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Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa responds to COVID-19

(KFYR)
Published: Mar. 19, 2020 at 6:56 PM CDT
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Federal, state and local governments are taking action against COVID-19, but for sovereign nations, it isn't as simple as one person calling the shots.

The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians has been working with several organizations to fight the spread of COVID-19.

"We have the Bureau of Indian affairs, we have Indian Health Services, we have school systems that are BIE Bureau of Education," said Tribal Chairman Jamie Azure.

Azure said the tribe began taking action right away.

"The response with the tribe was immediate we were actually in a reaction mode, I think with a lot of the country," Azure said.

Azure restricted tribally-funded travel earlier this month as a preventative measure. Schools are also following the governor's orders regarding closures..

Sky Dancer Casino also recently stopped busing tourists in from other areas.

Testing is available through Indian Health Services, but due to limited supply, elderly members of the community showing severe symptoms are being prioritized.

Azure says they want to make the best decisions for both short and long-term.

"As of now we are preparing a state of emergency for the tribe itself. I know making snap decisions throughout the week might become detrimental so we wanted to have a full plan in place," Azure said.

Our state's tribes taking action against COVID-19.

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