SANTA FE – New Mexico Indian Affairs Department and New Mexico Human Services Department, Behavioral Health Services Division – Office of Substance Abuse Prevention partnered with Local Collaboratives (LC): LC 15 – Navajo Nation, LC 16 – Pueblos of Cochiti, Jemez, Kewa, Sandia, San Felipe, Santa Ana, Zia and LC 18 – Eight Northern Pueblos of Nambe, Ohkay Owingeh, Picuris, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso, Santa Clara, Taos, Tesuque to create a COVID-19 coloring book for tribal youth.
The coloring book will feature artwork from renowned Native American cartoonist Ricardo Caté, whose cartoon, “Without Reservations” is published daily in the Santa Fe New Mexican and The Taos News. Caté uses humor as an effective way to discuss serious topics like COVID-19 within Native American communities.
“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. Stoodis, N.M. I will continue to promote the COVID-19 safety precautions across the state, through my work as a cartoonist, film maker, and radio show host,” Caté said (Tsewtewa).
Data in New Mexico reveals that Native Americans continue to be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The latest statewide data shows that nearly 34 percent of all positive cases in New Mexico are Native American. 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.
The process of coloring is also known to help reduce stress and anxiety. Coloring books combine children and youth’s innate creative curiosity and are a proven learning tool for the entire family.
“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. Together we can flatten the curve and protect some of our most vulnerable populations. This is a fun way to do that,” IAD Cabinet Secretary Lynn Trujillo said.
“New Mexico Native Americans are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and it is important to continue to spread awareness in the community by using culturally appropriate messaging,” said BHSD director, Neal A. Bowen, PhD.
Each tribal community will receive coloring books for distribution which will be shared across social media, news media, the Indian Affairs Department website, and A Dose of Reality website. Youth are asked to share their coloring pages by posting a photo on @doseofrealitynm on Facebook or doseofreality on Instagram with the tag #StoodisNM. The coloring book is downloadable on https://doseofreality.com/toolkit/native-american-outreach/
To view the coloring book, click here.