Lives, and Way of Life, Stolen

“The virus took Grandma Delores first, silencing an 86-year-old voice that rang with Lakota songs and stories.”
 
Then Uncle Ralph, “a stoic Vietnam veteran.” Then 2 more elders from the Standing Rock tribe’s   Taken Alive family, all “buried on the frozen North Dakota prairie,” writes Jack Healy in a must-read New York Times story.
 
For Native American communities, who have died at nearly twice the rate of whites, the loss of tribal elders threatens their cultural survival, too.
 
Tribal nations and volunteer groups are racing to help—prioritizing elders and fluent Indigenous language speakers for vaccines, delivering meals and hand sanitizer, getting them to hospitals. But many live in hard-to-reach, remote locations; others cannot shake their mistrust of a government that subjected them to decades-long forced assimilation.
 
The New York Times

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