COVID-19 PPE for Native Americans, Health Care Professionals & First Responders
Updated: Apr 13, 2020
It's easy to feel a sense of helplessness and frustration when we want to help others but don't know-how. How can we make an impact on a worldwide pandemic? But you CAN help! At FireKeepers International we are helping by equipping people with personal protection equipment (PPE). These supplies (masks, gloves, and hand sanitizers) will be distributed among First Nations and the healthcare professionals and first responders who serve those communities. Over the years FireKeepers has helped Native communities in everyday times of need but now the help is needed more than ever. Watch the video below to find out how you can help First Nations during this pandemic.
Recent news reports expressed the concerns of tribal leaders across the country because of Native people being susceptible to infectious diseases, such as smallpox. On Friday, March 27, 2020, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) announced the passage and signing of H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This bill includes federal funding set-aside for tribal nations.
FireKeepers' goal is to meet the immediate and urgent need until the bureaucratic protocols are navigated and the funds released. We will meet that goal with this fundraiser to purchase wholesale surgical masks, gloves, and sanitizers from an already vetted American manufacturer. The distribution will occur through already-approved local coordinators who will ensure the shipments will be distributed to the following:
1) Native Americans - specifically, tribes with whom FireKeepers International has developed a relationship - Chief Joseph's tribe (The Taino in New York and Puerto Rico); elders among Ambassador Laralyn's tribe (The Georgia Tribe of Eastern Cherokee); the Navajo in the Four Corners region; the Anishinaabe of Minnesota.
Depending on the amount raised, there are other tribes that have welcomed FireKeepers International to serve among their people that we would like to assist. This includes the Crow Nation; the Seneca in New York; the Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians in California; The Standing Rock Sioux, and the Northern Cheyenne.
2) Health Care Professionals & First Responders who serve those First Nations communities.
We have secured a wholesale supplier for the gloves and masks. This is possible because Dr. RiverWind is able to purchase through a wholesaler (thank you, Dr. Dan for connecting us to this supplier who still has inventory).
We are also calling for donated homemade masks. Of course, we know these are not 100% effective (no mask is) but any protection is better than no protection.
LABOR OF LOVE
If you can sew, we need your help! Check out this simple and effective instruction video for sewing masks then send us a message for a shipping address where you can mail your homemade masks to donate (directly to the community, bypassing FireKeepers as the middlemen).
HOW TO SEW A MASK
We have trustworthy contacts within Native communities standing by to receive and appropriately distribute PPE. Thank you for helping us help the Native community to be safe during dangerous times.
Remember, donations to FireKeepers may be tax-deducted. Checks can be mailed to: FireKeepers International PO Box 387, Blountville, TN 37617
Follow us on social media where we will post follow up pictures and videos. Bomatum (many thanks)! We speak blessings over everyone who answers the call.
Seneco kakona! (Many blessings!)