New Mexico is hoping to teach children the dangers of COVID-19 through the cartoons and speech bubbles of a coloring book.
The state Indian Affairs and Human Services departments partnered with the Navajo Nation and 15 pueblos to publish the Stoodis NM Coloring Book, which is slang for “let’s do this, New Mexico.”
The book features the art of Native American cartoonist Ricardo Caté, whose cartoon Without Reservations is published in The New Mexican and The Taos News.
“We are all in this together. We know what needs to be done to keep our communities safe and healthy, we just need to do it,” Caté said in a statement. “I will continue to promote the COVID-19 safety precautions across the state through my work.”
Native Americans continue to be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 as they make up about 11 percent of the state’s population but 34 percent of all known cases. According to a news release, the goal of the coloring book is to continue to raise awareness and educate tribal communities by using culturally relevant messaging on how to take precautions and why it is important to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“We will continue to work to support our Nations, Tribes, and Pueblos on what they can do to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Indian Affairs Secretary Lynn Trujillo said in a statement. “Together we can flatten the curve and protect some of our most vulnerable populations. This is a fun way to do that.”
Each tribal community will receive coloring books for distribution. Youth are asked to share their coloring pages by posting a photo on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #StoodisNM. The coloring book is downloadable at doseofreality.com/toolkit/native-american-outreach/.