Dear Members and Friends:
Our native nations are at greater risk for infection, complications and death as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across our reservations, villages and homelands. Despite the challenges we face, our people are leading with grace, empathy and strength. I have been lifted by the news from across Indian Country, Alaska and Hawaii of our people working tirelessly to protect our elders, support our children and move towards healing.
As a member of the AIANTA family, despite our new normal of working remotely, we remain committed to our mission and continue to work collectively to support our native nations as we move past this crisis stronger, supported by the significant web of connectivity we share.
I have been sending weekly updates to you as we move through the COVID-19 crisis together. One area we are working to grow relationships and resources with is the National Park Service. This week I am asking tribes, villages and native communities adjacent to National Parks to complete a brief survey to help AIANTA understand and communicate your perspectives to expand the conversation and partnership building opportunities with the National Park Service and other Public Lands agencies. Please complete the survey here.
As mentioned in previous weekly messages, please let us know the Impact of COVID-19 through our survey here. Please also look for information regarding resources here and to our Resource Library at AIANTA.org.
With gratitude and prayers of healing,
Sherry L. Rupert, Chief Executive Officer
American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA)
Here are just a few of the examples of leadership, compassion and strength:
- Cherokee Nation sent 4,000 workers home with full pay and benefits as they closed their casino operations
- Ute Mountain Tribal Council closed the casino and turned it into a warehouse for furloughed workers to distribute food to tribal citizens
- Lummi Nation opened a COVID-19 Field hospital
- Artist/Entrepreneur Louie Gong sourced and supplied thousands of masks to protect health workers at the Seattle Indian Health Board
- The National Congress of American Indians, along with tribal leaders and tribal associations successfully advocated for $8 billion to be set aside for tribes in the CARES Act of 2020
- First Chief of Arctic Village, Alaska made the decision early to completely cut off outside interactions to protect his village of 200
SURVEY – American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Gateway Communities
Gateway Communities are those communities next to public lands. They frequently act as the entrance point to a public lands attraction. They serve as a tourism support network providing food, lodging and additional shopping and other attractions for visitors. Help AIANTA understand and communicate the Native perspective to expand the conversation and partnership building opportunities with the National Park Service and other Public Lands agencies.