SOP 11 -Responding to a Pandemic: An Indigenous Perspective

by | SOP 11

Watch Lecture Recording Here!

Below are the COVID resource links that speakers Emily & Chuck shared during the lecture:

Lecture Description:

News sources have reported on the disproportionate ways that COVID-19 has affected populations of Indigenous descent. Join Emily Washines and Chuck Sams to hear first-hand stories of the different ways local Tribes have responded to the pandemic. Emily and Chuck will also discuss the unique Tribal history of pandemic response and how culture has driven grass-roots action. This conversation will go beyond statistics and headlines to consider the daily lives of Native people as they confront this most recent pandemic.

Emily Washines is an enrolled Yakama Nation tribal member with Cree and Skokomish lineage. She speaks Ichiskiin (Yakama language) and other Native languages. A scholar, with a Master’s in Public Administration, her research and work in film, writing, speaking, and exhibits focuses on the Yakama War, Native women, traditional knowledge, resource management, fishing rights, and food sovereignty. Yakima Herald-Republic lists her as Top 39 under 39. She is a board member of the Museum of Culture and Environment, Artist Trust, and Columbia Riverkeeper. Emily lives on the Yakama reservation with her husband and three children.


Chuck Sams is Cayuse, Walla Walla, Cocopah, and Yankton Sioux. He grew up on the Umatilla Indian Reservation. He is the Deputy Executive Director for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR). Prior positions include Environmental Health and Safety Officer/Planner in the Tribal Planning Office for the CTUIR, Executive Director for the Umatilla Tribal Community Foundation, and National Director of the Tribal & Native Lands Program for the Trust for Public Land. He serves as Chairman to the Oregon Cultural Trust, Gray Family Foundation, and Columbia Land Trust. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy where he served as an intelligence specialist.

Sense of Place is partnering with the Confluence Project for this special presentation. Confluence is a non-profit that seeks to connect people to the history, living culture, and ecology of the Columbia River system through Indigenous voices.