FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 10, 2020
Contact: Alicia Ortega, APCG@indianpueblo.org
All Pueblo Council of Governors Continue to Enforce Shelter in Place Procedures and Encourage Community Members to Follow Public Health Directives
(Albuquerque, N.M) – As the number of positive COVID-19 cases rise in the state of New Mexico and within surrounding tribal nations, Pueblos continue to actively engage in a host of response efforts in collaboration and coordination with state and federal agencies, congressional leadership, local and national non-governmental organizations and many others. Our Pueblos have declared states of Emergency, initiated Emergency Operation Centers and Incident Command and Management Teams with daily operations implementing safety protocols and supply distribution processes to minimize the COVID-19 threat and transmission by tribal members.
In our best effort to reduce community spread, many Pueblos have enforced a series of mitigation restrictions in protection of vulnerable populations, first responders, and other essential staff including but not limited to social distancing and household self-isolation, non-essential travel and transportation, outside visitor access, curfews, shopping day designations, and tribal cultural event suspension. Pueblos that have been directly impacted continue working with state and federal agencies to address urgent cases of community spread in developing isolation plans, alternate care sites, quarantine facilities, and necessary sanitation measures. The Pueblo of Pojoaque announced this week the Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder will serve as a temporary quarantine facility for New Mexico tribal members awaiting COVID-19 test results, which is critical as many of our pueblo community living situations are very tight knit with multigenerational housing circumstances. This will help provide a space for individuals in our tribal communities to safely quarantine away from their families.
The All Pueblo Council of Governors along with the New Mexico Indian Affairs Department and others continue to support organization efforts, tracking, and response efforts among Pueblos, including areas within Pueblos directly impacted as a result of the closure of many tribal and non-tribal administrations, institutions, and economic entities.
Collectively and as sovereign nations, our Pueblos are coordinating efforts with state and federal agencies to address immediate needs including food distribution, broadband access, and other supplies outreach on a daily basis while continuing to participate in intense nationwide legislative efforts by Indian Country to secure adequate funding and provisions that address the needs of tribal nations.
“APCG appreciates the leadership and commitment of our tribal and non-tribal healthcare personnel and providers, frontline responders, tribal administrations, and all state and federal agency staff. We are also grateful to our New Mexico Congressional Delegation for working in close coordination with the All Pueblo Council of Governors and Pueblos in securing funding through Phase I, Phase II, and most recently Phase III bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) for our Pueblo Nations and communities that will aid immediate and longer term relief efforts in areas of healthcare, education, nutrition, child care, transportation, housing, infrastructure and our economies. This is a multi-level effort and we must all continue working together to advocate for further funding allocation, disbursement, and implementation in the spirit of unity for our families, elders, and children.” – Chairman J. Michael Chavarria, All Pueblo Council of Governors
“We wholeheartedly thank our community members who continue to take the threat of COVID-19 seriously and adhere to public health directives issued by the Pueblos and other governmental entities like the Center for Disease Control. Each one of us are taking responsibility for our communities as sovereign nations. I assure you that leadership is working around the clock and in constant communication on critical response measures from the very local to the national levels, but we cannot ensure the safety of our most vulnerable and precious community members without the cooperation of our entire community. We continue praying for our families, our elders, our younger generations, our students, and all those who are enduring hardship during these times as we do the best we can to protect one another.” –Vice Chairman Wilfred Herrera, All Pueblo Council of Governors
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