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3 takeaways from Facilitator Nadine Tafoya’s vaccine discussions with Native American communities

Supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Horizon Foundation, Understanding Diverse Communities and Supporting Equitable and Informed COVID-19 Vaccination Decision-Making included three waves of Community Conversations with Native American, Latinx, African American and Asian American community members. It focused on how public health and other stakeholders can best understand and support Covid-19 vaccine decision-making. 


Nadine Tafoya facilitated discussions with two tribes in Montana and North Dakota and shares three takeaways from her conversations, saying, “In our tribal communities, lots and lots of things happen together as a community. And so people in these two tribal communities, they miss that. They want to get back to normal.”


Her other two takeaways have to do with trust. She explains, “The second thing that I think jumped out at me was that some of the folks were hesitant to get vaccines [because of] their historical experience and distrust of the federal government. And then the third thing that I thought was really interesting was that,folks have a deep trust in their tribal leadership. They were acting on behalf of the community. And so they trusted their leadership.”

Nadine Tafoya is a member of the Mescalero Apache Tribe of New Mexico. She is an elder, a mother, and a grandmother. Nadine has spent her career as a clinical social worker addressing health disparities among Native Americans and other communities of color.

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