Across the nation, Native American tribes are working to protect their oldest members from the coronavirus. The effort is about more than protecting lives. Tribal elders serve as honored links to the past and often possess unique knowledge of language, history and culture. That knowledge is all the more valuable because tribes often pass down their traditions orally. Tribal groups are distributing protective gear, delivering meals and racing to obtain vaccines for their eldest generations. That includes the Navajo Nation in the Southwest, the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma, the Blackfeet Nation in Montana and Mashantucket Pequot Nation in Connecticut.