Grassroots Group Protect Native Elders Partners with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to Distribute More than 300,000 Face Masks and More to Tribal Communities
SAN FRANCISCO, October 16, 2020 /3BL Media/ - As Native American communities continue to grapple with the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, preparing for both winter and another potential spike in cases, grassroots organization Protect Native Elders has been busy delivering PPE with the help of partners like Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA).
FCA has been supporting Protect Native Elders efforts for several months. As part of the program, FCA has donated over 300,000 face masks and 30,000 face shields, that have been distributed to over 50 indigenous communities across the country. FCA also provided use of four Jeep® and Ram trucks to support the distribution of critical supplies and relief efforts.
“Native communities have been some of the hardest hit in the U.S. and have been dealing with the crisis with some of the fewest resources,” said Dmitri Novomeiski, co-founder of Protect Native Elders. “Most of the relief and support has come from grassroots organizations like ours that have risen to meet the demands of the moment. Having organizations like FCA come to help these tribal communities that have been marginalized and under-resourced for so long is a great example of good corporate citizenship.”
“We are grateful to be able to support Native American communities, whom we consider an intergral part of our extended FCA family,” said Mark Stewart, Chief Operations Officer, Fiat Chrysler North America. “Working closely with the Protect Native Elders team allows us to route supplies quickly where they are needed most.”
FCA actively supports its First Nations Business Resource Group (BRG) for employees of Native American heritage, one of 10 employee-directed organizations representing a range of affinity communities that support multicultural understanding in the company and the career development needs of employees. The company also was named to the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) Top 50 Workplaces for Indigenous STEM Professionals in the Spring 2020 issue of Winds of Change magazine.
Reports from the Center for Disease Control have found that COVID-19 has disproportionately affected Native communities; in some cases, Native communities have tested positive for COVID-19 at 3.5 times the rate of neighboring white communities. The coming winter season brings additional annual challenges for remote and rural tribal communities that don’t always have access to running water or fresh food. Volunteer and grassroots support from organizations like Protect Native Elders and others filled vital gaps in PPE supply chains and will continue to do so as the pandemic drags on and federal aid is limited.
About Protect Native Elders
Protect Native Elders is a national Native-led inter-tribal organization providing rapid support to Native American communities in their response to COVID-19. The all-volunteer team is focused on PPE and critical supply relief, advocacy programs, and initiatives, such as food and water, to support indigenous sovereignty. Since its founding in late March 2020, Protect Native Elders has distributed more than $750,000 in supplies to more than 70 tribal communities across the continent. Learn more at protectnativeelders.org.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is a global automaker that designs, engineers, manufactures and sells vehicles in a portfolio of exciting brands, including Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Jeep®, Lancia, Ram and Maserati. It also sells parts and services under the Mopar name and operates in the components and production systems sectors under the Comau and Teksid brands. FCA employs nearly 200,000 people around the globe. For more details regarding FCA (NYSE: FCAU/ MTA: FCA), please visit www.fcagroup.com.