The Yurok Tribe will soon provide fully equipped tablets and all-in-one printers to Yurok children living on and off of the reservation.
“The Yurok Tribal Council wants to make sure our students have the tools they need to succeed in school, whether they are in the classroom or distance learning. With this gift, we are sending a message to let our youth know how much we care about them and want to see them prosper,” said Joseph L. James, the Chairman of the Yurok Tribe. “These age-appropriate devices will help students of all ages excel in their education and development.”
Every Yurok student between the age of 2 and 17 will receive an iPad or a tablet, a durable case, a keyboard and earbuds. All Yurok households with a child in this age range will also receive one printer. Ipads will be provided to students who are between 4 and 17 years old. Children ages 2-3 years old will get age-appropriate tablets filled with games that encourage the learning of numbers and letters as well as the development of critical-thinking skills. The Tribe is going to put on drive-through events in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties to quickly and safely distribute the learning tools. The devices will be shipped directly to tribal youth who live outside of these counties. Yurok parents are reminded to update their home addresses with the Enrollment Department, which can be reached by calling (707) 482-1350.
The Tribe has been working on acquiring the digital devices for approximately one month, but global supply chain issues, factory shutdowns and a massive spike in demand have made it difficult to purchase the large quantity devices needed. For this reason, the printers will be distributed at a later date.
The funding for the tablets and printers came from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. To date, the Tribal Council has strategically invested CARES Act dollars into multiple projects that address different challenges posed by the pandemic. A portion of the CARES funds were used to start a forgivable grant program for tribal business owners and entrepreneurs. The federal dollars were distributed in the form direct aid to tribal citizens. As a result of the act, the Tribe is improving and expanding its wireless internet system, which will significantly improve emergency communications. A 20,000 square foot emergency operations center is currently being constructed in Klamath and will serve as the headquarters for the Yurok Incident Command Team.
On March 13, the Yurok Tribal Council proactively issued a state of emergency declaration to activate the Tribe’s Incident Command Team, which is focused on addressing the many elements of this emergency as well as the impacts of the fires surrounding the Yurok Reservation. The Tribe has also enacted a series of safety orders to curb the spread of COVID-19. Currently, there is an active order requiring all residents to wear face coverings when outside of the home.
For additional information about the Tribe’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, please visit yurokoes.org. For emergency assistance, please call 1-888-225-8952.