In my language, the Diné language, it means I want to go home. I long to go home. My mind is focused on going home.
In the time of Covid-19, we are all safer at home. But home for many of us isn’t just where we stay or sleep or reside. For many of us, home is where our families live. Home is where our heart lives. Home is where our ancestors live. Home is where we begin.
Now, in the time of Covid-19, I look towards home. I see my home community, and many communities throughout Indian Country, being hit particularly hard by this virus. Positive cases in Diné Bikéyah (Navajoland) are increasing at an alarming rate. Other Indigenous homelands and reservations are also being hit hard with little to no support in providing for the community. The obstacles can be numerous – lack of access to clean water, food deserts, or an overstretched and underfunded healthcare system. Many families and individuals face additional hurdles that make living through the pandemic more than difficult.
Knowing this, I look towards home. I see many others of us living in urban areas or across the country are also looking home and wondering how to help. Personally, it pains me to know that I can’t rush home (I live far away now) to do something. In fact, the best way for me to protect our elders is for me to stay here, and that is counterintuitive to everything I had ever been taught. I know many others who feel the same way – we are far away from home, for whatever reason, and we are looking for ways to give.
I have come across numerous websites, GoFund Me pages, Facebook posts, and other forms of media from groups and organizations that are able to be on the ground, at home, and doing good work to help all Indian Country get through the Covid-19 pandemic. My intention with this website is to gather as many of these fundraising asks as possible for organizations and groups that serve Indian Country or Indigenous populations so that those of us who have anything to offer, can give.
How You Can Help
There are many organizations and community groups that are on the ground providing resources within Indigenous communities and have GoFundMe, or other fundraising campaigns to help pay for supplies and resources. Browse our growing list for where to give.
Some organizations and community groups have put out requests for items, such as masks, hand sanitizer, feminine hygiene products, toiletries, or basically other things can help with their outreach efforts. If you do decide to donate physical items, please be mindful that these organizations may have limited time to facilitate pickups. Follow the guidelines the organization gives regarding shipments or drop-offs of materials.
Many of us have other ways in which we can give our time while working remotely. I am working on compiling a list of people who have expertise and might be able to help organizations with things like website management, financial management, or social media. Indian Country is far and wide, we are far and wide, and the diversity of our talents is far and wide. If you have any suggestions, please send them along. This project is in the making.