Makah center given funds to aid vaccine confidence

NEAH BAY — The Makah Cultural and Research Center has been awarded funding from Communities for Immunity in support of its work to promote vaccine confidence in Neah Bay.

The $9,997 award will support Makah Cultural and Research Center (MCRR) work to increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence and to expand access to trustworthy information concerning both COVID-19 and vaccines “by dissemination of accurate and informative resources that have been vetted by trusted medical authorities,” according to a press release.

“The MCRC is fortunate to receive the funds to assist with the overall efforts of the Makah Tribe to build vaccine confidence,” said Janine Ledford, executive director.

“We know that smallpox vaccines were available in the 1790s, yet Makahs didn’t have access to them and hundreds of our people died in 1852. Our ancestors signed the Treaty of Neah Bay in 1855, in part, due to the U.S. Government’s promise to provide vaccinations to Makahs,” she added in the release.

“We are using the wisdom of our ancestors to sustain ourselves and strengthen future generations.”

Projects

This project will also inspire Makah and Neah Bay community members to get vaccinated.

Testimonials of Neah Bay community members impacted by COVID-19, each less than five minutes long, will be videotaped and posted on the Makah Tribe’s portal.

T-shirts and canvas bags, with a new design by a Makah artist, will be given to vaccinated community members.

“The MCRC will network with the Sophie Trettevick Indian Health Clinic (STIHC) to ensure that the Neah Bay community gets consistent and accurate information about COVID-19 and the vaccines,” the press release said.

The STIHC, led by Dr. Libby Cope, Makah Tribal Health Officer, has been the frontline of the Makah Tribe’s COVID response, the release said.

Since December 2020, STIHC’s efforts have resulted in COVID-19 vaccine rates of 81.6 percent fully vaccinated and 84.5 percent partially vaccinated with one dose of the residential population ages 12 and older.

Supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Communities for Immunity is an initiative of the Association of Science and Technology Centers, the American Alliance of Museums, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Network of the National Library of Medicine.

It funds awards and support to museums and libraries engaging their communities to boost COVID-19 vaccine confidence.

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