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“The Indian Affairs Department is working closely with tribal leadership and our sister agencies across the state. Along with our tribal partners we are doing everything we can to flatten the curve and protect New Mexico’s tribal communities,” said IAD Secretary Lynn Trujillo. “We are grateful to NMPBS for their work to get critical information out to New Mexico’s tribal communities with this virtual town hall.”


A virtual town hall looking at the impacts of COVID-19 on New Mexico’s Tribal communities. Since the first diagnosed case of COVID-19 in New Mexico, one thing has been clear: the virus is affecting Native Americans in disproportionate ways. According to reporting this week by New Mexico in Depth, Native Americans make up almost 37-percent of all the positive COVID-19 cases in the state. In comparison, the Native population in New Mexico is just 11-percent overall.


There is also real concern about the number of Native Americans who have died from the disease compared to the general population. The reasons for the disparity are many, including underlying health risks, shortages in funding for Indian Health Services and even the lack of running water in many homes in Indian Country, which makes the basic preventative practice of hand washing difficult.


State leaders, lawmakers and tribal officials know that accurate information is a big key to helping curb the spread of COVID-19 moving forward. They will hold a virtual town hall to share the latest details on the state and tribal responses to the COVID-19 outbreak, and answer questions from the Native American community. Complicating the goal of spreading good information throughout Indian Country is the lack of broadband connectivity in many parts of the state.


To mitigate that challenge, New Mexico PBS is proud to broadcast this town hall on its primary channel  (KNME-TV, Channel 5.1). NMPBS’s broadcast signal reaches into many Native American communities throughout the state where other over the air television signals can’t reach. We are the state of record for the Navajo Nation as well, reaching into Northeast Arizona, and parts of Southeast Utah and Southwest Colorado. This will ensure the information and messages from Tribal leaders will reach as many people as possible through Indian Country in New Mexico and beyond.


The town hall will also be available on Facebook and Youtube for those who do have the internet connectivity to participate.


Broadcast on KNME-TV, Channel 5.1 is scheduled for Sunday, April 19th at 6pm MDT. It will be rebroadcast Sunday April 26 at 11:00 a.m. on Ch.5.1., and on FNX Ch.5.3. Wednesday, April 22 at 6 p.m., and Saturday, April 25 at 1 p.m.

KRWG will air on channel 22.1, Sunday, April 26 at 5 p.m.

KENW  on their FNX channel 3.4,  Sunday, April 26 at 6 p.m.


**Guest list is subject to change


Conroy Chino (Acoma) - Moderator/Host

Michelle Lujan Grisham – New Mexico Governor

Debra Haaland (Laguna) US Congresswoman

Lynn Trujillo (Sandia) – Secretary, NM Department of Indian Affiars

Dr. David Scrase – Secretary, NM Department of Human Services

Kathyleen Kunkel – Secretary, NM Department of Health

Bill McCamley – Secretary, NM Department of Workforce Solutions

Jonathan Nez (Navajo) – Navajo Nation President

Wilfred Hererra Jr.(Laguna) – Vice Chairman, All Pueblo Council of Governors