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Wes Studi PSA aims to increase awareness of COVID-19's effect on Native Americans

Wes Studi PSA aims to increase awareness of COVID-19's effect on Native Americans

Wes Studi

Actor Wes Studi, shown at the 2019 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting Awards and Live Read in Beverly Hills, Calif., has developed a new PSA about COVID-19’s impact on Native Americans. Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP

Cherokee actor Wes Studi has developed a public service announcement to raise awareness of the serious effects of COVID-19 in native communities and request support for Partnership With Native Americans (PWNA) to ensure Native Americans are not left behind during the pandemic.

A news release said many tribes have instated strict shelter-in-place orders to mitigate the spread of the virus. The release said the risk of contracting the virus is higher among Native Americans due to overcrowded housing and high rates of diabetes, kidney disease and asthma. And despite more than 7,100 confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the Navajo Nation and other tribal communities, federal aid has been slow to arrive.

In the PSA, Studi reminds the public of the need for immediate attention and charitable donations to PWNA, which has secured tribal clearances and follows CDC and tribal guidelines to continue delivering critical items, such as food, water, sanitizer and personal protective equipment.

“Every day, remote reservation communities face shortages of food, water and health care, and COVID-19 has magnified that reality,” Joshua Arce, PWNA president and CEO, said in the release. “Donations are critical now as we bring relief to under-resourced communities.”

Studi indicated that PWNA is a nonprofit he trusts. In 2019, the actor and PWNA collaborated on a five-part video series that gives an accurate portrayal of reservation life and dispels long-held myths that continue to impact native communities.

To watch the PSA, visit and share on social media using #NativeHope and #COVID19. You can also donate online or call 800-416-8102 to learn more.


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Scene Writer

I cover pop culture and work as a feature writer at the Tulsa World. A former Oklahoma sports writer of the year, I have written books about former OU coach Barry Switzer and former OSU coach Pat Jones. Phone: 918-581-8389

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