Amid Novel Coronavirus concerns, restrictions, lock-downs and quarantine – we’re now facing a time of uncertainty. As the Navajo Nation braces itself for widespread change, we’re looking for ways to remain true to our mission, to be helpful, to spread hope (not fear), and to maintain our commitments to our community. When we formed YKD, we wanted to do something that would leave a mark. Meaning, we wanted to put out information that was useful, form connections with people that would last a lifetime, collaborate in ways that brought forth solutions, and lead not only with our minds but with our hearts too.
When the first COVID-19 cases were announced, we began having conversations about what we were going to do as a business, and as a family. How could we contribute to the transitions we could see coming? What could we do to protect our relatives who were elderly, or had health conditions that would put them at a greater risk? At work, we began assisting our elders who were not familiar with online teaching and telework technology. We canceled all of our planned travel, gathered our resources, and began reaching out to others to see how we could assist. We did a solar install at the home of a hatałii who was conducting healing ceremonies from his hogan. We gathered grocery lists and made supply runs for people in self-isolation. And, we assisted multiple elders with Zoom tutorials to make it possible for them to work from home. Though our actions seem small, they sometimes have a huge impact later on. Which is something we’d like everyone to keep in mind. Every action has a ripple effect. So, let’s begin calculating how we can help one another and shift our attitudes about what it means to be a community. We don’t just live side-by-side in a given area – we are connected & we need to work together to get through this.
We’re mentally preparing ourselves for the new ‘normal’. Today, in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, the world has changed for the better. Pollution has declined. People are working from home. Kids and parents are working together toward their education. Prayer is back in the home. We are prioritizing our elders personally, and as a society. If this is the new normal, we don’t want it to change. Maybe we’ve all just woken up from the American Nightmare. This meat grinder some call democracy is eating us alive. And, for a lifetime, we have been told that this system is inevitable. At times, late at night as one is falling asleep, some may believe that this is true – they feel it. Still, the recent global events have proven that we can change our world for the better.
Shifting attitudes about economics, politics, health care and education are on the horizon. Still, some things will remain constant such as our faith in Diné spirituality and our strong history rooted in resilience. Yes, for some, the current state of our lives is in turmoil. Yes, we are working to navigate a global pandemic. And, yes, everything seems uncertain. But, we have hope that this chapter in our lives will bring about big changes in how we operate as a human race – because we are all being affected by this virus. This virus is a monster that does not discriminate. It doesn’t care about your nationality, race, religion, or economic standing. It is attaching itself to human beings, and so we must collectively think beyond our superficial differences, and think about what we must do as a species to protect ourselves and continue our survival on this planet. How must we change our behaviors so that we can once again live in harmony with nature? What do we have to do to prevent an outbreak like this from happening again?
We recently filmed a VLOG for our YouTube channel. It’s a discussion, really, about what’s going on in the world right now – and how we are reacting to it. Because we won’t be making any appearances at conferences this season, nor convening with friends & colleagues at events out of respect for ‘social-distancing’ protocols, we wanted to start a VLOG series to connect online with people who follow our work. So, please, let us know what you think. Comment on YouTube & subscribe to our channel if you find us even mildly entertaining.
Additionally, here are some answer to questions we’ve received about our future operations:
- Yes, we are planning to shift how we deliver services
- Yes, we have put all operations on-hold for the next few months
- No, we will not be conducting any new solar installs
- Yes, we have solar panels & replacement batteries in stock
- No, we do not have any power packs or lights
- Yes, we will continue making YouTube videos (for fun & to experiment with content creation & editing processes)
We also plan to launch our Unapologetically Indigenous podcast this summer. Details forthcoming. With that, take care of yourselves & each other. And, thank you for supporting Yahuaca Knowledge Distribution!