Legendary actor Wes Studi has developed a public service announcement (PSA) to raise awareness of the serious effects of COVID-19 in Indian Country and request support for Partnership With Native Americans (PWNA) to ensure Native Americans are not left behind during the pandemic.
“It is serious and requires immediate attention. Housing on reservations is overcrowded and there is a lack of clean water, our elders are at greater risk.”
Wes Studi, Activist/Actor
Many tribes have instated strict shelter-in-place orders to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. The risk of contracting the virus is higher among Native Americans due to overcrowded housing and high rates of diabetes, kidney disease and asthma. And despite more than 7,100 confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the Navajo Nation and other tribal communities, federal aid has been slow to arrive.
“It is serious and requires immediate attention,” stated Studi. “Housing on reservations is overcrowded and there is a lack of clean water, our elders are at greater risk.”
In his new PSA, Studi reminds the public of the need for immediate attention and charitable donations to PWNA, which has secured tribal clearances and follows CDC and tribal guidelines to continue delivering critical items, such as food, water, sanitizer and personal protective equipment (PPE).
“Every day, remote reservation communities face shortages of food, water and healthcare, and COVID-19 has magnified that reality,” said Joshua Arce, PWNA president and CEO. “Donations are critical now as we bring relief to under-resourced communities.”
Studi notes PWNA is a nonprofit he trusts. In 2019, they collaborated in a five-part “Realities Video Series with Wes Studi” that gives an accurate portrayal of reservation life and dispels long-held myths that continue to impact Native communities today.
Wes Studi forever changed a stereotype with his unforgettable performances in “Dances with Wolves,” “The Last of the Mohicans,” “Heat,” “Avatar,” and “Hostiles.”
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