In an act of solidarity that spans centuries, Irish people have come together to donate coronavirus relief funds to the Navajo Nation and Hopi reservation. This was done in return for a donation of $170 – roughly $5,000 today – collected by the Choctaw Native American tribe and sent to Ireland in 1847, during the country’s devastating potato famine.

Donations were made through a GoFundMe page set up by the two tribes. The Irish people began donated en masse after journalist Naomi O’Leary of the Irish Times shared the link on Twitter.

“Native Americans raised a huge amount in famine relief for Ireland at a time when they had very little,” O'Leary said in a tweet from Saturday. “It's time for is [sic] to come through for them now.”

The campaign has raised over $2.6 million so far, with a goal of $3 million. The funds are intended to be used for food, water, and clothing for the Navajo and Hopi people during this uncertain and turbulent time.

From Ireland, 170 years later, the favour is returned!” one Irish donor said in a message to the campaign. “To our Native American brothers and sisters in your moment of hardship.”

The Choctaw’s donation came a mere 16 years after they were one of the tribes exiled from their lands by the U.S. government and sent away on the Trail of Tears. So goes the history, the tribe cobbled together as much as they could due to their shared understanding of hardship and starvation.

“We felt their pain,” Choctaw Nation Chief Gary Batton explained to CNN. “We sensed what they were dealing with.”

The act has echoed throughout the ensuing decades and created an unlikely kinship between the two peoples. Ireland commemorated the Choctaw’s generosity in 2017, erecting a 23-foot-tall monument consisting of nine steel eagle feathers. In 2018, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar made a visit to the Choctaw people in Oklahoma.

The Navajo Nation alone has experienced over 2,700 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 70 deaths. The federal government has pledged the tribe $600 million in relief funding.