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The KUNM news team's coverage of the 2020 legislative session and its impacts

YNMG & COVID: Tribal Concerns

Brad Charles
Sanostee area, Navajo Nation


In episode 33, we learn about obstacles for tribes as they try to quell the virus' spread, including bureaucratic hurdles in accessing billions in federal funding that's been allotted to sovereign nations. National Native News anchor Antonia Gonzales tells us what she's learned from the reporting she's done. We also get to listen to her interviews with Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Stacy Bohlen, CEO of the National Indian Health Board.

Our host Khalil Ekulona interviews Cabinet Secretary Lynn Trujillo of the state's Department of Indian Affairs. Then Chili Yazzie, president of the Shiprock Chapter, lets us know what his top concerns are. And community organizer Brad Charles, who lives in Sanostee, tells us about what things are like for folks living out where he is in the Navajo Nation.

Special thanks to all of our guests, and to National Native News anchor Antonia Gonzales and New Mexico PBS for contributing to the show. Find her reporting on these issues here.

And a news update: Around the state, there are 48 new cases, bringing the total to 363. There have been six deaths, one of them Tuesday. She was in her 90s. In the Navajo Nation, there have been 174 people diagnosed and seven deaths, according to the Navajo Department of Health. Projections are showing that we will see the peak of the pandemic in New Mexico around April 25, according to KRQE. That’s if social distancing goes well.

We're keeping a complete list of the resources and volunteer opportunities that we find for each episode at bit.ly/YNMGhub. And here's what we got from today.


How are things going for you? We want to know. Share your quarantine stories by calling: (505) 218-7084 and leaving us a message. We could roll them into a future episode.


Your New Mexico Government is a collaboration between KUNM, New Mexico PBS, and the Santa Fe Reporter. Funding for our coverage is provided, in part, by the Thornburg Foundation, and the New Mexico Local News Fund. 

Marisa Demarco began a career in radio at KUNM News in late 2013 and covered public health for much of her time at the station. During the pandemic, she is also the executive producer for Your NM Government and No More Normal, shows focused on the varied impacts of COVID-19 and community response, as well as racial and social justice. She joined Source New Mexico as editor-in-chief in 2021.
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