The Blackfeet Nation Steps Up To Help Their Own

By N. Jamiyla Chisholm Aug 03, 2020

When Blackfeet Nation reported nine positive COVID-19 cases on the reservation on June 28, Loren Racine quickly created the Facebook group "Blackfeet community help" to connect "a good Samaritan" with an elder or other vulnerable people, according to a Great Falls Tribune article. This was the day after the Blackfeet COVID-19 Incident Command issued a release via Facebook saying tribal members should stay home and wear masks.

“Elders do you need a grocery run or help with groceries or help in general post it here we want to keep you safe,” Racine wrote in a post.

Racine, who works at Glacier Family Foods in Browning, Mont., told the Great Falls Tribune, "I figured that since I work here, I was already likely to be exposed, so why should others have to risk exposure just to get food from the store?" 

Cases have begun to rise on reservations, with Glacier County, home to portions of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, has seen 13 active cases, 52 total and one death from the novel coronavirus, as of July 31, Great Falls Tribune reports.

In addition to individuals, like Racine, stepping up to help out, The Blackfeet Nation launched a Tribal Program Infection/ Exposure Response Plancontact tracing; an incident command to continually inform the nation of changes around COVID-19 and a hotline that people can call for help or with questions. The tribe has also closed its doors to outsiders until August 14.

The Facebook document below shows the most recent ordinance around COVID-19 regulations, courtesy of the Blackfeet COVID-19 Incident Command.