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The COVID-19 Crisis In Indian Country Exposes Broken Treaties & US Obligations

Kristin Murphy/AP
Denise Begaye, an X-ray technician with the Monument Valley Health Center in Oljato-Monument Valley taking a break from her shift on Thursday, April 16, 2020.

On this edition of Your Call, we're discussing how COVID-19 is affecting Indian Country. There are nearly 1,900 confirmed cases across the Navajo Nation and 60 reported deaths.

Community doctors say the crisis has been exacerbated by an understaffed and underfunded health care system, underlying health conditions, and a lack of access to running water. According to the Navajo Water Project, one in three Navajo still don't have a sink or a toilet. This is directly connected to broken treaties and US obligations. What will it take to ensure indigenous communities get the resources they need?


Jourdan Bennett-Begaye,Washington editor at Indian Country News

Emma Robbins, director of DigDeep's Navajo Water Project

Web Resources: 

NBC News, Chiara Sottile and Erik Ortiz: Coronavirus hits Indian Country hard, exposing infrastructure disparities

Indian Country Today, Jourdan Bennett-Begaye: Behind those COVID-19 numbers

Indian Country Today: 'We are being born Indian and dying white'

Civil Eats: Coronavirus Is Creating a Food Security Crisis in Indian Country 

The New Republic, Nick Martin: Coronavirus Emergency Aid Has Become Its Own Disaster in Indian Country