indian health service

U.S. Department of the Interior

President Biden on Tuesday issued a proclamation declaring Wednesday, May 5th, "Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day" in the United States.

Muscogee (Creek) Nation

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation is sending two specialized mobile health units to rural corners of the reservation in an attempt to increase access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

"Our reservation includes urban and rural communites, so we bought these mobile units to reach out into the areas where we might not have a clinic, where there might not be accessibility," said Rhonda Beaver, Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Health chief administrative officer. 

"So we're going to areas like Yardeka, we're going to areas like Dustin, Holdenville, to Checotah," Beaver said. 

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

Former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma Trent Shores said this month that alongside issues stemming from the McGirt v. Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling and the ongoing crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous people, addressing child sex abuse within the Indian Health Service should be a top priority of the new presidential administration.

Osage Nation / Wah-Zha-Zhe Health Center

The Osage Nation is among the latest Oklahoma tribes to begin offering the COVID-19 vaccine to all adults who want it, Native and non-Native alike.

"We want to ensure our Native people are vaccinated, but we have a lot of neighbors that we live side-by-side -- community members, friends, family members, coworkers that are non-Native," Osage Nation Health Services chief operations and compliance officer Laura Sawney said. "So in order to ensure that we're saturating all of our Native communities, that includes non-Natives."

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The Cherokee Nation announced Tuesday it has opened COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to individuals who live within their reservation boundaries, including non-Natives.

Chickasaw Nation

The Chickasaw Nation has begun offering COVID-19 vaccination appointments to educators and their families, regardless of tribal citizenship.

Muscogee (Creek) Nation

Many Oklahoma health care facilities run by either or both the Indian Health Service and individual tribes have begun greatly expanding eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine appointments, including for non-Native household members and caregivers of tribal citizens.