The Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities will provide a voice for Michigan’s Tribal Nations
Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi (NHBP) Tribal Council Chairperson Jamie Stuck was recently appointed to the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
This task force will specifically examine how the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted communities of color throughout Michigan. While African Americans represent 13.6 percent of Michigan’s population, they represent a staggering 40 percent of the deaths from COVID-19. The task force will act in an advisory capacity to Governor Whitmer, and study the causes of racial disparities in the impact of COVID-19 and recommend actions to immediately address such disparities, as well as the historical and systemic inequities that underlie them.
The task force will investigate the causes of racial disparities in the impact of COVID-19, recommend actions to address those disparities, and suggest ways to:
- Increase transparency in reporting data regarding the racial and ethnic impact of COVID-19.
- Remove barriers to accessing physical and mental health care.
- Reduce the impact of medical bias in testing and treatment.
- Mitigate environmental and infrastructure factors contributing to increased exposure during pandemics, resulting in mortality.
- Develop and improve systems for supporting long-term economic recovery, and physical and mental health care following a pandemic.
The Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities will be chaired by Michigan Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist and include Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon or his designee, Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun, and a diverse panel of 23 members who were also appointed by Governor Whitmer.
For more information about the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities, visit: https://www.michigan.gov/whitmer/0,9309,7-387-90499_90640-526478–,00.htm
About The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi
NHBP, a federally recognized Tribal government with more than 1,500 enrolled Tribal Members, gained federal recognition December 19, 1995. The Tribe’s main offices are located at the Pine Creek Indian Reservation near Athens, Michigan, and in Grand Rapids, Michigan. NHBP provides benefits, programs and services to Tribal Members through various Tribal government departments, as well as a Tribal Police Department, Tribal Court and Gaming Commission.
NHBP’s economic development entities include FireKeepers Casino Hotel (FKCH), a Vegas-style casino, and Waséyabek Development Company, LLC (WDC), which focuses on the pursuit of non-gaming, economic diversification opportunities.
Under the Tribal-State Gaming Compact, NHBP distributes a percentage of its annual slot machine revenue from FKCH to both the State of Michigan and to the Local Revenue Sharing Board (LRSB). The Native American Heritage Fund, established in 2016, serves to provide resources to improve curricula and educational resources related to Michigan Indian history, as well as to fund initiatives that promote mutual respect and cooperation between local communities and Michigan’s federally recognized Tribes.