For far more than two months, David Deer visited his father’s clinic window everyday during his fight with COVID-19. Each individual time, he burned cedar outside the developing in prayer. 

“I just arrived each day to lift my father up and carry this medical center up,” Deer stated. 

Very last week, Chickasaw Lighthorse law enforcement ordered Deer to go away the residence and experienced a conversation with a hospital workers member. Deer, a member of the Absentee Shawnee Tribe, broadcasted the interactions on Fb. 

In the video clip, an unidentified personnel member informed Deer it was “against the law” to burn cedar on healthcare facility assets. 

In reaction, Deer and some others organized a protest at the hospital. A team of about 30 persons walked to a courtyard and peacefully prayed. Medical center personnel aided orchestrate the demonstration to assure affected person privacy was protected. 

The goal of the protest was to contact out the Chickasaw employees and to make sure other natives are not discriminated against dependent on faith, Deer stated. 

“Someone has to be held accountable or this is likely to come about all over again. And we never want this to occur yet again,” he stated. 

Kevin R. Kemper, Deer’s attorney explained they are conference with associates of the Chickasaw government to focus on the challenge and doable remedies. Kemper said they are geared up to file a lawsuit in the make any difference if discussions are not productive. 

 “We’re not backing down,” he stated. “A person who is praying over a dying father. If he can’t say these prayers in the way that he thinks in the depths of his heart, then we have way extra complications worse than COVID.” 

Kevin Meeks, the deputy secretary of the Chickasaw Department of Health issued a statement pursuing News 9’s request for comment. 

“COVID-19 has made many problems and road blocks in overall health care,” Meeks mentioned. “We are continuously operating to adapt to those people worries including our addressing the have to have for loved ones users to take a look at individuals from outside the house their window even though protecting the privateness of all people. We have generally valued standard and spiritual tactics and have processes in place to honor individuals traditions while guaranteeing all safety needs are fulfilled. We have reviewed our plan and are equipped to safely and securely accommodate requests for ceremonial smudging, burning of cedar or sage outside. Our intention is to go on offering quality care to our patients as we navigate these evolving moments.”