Gov. Evers tours Ho-Chunk Nation vaccination site

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers speaking after touring the Ho-Chunk Nation's COVID-19 vaccination...
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers speaking after touring the Ho-Chunk Nation's COVID-19 vaccination site in Jackson County, Wis.(Max Cotton)
Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 6:58 PM CDT
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JACKSON COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) - Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers toured a Ho-Chunk Nation COVID-19 mass vaccination site at the its District 1 Community Center in Jackson County Thursday before participating in a roundtable discussion on health equity.

Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, and state Department of Health Services interim Secretary Karen Timberlake and others joined Evers at the event.

At the event, Evers complimented the Ho-Chunk Nation’s work vaccinating its community and others. In addition to Ho-Chunk Nation tribal members, the site’s open to anyone in Wisconsin who meets the state’s vaccination guidelines.

“Ho-Chunk Nation has great partners to our state and our communities. Not only vaccinating members of the tribal nation, but others, and today is a good example of that,” he said.

The Ho-Chunk Nation said it’s administered more than 5,000 shots. More than a third of Ho-Chunk Nation tribal members in Wisconsin have gotten at least their first vaccine dose.

“I’m really glad that I got it done,” Ho-Chunk Nation tribal elder Lance Long said.

Long received his second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine Thursday.

“Now that we got the second shot things could be a whole lot better with our family, our relatives,” he said. “You know, we can’t meet in large groups like we used to but I feel like we’re being more safer because, most of our relatives, they’ve gotten their second shot already.”

Despite the Ho-Chunk Nation’s success vaccinating people, not everything’s perfect.

Kiana Beaduin, the Ho-Chunk Nation’s Department of Health’s Executive Director, said some tribal members are skeptical about the vaccine. Some have concerns about how new it is, others don’t completely trust the health care system.

“There’s the historical trauma in the past relating to not only government but health care systems,” she said.

Long said some of his family members are skeptical about the vaccine.

“Some of them, they’re just not used to getting shots or getting any kind of medication,” he said “They try to make it on their own.”

While admitting he was skeptical too, Long said he wanted to set an example as a tribal elder getting vaccinated.

The Ho-Chunk Nation District 1 Community Center site offers vaccines each Thursday. It’s located near Black River Falls.

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