Manataba Messenger

To: From: Colorado River Indian Tribes Manataba Messenger 26600 Mohave Road, Parker, AZ 85344 M anataba Vol. 9 Issue 8 The Official Publication of the Colorado River Indian Tribes CRIT Nation, Parker, Arizona 85344 ,, ,, ,, AhaMakhav Newewe Sinom ` Dine M essenger FREE OF CHARGE Website: Facebook: CRIT Manataba Messenger CRIT Tribal Mandate Stays In Place: Resolution 296-21 upheld by voters COLORADO RIVER INDIAN TRIBES— Unofficial results show the CRIT Employee Vaccine Mandate has been upheld. A ballot measure to repeal it failed, with 278 (61.1%) voting against repealing the man- date and 177 (38.9%) voting to repeal the mandate, according to unof- ficial results. In September 2021, CRIT Tribal Council passed a mandate requiring all employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine by November 30, 2021, or be terminated. Allowing for those who qualified for an approved exemption for religious or medical purposes exemption, yet still requiring them to be tested weekly. While many tribal members and employees took the initiative to get vaccinated, the tribe relentlessly pursued COVID by facilitating con- stant employee testing and vaccination, facilitating community test- ing and vaccination, making it readily available and accessible to anyone wanting it. Despite these measures, CRIT’s vaccination rates still fell far below the tribal council’s goal for the community. Still, many remain at extremely high risk. The first case of COVID-19 was reported on May 1, 2020; since then, the tribe has seen more than 1,700 infections, and 25 local CRIT community members have died—not counting all tribal member illnesses and death among our tribal members who live off the reservation. The statistics are staggering; COVID-19 has killed Native Americans at rates up to 2.8 times higher than Caucasians and is the highest death rate among all racial groups. Our children are losing parents or caregivers at rates 4.5 times higher than Caucasian populations. The tribe continued to do everything in its power, from issuing stay-at-home and safer at-home orders, mandating face masks, enforcing social distancing, encouraging and providing supplies for sanitization, and requiring employees to follow CDC guidelines to quarantine for exposure and isolation for positive cases. Furthermore, CRIT requires a negative COVID-19 test result for employees to return to work to avoid spreading the disease amongst employees and ultimately to tribal members and pushing the one message that the most powerful way to help our community is to get vaccinated. Tribal Council stood by their vaccination policy because that is their number one priority— to protect the health and welfare of the tribal membership and the employees. CONTINUED PAGE 2 Regarding the Referendum: CRIT Chairwoman Amelia Flores said, “I am grateful for this outcome. Preserving the CRIT Employee Vaccine Mandate is vital to keeping government services running, slowing the spread of COVID, and saving tribal members' lives.” Photo: CRIT signage regarding mask requirements when entering reservation town of Parker. MASKS REQ IN STORES CRIT Fire & Rescue EMS Services expanded with the arrival of new ambulance COLORADO RIVER INDIAN TRIBES----On Thursday, March 3, 2022, the Colorado River Indian Tribes 157th Day of Recognition, the CRIT Fire Department Emergency Medical Services unit, received its first brand-new ambulance to serv- ice tribal members. Forty-five-minute wait times to transport tribal members locally, and sometimes a four-hour wait for tribal members in the isolated areas of the valley are no more. The independent, personalized service is much welcomed; CRIT Tribal members servicing CRIT Tribal members go far beyond the technical implications. Self- determination and sovereignty come in many forms. The new Type II Ford Transit ambulance was added to the CRIT Fire and Rescue EMS's fleet through CARES Act money via the CRIT Tribal Council that they received in 2019. (The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact people world- wide significantly, but it has particularly hit the Native American communities hard. However, tribes have tried to meet the needs where the federal or state gov- ernment may fail. In March 2019, Congress passed the CARES Act that provided hundreds of millions of dollars to tribes. The use of the funds in terms of timeli- ness and effectiveness continues to meet immediate and future needs.) Chairwoman Amelia Flores was on-site to tour the vehicle and commend and encourage the CRIT Fire Department and EMS service workers on their new venture. The tribes have tried to be innovative and efficient in using the CARES Act dollars, attempting to meet the needs of the membership during this unprecedented time. Still, the tribes with the future in mind have also used the funds, so tribal members will continue to experience the benefits of the funds for years to come.The ambulance will charge third-party billing and generate revenue for the tribe to invest in future purchases. CRIT Fire Chief Kitty Little stated that the CRIT Fire Department needs a total of three ambulances to handle the current caseloads and rural areas they cover. CONTINUED ON PAGE 3 CRIT Fire & Rescue EMS frontline workers Gabriel Harper, Zariah Tahbo, Assistant Fire Chief Robert Esquerra and Colorado River Indian Tribes Chairwoman Amelia Flores inspecting new ambulance delivered March 3, 2022.