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In a New Podcast, Students Share the Hidden Stories of Native Americans and Coronavirus

Tribal communities in the West have been especially hard-hit by COVID-19. This summer, research led by Hannah Kelley (Sihásapa Lakóta) and Aja Two Crows (Bitterroot Salish) explored the Native American response to the pandemic through interviews with Natives in Seattle and on the Navajo Nation. Now, the students have launched a podcast that shares the hidden stories of Native health and coronavirus, with each episode offering a new voice from subject specialists and everyday Natives alike. How have Native people accessed care during the health crisis, and what impact has it had on their physical, mental and spiritual well-being? Two Crows and Kelley asked  these questions both on the reservation and in more urban areas, documenting the diverse experiences of Native people in "Portraits of a Pandemic," premiering Thursday, November 5 at 4:00 p.m. PST. 

Contextualizing the current suffering of Natives against a backdrop of historical mistreatment by the U.S. government, the students hope their work will highlight Native Americans' enduring strength and resilience in the face of a major health crisis. They have "weathered epidemics before," the researchers said, citing how vital it is to “uplift Native voices and listen to those most unheard in society." 

 
In addition to Two Crows and Kelley, Sophia Boyd-Fliegel co-produced "Portraits of a Pandemic," supporting the team with production and strategy. The first episode airs on November 5. A Q&A with the producers will follow.

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