KWSO News for Fri., May 29, 2020

There are 4 more positive cases of Covid-19 in Warm Springs as of yesterday late afternoon.  With the one positive case reported earlier this week – that brings the total of active COVID-19 cases to 5 for the reservation.  There have been 22 positive cases in all since testing began with 17 of those individuals having already recovered.  The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Covid-19 update yesterday reported that 382 Tests have been done with, 356 tests returning Negative, 1 test pending, and 3 tests invalid that were redone.  Contact tracing is continuing along with random surveillance testing.  The best thing you can do to protect from the spread of coronavirus is to continue to stay home, only going out for essential things like food, medical needs or work.  Wear a face covering; observe social distancing of at least 6 feet.  Wash your hands frequently and disinfect surfaces routinely.

COVID-19 has claimed three more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 151 according to the Oregon Health Authority.  49 new cases and presumptive cases of COVID-19 were confirmed bringing the state total to 4,086 as of yesterday.

Oregon Department of Forestry’s Central Oregon District will enter Fire Season this coming Monday, June 1st.   This affects private, county, state, and local government lands within the District Boundary.  Summer weather patterns continue to dry wildland fuels and increase the risk for fire spread, these weather patterns also bring the risk of lightning and increase fire activity in the area.  Fire season declaration is intended to reduce human fire starts by restricting some activities related to forest operations and open burning.

The National Congress of American Indians Native Vote effort held a Virtual Rally yesterday to kick off voter registration drives and citizen engagement in the voting process, across Indian Country.  Mark Trahant of “Trahant Reports” was one of the participants.  He said it is really extraordinary to be having an election during a pandemic and the stakes couldn’t be higher.  “Two years ago was one of the most remarkable elections in history.  Native Americans elected the first two Native Women to congress, the first Native won as a state lieutenant governor, and dozens of candidates elected to state and local offices, the most ever.  Two years ago there were 9 candidates for Congress, this year at this point there are 13 candidates running for the House and 3 more for the United States Senate.  There are more than 70 candidates running for state legislatures, county commissions and city councils.”  You can register to vote online

Eighth Generation of Seattle was founded by Louie Gong (Nooksack) and is now owned by the Snoqualmie Tribe.  The company creates blankets and other products designed by Native American artisans. Eighth Generation’s motto is “Inspired Natives, Not Native-inspired.”  Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, plans to open a downtown Portland retail location have been delayed.  Eighth Generation has introduced the “Oregon Potlatch” blanket, which was originally slated to launch in tandem with the grand opening of the Portland retail store. The new blanket was designed by Shirod Younker and Tony A. Johnson and features nine different basketry designs representing each of the federally recognized tribes of Oregon. A 10th design – a human figure from a regional basket from the Columbia River – was added to represent all other Oregon tribes, past and present, those indigenous people who were relocated to Oregon as well as people who are not affiliated with any tribe.

Weekend traffic will be increasing on major Central Oregon roads with the weekend just ahead.  Recreation enthusiasts, families, fisherman will all be flocking to our area again.  Please drive carefully and watch out for others.  Maintain legal speeds and distance yourself from reckless or speeding drivers.  Buckle up and be careful out there.