Protect the Sacred – Navajo Nation Response to Covid-19

One thing we’ve learned because the pandemic is where we are lacking as a species – economically, physically and spiritually.

Another thing we’ve learned is this disease attacks the sick and the elderly.

Nowhere do these lines intersect more than the Navajo nation, which is being rocked by the Covid-19 pandemic. Federal response has been tentative at best and dismissive at worst – unfortunately par for the course when it comes to the indigenous peoples of the United States.

The major concern is here is the Elders – The Sacred. It is in the older Navajo generations where all the traditional knowledge primarily lies – language, art, culture. And if this disease takes them as before they can pass on their wisdom, the history of the Navajo could be lost.

I first heard about it via Mark Ruffalo on the tonight show. Here’s the clip:

What’s It About

Protect the Sacred started as an emergency response to the growing crisis in the Navajo Nation from COVID-19. The Navajo Nation is 27,000 sq miles (roughly the size of West Virginia) with 175,000 living on the reservation, a mere 13 grocery stores, 12 health facilities and only 170 hospital beds, 13 ICU beds, 52 isolation rooms and 28 ventilators. Per capita rising in positive cases and fatalities resembling NewYork – 2,292 cases and 73 deaths as of Sunday, May 3.

A group of local healthcare professionals were concerned that too many Navajo people were unaware of the serious danger and harm that the virus could inflict on the Navajo Nation. They asked Allie Young, citizen of the Navajo Nation and former employee of Shiprock Indian Health Service, to assist with encouraging youth to be leaders in the moment by relaying information about the virus and helping to keep their families home. Protect the Sacred was born to launch this call to action.

They’ve got a GoFundMe page up – Official Navajo Nation COVID-19 Relief Fund – whereby to raise funds for the essentials: mask, glove, ventilators, and other basic medial supplies.

They are also looking for healthcare workers and volunteers, more info on that at

If you have the means, this organization can use your help.

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Written by

Ryan Livingston

Ryan Livingston