Posts tagged with "Native American Tribes"

Kaelen Felix Illustrates a COVID-19 Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Native Peoples’ Perspectives Toward COVID-19 Vaccine

Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI) released a study with the first-ever national data regarding American Indian and Alaska Native peoples’ knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about a COVID-19 vaccine.

The study surveyed American Indians and Alaska Natives across 46 states—representing 318 different tribal affiliations—to gather information ranging from individuals’ willingness to receive a COVID-19 vaccine to the hurdles they face in accessing healthcare and resources.

“This data will be important to all organizations conducting COVID-19 vaccine education efforts,” said Abigail Echo-Hawk, director of UIHI. “Native communities have unique challenges and needs that usually are not considered in public health campaigns.”

American Indian and Alaska Native people continue to be disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 incidence and mortality rates are 3.5 and 1.8 times that of non-Hispanic Whites, respectively.

While there has been worry about vaccine participation in Native communities, 75% of study participants claimed they would be willing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, higher than the national average according to an Ipsos survey from October 2020, which indicates that 64% of the U.S. general population was willing to receive a vaccine.

“Willingness to receive a vaccine and hesitancy are not mutually exclusive,” said Echo-Hawk. “Fear and distrust of government and medical systems still exist in our community, which are hurdles that we have to overcome.”

Echo-Hawk hopes the report can start to create a better understanding of the unique perspectives of Native people.

“The data indicates that most Native people willing to be vaccinated feel it is their responsibility for the health of their community,” Echo-Hawk said. “This shows what motivates our community when it comes to decision-making.”

Report key findings:

  • 75% of participants were willing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • 74% of participants claimed that getting vaccinated is their responsibility to their community.
  • 89% of participants wanted evidence that the vaccine is safe right now and in the long term.
  • 39% of all participants reported difficulty traveling to their clinic for an appointment.
  • Two-thirds of participants willing to get vaccinated were confident that COVID-19 vaccines were adequately tested for safety and effectiveness among Native people.
  • 75% of participants willing to get vaccinated had concerns about potential side effects.
  • 25% of participants were unwilling to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • 90% of participants unwilling to get vaccinated recognized COVID-19 as a serious disease.
  • 89% of participants unwilling to get vaccinated had concerns about potential side effects.
Melvin Sampson illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Remembering Melvin Sampson

By Hannah DiPilato

Melvin Sampson was a leader throughout his life and was dedicated to fighting for the rights of indigenous people. Before his passing, he was a tribal councilman that pushed for Native American’s rights. 

Some of his most monumental efforts include helping to establish the Indian National Finals Rodeo, assisting in the improvement of health care for Native Americans across the nation, advocating for the construction of the Yakama Nation Indian Health Services clinic west of Toppenish and pushing to improve fish restoration in the Yakima and Columbia basins.

Sampson passed in his home on December 11 at 82-years-old and left behind his wife, Betty Jean and his four daughters. He will be remembered by his big family of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

Sampson’s full obituary can be found on Heggies Colonial Funeral Home’s website and anyone is able to leave thoughts, prayers and condolences for Sampson’s loved ones. People can also send flowers or a virtual gift and share photos and videos, a beautiful way to share remembrance amidst the pandemic. 

“He’s bigger than the Yakama Nation,” said Yakama General Council Chairman Roger Fiander, who grew up beside Sampson. “Besides that, he was my roping partner.”

Sampson’s legacy of helping to gain rights for Native Americans will live on for generations. Hopefully, many more people will follow in his footsteps to preserve tribal culture. 

Sampson was an advocate of better healthcare for Native Americans for 17 years while he served on the National Indian Health Board. He also helped form the Portland Area Indian Health Board, which monitors the federal administration of Indian health services in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. 

In Washington D.C., Sampson was at the head of an effort to gain funding for a new Indian Health Clinic. Eventually, his efforts led to an expansion of the clinic which expanded it into a facility of over 80,000 square feet. 

Sampson also wanted to improve fish rearing practices in the Yakama and Columbia basins in order to help the fish that lived there. With Sampson in charge, the Yakama Nation gained control of the Klickitat Hatchery which is found on the Klickitat river outside of Glendale. This hatchery was designed to rebuild the population of salmon by mimicking the natural habitat system that fish thrive in. 

Everyone that knew Sampson believed he was a born leader. He had a diverse understanding of tribal culture and government which allowed him to make many changes in his lifetime. George Waters, a lobbyist for the tribe in Washington, D.C., said that Sampson was just a person able to operate in different worlds. 

He was able to create many amazing things such as doing leatherwork and beginning a shop in his basement. Sampson can also be remembered for his forward-thinking ways that were ahead of his time. 

Irving Pinkham, another childhood friend of Sampson, said that Sampson cared for everyone and always wanted to help indigenous people. “In our way, nobody is better than anyone else and that’s what he believed too,” Pinkham said. “He never was a person who said ‘I, I did this, I did that.’ He was always a person who said ‘We, we did this, we did that.’ “

Sampson’s perseverance and ability to understand people helped him become a success in many aspects of his life. He was able to improve healthcare and the way of life for those around him and his legacy will be seen in all of the work he accomplished over his lifetime.

Football illustration by Rita Azar

Washington NFL Team Changes Name

By Gabriella Scerbo

Following hundreds of protests condemning racism, the Washington Redskins football team combat discrimination by changing their name. 

Much of the Native American experience has been one filled with hatred, violence, and disadvantage throughout U.S. history. The term “redskin” was a way to identify Native Americans from white colonizers in the 19th century. Today, with the derogatory term cheered in crowds, adorned on merchandise, and profited from by the NFL, the discrimination of Native Americans continues to be normalized. 

Corporations including Target and Nike have agreed to stop selling Washington Redskin merchandise if the name is not changed; Amazon has already taken to removing the team’s merchandise. Now, the team plans to change the mascot as well as any Native American imagery connected to the sports team.

Although the Washington Redskin name is more than eighty years old, it is better late than never to better the NFL. While the Washington football team may be first team at any national level in sports to change their racist name, they are hopefully not the last. Hopefully more companies will follow suit as the world continues to question the racist implications and origins of symbols in our society.

Agua Caliente Casino Resorts x L.A Clippers

Agua Caliente Casino Resorts and the Clippers organization have announced Agua Caliente’s partnership renewal for the 2018-19 season. Agua Caliente continues in its second season as Presenting Sponsor of the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario and its fourth as the Official Tribal Casino partner of the L.A. Clippers. The Agua Caliente Clippers, the L.A. Clippers’ G League affiliate that launched ahead of the 2017-18 season, start their upcoming season on Sunday, November 4, at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif.

The partnership will further the collaborative efforts between Agua Caliente Casino Resorts and the Clippers to preserve and promote awareness of local Native American Tribes in Southern California, while giving back to communities in the Coachella Valley and Inland Empire. Throughout the 2018-19 season, Agua Caliente will sponsor promotional nights at L.A. Clippers games that include Native American Cultural Night on November 15 and Fan Appreciation Night on April 3. In addition, The Show – Southern California’s premier concert theater located within the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif. – will present the Clippers’ DTLAC series at four Friday night DTLAC games this season. DTLAC nights celebrate downtown L.A. with special halftime performances, with the first on Friday, January 18. Last year’s performers included Nipsey Hussle, Problem and Kurupt. The partnership also includes in-arena signage, on-court promotions and hospitality elements.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the Agua Caliente Clippers for a second season,” Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Chairman Jeff L. Grubbe says. “We are honored to have this G League team named after our people. This partnership continues our longstanding efforts to create awareness about our history and culture as well as our existence today.”

“It’s a privilege for us to continue our association with the Clippers organization for another season,” Agua Caliente Casino Resorts Chief Operating Officer Saverio Scheri III says. “The Clippers organization and our Agua Caliente Casino Resorts are both committed to providing an exceptional entertainment experience. We’re looking forward to another exciting season.”

“Agua Caliente has been an essential part of the Clippers experience for the past three seasons. Their support of the Agua Caliente Clippers was critical as we launched our new G League team, and their contributions to our game entertainment in L.A. help us ensure Clippers fans have the best experience possible,” says Gillian Zucker, President of Business Operations, L.A. Clippers. “But most importantly, Agua Caliente Casino Resorts and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians understand what the Clippers stand for, and how important it is for us to work together to make a meaningful impact on our communities. We’re proud to partner with Agua Caliente as our organizations move forward together.”

“The Agua Caliente Clippers are excited to tip off our second season this weekend, and to continue our partnership with Agua Caliente Casino Resorts,” says Bryan Meadows, Team President, Agua Caliente Clippers. “Our friends at Agua Caliente were essential community partners as we introduced our team and its players to Ontario and we’re excited to grow each other’s efforts together in the future. We’re looking forward to celebrating our renewed partnership at the Agua Caliente Clippers’ home opener on November 4.

The first and only NBA or G League team to be named after a Native American Tribe, the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario are named for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, a federally recognized Tribe located in Palm Springs, Calif. The Tribe owns and operates the Agua Caliente Casino Resorts, which includes the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif., and Spa Resort Casino in downtown Palm Springs. With 31,500 acres of reservation lands that spread across Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, and into the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains, the Tribe also owns the Tahquitz and Indian Canyons recreational areas, and two 18-hole championship golf courses.

The Agua Caliente Clippers tip off their second season on November 4 under Head Coach Brian Adams at Ontario’s Citizens Business Bank Arena. During the team’s inaugural season, eight players that spent time on the Agua Caliente Clippers’ roster played significant minutes for the team on the NBA level.