as the hotels go, they were taking out any extra bedding or things that need extra care or washed, just trying to reduce contact."

"The Peoria tribe of Indians of Oklahoma, they've had their golf course open for almost three weeks now, I believe. 

"They have washed the cars down after every use. They turn the holes inside out so people don't have to reach in and grab their golf ball after they hit it in."

"So it sounds like they're going through some very extensive measures but golf is one of those sports where there's not a lot of congregation, so it makes sense that tribes are going that route." 

"Not requiring their patrons to wear masks, although they are encouraging it. And the GM said that they're not going to actively police the floor if say a couple comes in, they're not going to make sure that a husband and wife have to play games six feet apart, but they have made it so that it allows for social distancing while you're playing your games."

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

The host of the program is Patty Talahongva, executive producer of Indian Country Today.

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