Native Youth Resources for COVID-19

Across Indian Country, we are witnessing tribal leaders and national Native organizations taking action to protect and position Native nations to see a better tomorrow. In order to take care of others, we must first starts learn how to properly protect ourselves.

The Center for Native American Youth has pulled together resources that illustrate best practices to keep yourself safe and provide trusted information about the coronavirus itself.

Handwashing Basics:

Washing your hands seems so simple, but it’s one of the best methods for prevention.

  • Wet your hands with clean water and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands and rub them together like you’re cleaning freshly picked huckleberries. Be sure to scrub the back of your hands between your finger and your fingernails.
  • Scrub for 20 seconds or more. It helps if you sing your favorite Northern Cree song.
  • Rinse off soap and give a good shake then dry with a clean towel.

Physical Distancing:

As hard as it is for us to not participate in our cultural gatherings and ceremonies, physical distancing slows down the spread of the coronavirus, which keeps our resources available to those in need.

  • Stay away from mass gatherings of ten or more people.
  • Keep a distance of at least 6 feet, about one body length, or one canoe length-away from other people.
  • Avoid touching other people, and that includes handshakes and fist bumps.

Tips for How and When to use a face mask:

When to use a face mask:

  • If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection.
  • Wear a mask if YOU are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-washing with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • If you wear a mask then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.

How to use a face mask:

  • Cover your mouth and nose. Make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
  • Avoid touch the mask. If you do have to touch your mask, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • Replace the mask with a newer one as soon as it becomes damp. Do not reuse disposable masks.

How to properly take care of your cloth or fabric mask:

  • Fabric face masks should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use.
  • A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering.
  • Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering and wash hands immediately after removing.

Before putting on a face mask:

  • Make sure your hands are clean. Use proper hand washing techniques with soap and water listed above, or use a small amount of alcohol-based hand rub.

Tips To keep yourself healthy:

  • Do not touch your face.
  • Wash your hands as often as you can, long enough to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice or the chorus of Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts”. 
  • If you can’t do that, use a small amount of hand sanitizer that’s not sweet smelling and is at least 60% alcohol.
  • When you cough or sneeze, make sure to use your ‘chicken wing’ or the bend in your elbow.
  • And, seriously, if you’re sick stay home.
  • If you want more on the latest of what’s happening around the world, go to the CDC’s website,

For other Up-to-Date Resources and Support from We R Native: