COVID-19 Messaging Campaign Honors the Resilience of Pacific Northwest Indigenous Communities

Yakama Nation artist Toma Villa creates the 'Resilience' mural featured throughout the PSA.

PORTLAND, OR – The Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB) and Oregon Health and Science University’s Northwest Native American Center of Excellence (NNACoE) has produced and released a Public Service Announcement (PSA) recognizing the efforts of Northwest tribal communities in combatting COVID-19. Early data suggests AI/AN communities are being vaccinated at a higher rate than other ethnic populations.

Tribal partnerships highlight the need for improved public health resources to some of the most underserved communities in the nation through digital and mainstream media campaigns. Entitled “Resilience,” the PSA features tribal artists, skateboarders, youth wearing masks, and those getting vaccinated, identifying preservation at the intersection between modern and traditional activities.

American Indian and Alaska Native communities are familiar with the far-reaching impacts of pandemics – COVID-19 serves as a sad reminder of the ancestors lost to diseases of the past. In order to address the disparate impact of COVID-19 on tribal communities, it is imperative to prevent, prepare, and respond in ways that meet the unique needs of urban and rural AI/AN communities.

Tribally directed community messaging strategies offers ideas for adapting within one’s culture, while protecting their family and their community during the pandemic. While many forms of information have been offered in the digital media and telehealth space, few reflect the nuances of AI/AN culture or portray AI/AN subjects.

Together, in partnership with A Twilight Dawn Productions, Buffalo Nickel Creative and local tribal communities, NPAIHB and NNACoE are producing COVID-19 PSAs on highest priority topics. Additional PSAs created under the partnership can be found here: