COVID-19 does not discriminate. It doesn’t care where you live. It doesn’t care how important it is for you to gather with friends and family. For many months, the number of cases per 1,000 people in our Region [Bethel, Bethel Census and Kusilvak Census areas] has been a significantly higher rate compared to Anchorage.
For now, we need to take precautions. Every act we take adds up.
Wear a mask to protect your family and our Elders, wash your hands often, and keep your gatherings very small or hold off until a later date.
A COVID-19 vaccine is available to some Alaskans, and soon to all Alaskans. It is important for us to conquer this pandemic. Many of our communities have been hit hard by COVID-19.
As Alaska Native people we are fortunate to receive the vaccine earlier than many across the state. Our ancestors paid for this privilege in advance, claiming our right to medical care. Getting your vaccination and keeping our communities healthy honors the sacrifices made by our ancestors.
A recent Centers for Disease Control study showed Alaska Native and American Indians are nearly four times more likely to get the coronavirus than non-Native people.
The COVID vaccines are highly effective and necessary to ensure healthy communities and to protect our families and our Elders.
We are asking you to get vaccinated. Our future depends on it. Many of our lives, especially the lives of our Elders, depend on it. If we all do our part, we will conquer COVID. Quyana.
This was originally published in the Storyknife, January/February 2021 edition.
Andrew Guy, Calista Corporaiton President and CEO
The following is from Rev. William Marrion Branham. He preached a message he titled, “Life Story” back in 1952. He had a taped ministry from 1948 to 1965, which I listen to all the time. Pastor Branham passed away in 1965.
And that’s the reason, today, I’M SO FIRMLY AGAINST DRINKING. The reason I’m so firmly against that stuff, because I knew it ruined my home, and spoiled me from a love; that I always wanted to be loved, have somebody to love me. And even my people in that way, while I was…I—I just didn’t have it. And we went to school half-naked. And what a horrible life we had all because of drink. My daddy was a—was a real man, if he just have hadn’t have had that habit of drinking.
AND I KNOW THAT IT IS ONE OF THE CURSES OF THE NATION, AND *I’M AGAINST THE THING.
You say, “Will a little beer hurt you?” You just get borned again and go ahead and drink all the beer you want to, after you get born again. That’s right. You can just drink all you want after you get borned again. But you get borned again first, and that—that’s all you have to do.
So then, I remember in school one day when I seen, reading in my history, I was looking there, and no one was sitting there, and kiddies laughing at me, being so ragged, my hair hanging down my neck. And they’d laugh at me. And I was reading a book where Abraham Lincoln got off of a boat down in New Orleans, and he was…he—he seen a colored man being auctioned off. And he said, “That’s wrong.” He said, “That’s wrong. And someday I will hit that. If it takes my life, I will hit it.” And he did, and it took his life. Exactly.
And I scooted my geography book, not mine, but one I had borrowed. I didn’t have any of my own. I pushed it back, and I said, “And drinking is wrong, and someday I will hit it if it takes my life.” Against it? Yes, sir.
And I say this in regards right now, that any person that’s really had a touch of Jesus Christ is finished with drinking. That’s right.
I got my first Bible. People used to say, “Is it wrong to do this? Wrong to smoke? Wrong to drink?”
I made a little, put a little slogan in the back of my Bible. I picked it up here a few days ago, was looking at it, a little bitty old Bible. I said, don’t ask me foolish questions, just make this up in your mind. If you love the Lord with all your heart, you don’t smoke, chew, or drink any shine.
And that’s right. That’s still thing’s good and that’s been twenty years ago since I wrote it in there. A man that’s borned again has no use for the stuff. Now, look what it’s hatched out here in America.”