Minnesota, United States, Federal Government discussed on Amanpour
Our next guest has been personally affected by the corona virus. Peggy Flanagan is Minnesota's lieutenant governor and in March her brother died because of covert nineteen. Flanagan is the second native American woman to be elected to statewide executive office in the United States. And she talks to a Michelle Martin about how native Americans like the Hispanic and African American communities are being disproportionately hit right now. Lieutenant Governor thank you so much for talking with us today so delighted to have you with us. Thanks so much for having me I appreciate it. Are you want to offer the condolences? So everyone here on the less of your brother and this comes just after you lost your father earlier. This year offer Nolan. Since thank you I appreciate that. This is Certainly a difficult year for our family. my brother. My Dad was hospitalized towards the end of last year my brother drove up north and stayed by his side until he he walked on and until he was buried and then he went back home on. Tennessee and just a few weeks later Started feeling sick and went to the doctor and was diagnosed with cancer. received his first treatments Went home in a few days later was admitted to the hospital due to on difficulty breathing. A couple leader was tested and it was confirmed that he had co bed on me needed to place him on a ventilator and put him in a medically induced coma and he did not survive and so on my family we will have the opportunity to memorialize him and his ashes will be Thread next to my dad On the reservation Then we will have that opportunity in the future but right now my brother is a marine. And he would have signed girl. Get back to it. And that's what that's what we're doing on. So many other families are just trying to move through their grief. I see well again condolences on your stories then so many many others during the sign so let us speak about your public responsibilities. Are you are Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota? You are the second native romance. Ud elected statewide office in the country. So there are eleven native tribes in Minnesota and but I understand that you were concerned about tribal members really speaks to travel numbers across the country. Zeiger specific concerns about tribal numbers. That are distinct from those of everyone dealing with the current situation that you'd want to highlight for US star. I think one of the most important things for for people to know I think is is that we still exist. Their ads Erasure that happens of of native people and illuminate is is a is a nonprofit organization that conducted a study where they found that forty percents of Americans don't realize that native American people still exist though. If you don't even know that we're still here Addressing and helping to find solutions to the issues that are community that becomes even even more home but additionally are health disparities are something that that our community certainly deals with underlying conditions such as heart disease diabetes Asthma And then puts us even more at risk for our contracting covert and then developing Applications from that among Americans actually the incidence of some of these conditions is far higher than the general population. You just share a little bit about that. That's correct so We are at the top of many the the list that you don't want to be Allah at the top of Van so again when it comes. Stage shoes around our heart. Disease and diabetes Any kind of complications I think you know as we are As we're tackling some of these things to were also navigating through housing shortages on and Access to To food to all the things I think that Some folks take for granted and a lot of our. Our tribal communities ARE NOT AUSTIN EASILY ACCESSIBLE. And the biggest thing is that you know we've been working with our tribes here in. Minnesota is just the acknowledgement that Our tribes have. It's it's an so much of the revenue source for tribes has happened through Through gaming and You know we certainly The governor and I couldn't issue an order asking casinos to close but our tribal leaders made that decision on their own and followed followed by the states at homeowner on and that was really difficult. A really difficult position. So one of the you know the things that we've also done is Which together as we were working on our response I in partnership with the tribes we put together by tribal assistance funds on that we were able to move through the legislature Eleven million dollars and not fun to then give individual grants which. I've eletions absent money while they're waiting for. The additional support should come federal governments so that they can get reimbursed by and other things. The reality is that you know. Millions of tribal members get their healthcare through the Indian Health Service which was set up in exchange for access to you know tribal lands. What is your understanding of the testing situation? I mean we're hearing from governors across the country that they're competing with each other is the Indian Health Service similarly having to compete with other entities. These things what is the situation there first of all. I'm glad that you acknowledged just the we were guaranteed to things which is education and healthcare in exchange for all of the meaning of the United States Indian Health Service has never been adequately funded and has never been the healthcare needs of of native people and so now we have this presence on top of it. It's simply only exacerbating. I think some of those shortfalls comes to testing the cracks. That we that the Indian Health Service is also competing with the states to get the testing equipment of up and We find ourselves in a situation where it sure would be helpful if the federal government at a better job or needing throughout the states and within the in house press one of the challenges that we've had in. Minnesota is even when we received these has kids as a state The reagents that is needed for these kids or additional. Swabs are not included. And so if you're sending out a kit you can't actually use it unless it's complete so we're following. The tribes in our state is to find out if they have in. Fact received a full kids who begin testing than mean has. has not been matched when it comes to testing. I think for states but a bit especially for our our native nations across the country. The federal government has pledged as part of the latest. The Release Act has pledged. You know some millions of dollars To the trouble nations for the same reason this money is being sent to other other other groups and individuals has any of that money been received yet to your knowledge. Some of it has I think the the large amount of the eight billion dollars that was allocated by Congress That money has not been disturbed. Yes and the issue there is that Treasury has never Directly granted or sent money to tribes before and so they're trying to determine what the appropriate formula is for the the dispersion and those funds. I'm I'm worried about How that formula will be a develops There are five hundred seventy three native nations within the borders of United States of America and You know for an entity that has not done this yet. I think we are paying close attention to how they determine as they're going through consultation how these funds will be dispersed but we are weeks and weeks into this crisis and I worry about the ability to get that money. How quickly and and for for folks to for our leaders to be able to meet that needs no. I know that many folks are paying close attention. Now you're telling us that there are eleven tribulations in Minnesota. You governor rated to put together a package for the child within the state of what? What's their situation? I mean is your worst case. Scenario coming through there no so far We are We do we do daily calls with with tribal leaders along with our congressional partners And you know. I think that that's been really important to make sure that we are communicating effectively with What the needs are better. Coordinate with local county health officials that type of thing and we're really we were able to implement that because the governor and I have made through her at that our relationships would try to leashes has been a real priority for our industry To because of that relationship we've been able to get you a better spot. A big with coordination response now We do know that. At the Red Lake Nation. For example on six hundred of their tribal members are experiencing homelessness and even in that is a a real issue as revealing about how people can do social distance saying stay at home limited exposure. And so we're working With with Red Lake on on that particular issue but are logging either. Nations are Spore Dakota seven or nations In Minnesota You all have their unique situations. Were just trying to communicate and get them the resources that they need in the short-term we make those connections to be able to respond to take care of of their communities for the one other thing that I would mention here too is that Fifty percents of native Americans don't live on reservations and so we have pretty significant urban population.