Film 5

5420: How the Colorado River Indian Tribes Tackled a Pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe like never before in the modern world, the Colorado River Indian Tribes Council braced itself while hearing bad news from elsewhere in Indian Country. Headline after headline told the story of how bad it could get. This short film documents – for people today and into the far future – the actions taken by CRIT to protect its people in the spring and summer of 2020. In the past, the Tribes could defend themselves from threats using protests, attorneys, and by asserting themselves culturally. But this was different: the threat was invisible, and deadly. Council resolutions ordering people to stay at home and wear masks, distribution of food, caring for elders, decisions to close the casino, and many other recent events document a new reality for CRIT people.

Using video clips, audio, photos, music, and especially interviews with the key players involved, the filmmakers tell the story of how, once again, the Colorado River Indian Tribes takes action to survive when it needs to.