MISSION – The Incident Command Team is granting permission to CTUIR community residents and their immediate family members to practice traditional sweat, reconsidering a March 24 order prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is highly encouraged that sweat only continue with individuals that reside within your immediate household and does not include extended family or community members (to include community sweat),” states a news release from the Incident Command Team.
There is still a great risk of spreading COVID-19 within the CTUIR community, according to the ICT news release. Any conditions in which you are within a confined space with little to no airflow will quickly exacerbate the spread from one individual to another. To date, there have been no research studies to prove, or disprove, that conditions within a traditional sweat lodge will “kill” the virus that causes the disease COVID-19.
The ICT continues to monitor and manage the emerging situation concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a very serious situation with Tribal, local, national and international implications.
The ICT will share information on a frequent and regular basis as quickly as decisions are made. It has reviewed and considered all recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) as they become available, however, the CTUIR has the authority to choose how the guidance is used in this community.
The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation is made up of the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla Tribes, formed under the Treaty of 1855 at the Walla Walla Valley, 12 statute 945. In 1949, the Tribes adopted a constitutional form of government to protect, preserve and enhance the treaty rights guaranteed under federal statute.