Keeping community alive in the pandemic
October 28, 2020 — As the summer of the pandemic fades into fall, the loneliness is getting acute, especially for kids and elderly people. Online platforms and handwritten cards have to take the place of in-person gatherings, especially since the two age groups tend to respond so differently to the virus. Meyo Marrufo, the environmental director for Guidiville Rancheria, has been heavily involved in the online curriculum at the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center in Santa Rosa, which put a lot of work into getting elders on zoom so they could take classes. Bonnie Lockhart is a member of the Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo, where she runs the tribal youth diversion program. She’s using multiple platforms to connect with young people and come up with healthy activities.
Recently, the two women got a grant from the North Coast Opportunities Mask Awareness Program to design a card and distribute it, along with packages of masks, to people in Native American communities. We’ll hear them talk about connecting with lonely friends and family, staying safe, and continuing to do the work that’s important to them.