https://www.npr.org/2022/02/23/ [login to see] /native-american-student-athletes-wyoming-reservation-mask-mandate Student athletes on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming are grateful mask mandates aren't going away there, even as they continue to fall away across the country. They feel like the mandate has helped keep them healthy and competing as other schools across the state have had to cancel games because of covid infections.
On a recent basketball game night at Wyoming Indian High School in the reservation town of Ethete, the announcer introduces the hometown Chiefs in a mix of English and Arapaho.
The gym is usually packed, but this year because of COVID-19 protocols the crowds have been reduced.
The Wind River Reservation, home to the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes, has had a mask mandate since early in the pandemic. That's unusual in Wyoming, a conservative state where COVID-19 restrictions are not popular.
Chiefs team captain Videl C'Bearing, a senior, says being able to play ball has really helped him get through the pandemic.
"You need physical activity to help you get your mind straight. And that's what I think about basketball, it's therapy. Like when I'm mad, or whatever, my just first thought is, 'Man, I'm gonna go shoot around somewhere,' " he says.
Good for them. Glad to see they are acting in their own best interests. I'm sure the state is trying to undo their mandate. But, they don't operate under state law. They are a sovereign nation. Hope the other Native American nations are doing as well.