Covid-19 Daily News Digest – April 9, 2020
More aid, PPE needed for First Nations, Metis
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde says money earmarked for First Nations for COVID-19 response so far is not proportional to the populations in their communities and more financial help will be needed
Coronavirus is not the ‘great equalizer’ – race matters: U of T expert
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said: “Our government is going to make sure that no matter where you live, what you do or who you are, you get the support you need during this time.” This sounds good in a speech, but how will it be practised in a system that does not provide adequate services for racialized and marginalized communities?
History tells us these disparities increase during stressful times.
Mayor defends decision not to host evacuees
Mayor Bill Mauro says the city’s recent decision not to host residents of First Nations evacuated due to flooding or forest fires this year was “very difficult.”
“I simply look at our paramedic chief, our fire chief and our police chief, and I say, can we manage this? And are we able to meet our response times for the people in the city of Thunder Bay?”.
MMA seeks support from Island municipalities, First Nations calling for everyone to restrict travel and stay at home
“In terms of how we all live, we are all regulated to some extent. If it is cold out, you wear clothes that protect you from the cold. And with COVID-19 we all have to do what we can to make sure everyone is protected,” stated Andrew Aguonie, chief of the Sheguiandah First Nation at an MMA meeting last week. “I support not having a smelt season this year, and following the government’s messages to restrict travel and for people to stay home. We have to do what we can to protect ourselves on the Island.”
First Nations along B.C.’s north, central coasts ask for crack down on non-essential travel to the region
Mr. Alsop said he would like to see measures such as bans or fines for people who disregard advice to avoid non-essential travel, saying Haida members have observed licence plates from Arizona, Florida and Alberta in recent days in and around Skidegate.
Wiikwemkoong declares state of emergency (updated)
“We must protect our elders, knowledge and language keepers, children and families and take the necessary measures to ensure their safety. We ask all residents to comply with the order, and as much as possible, please stay home. Our future depends on this.”
Found in the Sudbury Star, Local News Section
First COVID-19 death reported in Six Nations
“When all of this is over we will hold each other close, but right now we need to show unimaginable strength and do everything in our power to ensure we do not lose any more lives,” Hill said.
Manitoba First Nations implement curfews during COVID-19
He added there could be financial repercussions for those who do not abide by the rules. This can include withholding social assistance or a band members pay cheque. He said this would happen once the state of emergency has been lifted.
Indigenous leaders call for more COVID-19 aid and protective equipment
Bellegarde also says First Nations must be part of all decision-making when it comes to deciding how resources are allocated — something he says is not happening now.
Indigenous communities impose curfews, set up checkpoints to keep out COVID-19
“I think more and more people are aware that we have to work together. Right now, it’s just adding on a few minutes to your day to go to a checkpoint.”
Indigenous leaders call for pipeline shutdown over COVID-19 fears
“The risks posed by continued work on the Coastal GasLink project are ones that were not consented to, and ones that leaders and officials raised warnings about in advance of the project’s approval,” the group said in its letter.
Supply chain into Indigenous communities appears intact amid Covid-19 demand
The reason this creates challenges for drivers servicing remote communities is because rest areas, as well as places to stop for food, are few and far between the further north you travel. And with no places for drivers to stop and rest or eat, it becomes that much more difficult to safely access these remote communities.
Number of COVID-19 cases reported in Indigenous communities more than doubles
The elected council of Six Nations of the Grand River, in southern Ontario, announced Monday that the community had another positive case, bringing their total to nine. The council said they will be toughening their calls for people to stay home as the Easter long weekend approaches.
Message from an Indigenous mother to her three-year-old during COVID-19
I explained how our people, generations ago, survived many pandemics, and so would we, because it was in our bloodlines.
“I am a superhero,” she said to me. “I am afraid, and I am a superhero, too!” And she is, like many children around the world. She is a superhero, who is also afraid. And she shared an important teaching in that simple sentence.
35 COVID-19 cases on First Nations: Indigenous Services Canada
ISC spokesperson Rola Tfaili said on April 4 that it is working to develop the community support fund and to ensure rapid access for those who need it most. This funding will enable Indigenous organizations and communities to make their own decisions about where critical support is needed to address the public health emergency.