Responding to a Pandemic: An Indigenous Perspective

October 21, 2020
7:00pm PST

Indigenous communities in our region have been hit disproportionately hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Join Emily Washines (Yakama) and Chuck Sams (CTUIR) to hear first-hand stories of the different ways Tribes have responded. This conversation will go beyond statistics and headlines to consider the daily lives of Native people as they confront what, for them, the most recent pandemic. Presented in partnership with Sense of Place.

Streamed using Zoom Webinar. This event is in Pacific Standard Time. A recording will be available after the live stream.


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.