I am a tribal member of the Cherokee nation. I work for the federal government. I do not want to get the Covid Vaccine because I believe it the dividing the of the two trails in the Hopi Prophecy. I want to get a religious exemption but where would I get that since my religion is traditional first nation?

Hi there! Thanks for writing in.

This pandemic and the responses to it have certainly brought a lot of complexity into the mix, especially now that some organizations are requiring their employees to get vaccinated.

Here’s what I could find on religious exemptions:

The right to request a religious exemption stems from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects workers from discrimination on the basis of religion, among other things. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says employers must provide reasonable accommodations for workers who have sincerely held religious beliefs — unless doing so poses an undue hardship.

First, employers may probe whether an employee’s religious belief is in fact sincere. They may ask questions about that employee’s vaccination history or church attendance. If the employer determines the belief is not sincere, it may deny the exemption request. But even if an employee’s religious belief is determined to be sincere, it’s the employer who decides what the reasonable accommodation will be. It does not have to be the accommodation requested by the employee.

Here’s what we know about COVID vaccines:

Many people have reported side effects that may affect their ability to do daily activities, but they should go away within a few days.

How does getting vaccinated connect to the Hopi prophecy?

We understand that the Hopi prophecy asks us to live in harmony with nature and includes taking care of each other. And, we know that COVID-19 vaccination is a safer way to help build protection for our Tribal communities, especially in protecting our elders and children who are our future ancestors.

I wish you the best of luck in making your decision and I hope that this helps a little.

Take care,

Auntie Manda

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