For Immediate Release
JoKay Dowell firstname.lastname@example.org
May 28, 2020 – The Indigenous Environmental Network has partnered with eight progressive, climate action and indigenous justice-focused peer organizations to launch the historic Protecting the Peoples Emergency Partnership Fund. This fund is driven by and for the Indigenous community, and aims to respond to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Indigenous communities across the United States. The combined fundraising and mask donation effort has collected and organized the donation of 38,000 masks to Indigenous communities, and aims to secure $200,000 in funding to enable the donation of tens of thousands of additional masks.
This fund is driven by and for the Indigenous community, and aims to respond to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Indigenous communities across the United States. The combined fundraising and mask donation effort has collected and organized the donation of 38,000 masks to Indigenous communities, and aims to secure $200,000 in funding to enable the donation of tens of thousands of additional masks.
Indigenous Environmental Network: “Our Indigenous network consists of many frontline and community-based groups that are working on environmental and climate justice issues and who are members of their respective Indigenous nations. This novel coronavirus pandemic has come uninvited to the homelands of many of our Indigenous Peoples – north and south. It is a shared teaching of our peoples that during times of life and death emergencies, that we must come together to take action to protect and defend our families, children and elders. Our Indigenous network has taken action towards forming this partnership of allies, to raise funding to supply pandemic hotspots in Indigenous communities with personal protective equipment such as medical and non-medical masks. This initiative has found many Tribes and grassroots members taking action at the local level that amplifies the strength and resilience of Indigenous Peoples.” – Tom BK Goldtooth, Executive Director, IEN
Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services: “t.e.j.a.s. is well aware of the importance of personal protective equipment (PPE) as N95 masks have been in high demand after every Gulf Coast hurricane. They are part of a well established re-entry toolkit that has been used to protect communities from mold and other airborne contaminants post-disaster. They serve as a first line of defence and help ensure that communities are able to protect themselves as they begin to rebuild their lives. In this pandemic, PPE will help to slow the spread of Covid-19 and provide communities with protection so that they can continue to serve the needs of their families with confidence. Communities will continue to need support with food, water, cleaning supplies and housing but PPE have been in short supply and in high demand across the globe. We are honored to join Protect the People’s Emergency Project Fund to provide these essential needs to at risk communities.. We look forward to continuing our support for Indian County and all our relatives across Turtle Island.”Bryan Parras, Co-Founder, t.e.j.a.s
Idle No More SF Bay: “While corporations received millions of dollars in Covid-19 relief funds, Native American Nations have yet to receive any of the promised funds. The pandemic has impacted many Native American people across the country, some of whom have no running water, making it impossible to simply wash their hands. Idle No More SF Bay is grateful to have this opportunity to help our relatives stay healthy by providing masks, gloves and other items necessary to be safe.” Pennie Opal Plant, co-founder Idle No More SF Bay
Amazon Watch: “The Amazon rainforest and its peoples are in a state of emergency with COVID-19. They are already facing the “tipping point” of ecological collapse due to increased threats of deforestation; fires; industrial extraction, agribusiness expansion, and climate change. The pandemic has created an additional crisis, and as each day passes, the risk of ethnocide becomes more real. As of May 15, 113 indigenous peoples have died due to COVID-19, representing 33 indigenous nations, according to REPAM, COICA and regional Amazonian organizations. Indigenous peoples need resources to adequately respond to COVID-19: prevention and care, food and medical supplies, emergency communications and evacuation, protection and security and food sovereignty. We are honored to partner with IEN and the PPE Fund to ensure that support reaches indigenous allies in the Amazon. Together, we remain united to support those with the greatest need.” Leila Salazar-López, Executive Director, Amazon Watch
Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN): “Navajo Nation currently has the third highest COVID-19 cases in the U.S. after New York and New Jersey, yet the community and frontline medics serving Indigenous communities have little to no access to medical resources. This is completely unacceptable —there could not be a more important time to ensure those on the frontlines of the most-affected Tribal Nations are protected and safe. No to sacrifice zones, no to sacrifice people!”
Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN)
Global Exchange: “Global Exchange is proud to be a partner of the Protect the Peoples Emergency Partnership Fund, and to help get emergency PPE masks and supplies to Native nations’ medics and communities. We must come together to protect the most vulnerable among us. We simply cannot standby as Indigenous communities suffer without protections.” Ashley Cline, Director of Engagement, Global Exchange