COVID-19 Daily News Digest – August 17, 2020
Sask. First Nations company creating ‘sugar cube’ barriers to fight COVID-19 spread in classrooms
A metal fabrication company in Regina is fast-tracking the production of Plexiglas desk shields and sanitation stations to meet the demand from schools that want to find creative ways to keep students and staff safe at schools this fall.
Pro Metal Industries Ltd., owned by Pasqua First Nation, manufactures products for gas, mining, agriculture and more. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has shifted to creating personal protective equipment (PPE).
First Nations go hands-on with pandemic back-to-school plans
Pinay-Schindler said one part of the mentorship program will be students learning their traditional language, Cree. It will also include instruction in Cree for other traditional tasks, like starting a fire in the bush or snaring a rabbit for hunting, she said.
Masks ‘strongly recommended’ for grades 5-12 in Manitoba schools, but required on buses
Making masks mandatory is “certainly not off the table,” Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin said at a news conference with Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen on Thursday afternoon. There are also other gaps in the province’s plan, like a lack of concrete funding commitments or significant mention of schools on First Nations, he said.
Federal Government Expands COVID Support Funding For Indigenous Peoples
The Indigenous Community Support Fund was first announced on March 18, and to date has allocated $380 million in funding to Indigenous communities and organizations. The funding in today’s announcement is in addition to what has already been committed through the fund and brings the total investments to date in the Indigenous Community Support Fund to $685 million.
Vast majority of Quebeckers believe First Nations face discrimination: survey
The survey conducted by polling firm Leger for the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador found that 92 per cent of respondents agreed that Indigenous communities face racism or discrimination. Eight out of 10 Quebeckers have a positive opinion of First Nations, but 58 per cent say they don’t have an understanding of the issues facing those communities. More than half believe relations between non-Indigenous Quebeckers and First Nations are poor, and 91 per cent believe the provincial government has an important role to play in repairing and maintaining relations.
Remote First Nations receive nearly $10M for broadband internet
These First Nations include Tadoule Lake, Barren Lands, Lac Brochet, Pukatawagan, and Shamattawa. The funding will allow BCN to improve service to speeds of 10 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 1 Mbps upload (10/1 Mbps), with unlimited monthly capacity.
Five B.C. First Nations say salmon decision shows systemic racism at DFO
He says the latest decision to shut First Nations fishers out of an opportunity to catch more chinook salmon this year shows systemic racism is “alive and well” within the federal fisheries department. “All we want to do is be part of the economy, part of looking after ourselves without depending on government. We don’t think that’s a lot to ask.”
We Need More Indigenous Doctors, Stat. This Physician Has a Plan.
It’s going to require a generation of good policy to make up for generations of bad policy, but among the most important things is to fully fund IHS. We’re not asking for anything unusual, all we’re asking for is the federal government to live up to its treaty obligations. The United States is one of the first nations to point the finger at human rights abuses around the globe, but those countries can easily put the finger back at us for the way it’s treated its Indigenous people.
First Nations artists work to challenge stereotypes and break down barriers to audiences
The research shows that prior to COVID-19, the demand for First Nations theatre and dance was growing. With Australia’s First Nations arts and culture sector facing particularly devastating impacts from the pandemic, this research provides timely evidence to support strategies for support and recovery.
“It is vital that First Nations arts do not lose their hard-won visibility as a result of COVID-19 – that they can continue to develop, challenge and contribute to the ongoing maturation of Australian culture,” Lydia Miller said.
Food Insecurity Amid Covid-19 Prompts Native Americans to Return to Their Roots
“But in a larger context, I feel that the pandemic kind of opened up people’s eyes when it comes to sourcing food, that we can’t always depend on the grocery stores when something like this happens, that you should always go back to our self-sufficient lifestyle over the longer term.”
“We view food as a living, breathing being – no different than who we are,” she said. “To see the life of a seed sprout into produce, especially for the young people to see that and be involved in the teachings of that, is very encouraging.”
Covaxin, India’s first COVID-19 vaccine is safe: All about its trial, mechanism and development
India’s first indigenous COVID-19 vaccine is being tried on 375 volunteers currently. They are in the age bracket of 18-55 years with no comorbidity. Pregnant women and those with comorbidities have been kept out of the trial. Covaxin has been developed with an inactivated strain of the novel coronavirus. The inactivated strain used in this vaccine doesn’t multiple inside human cells. It simply primes the immune system and stimulates its antibody response towards the virus. This is a tried and tested technology used in several vaccines including seasonal influenza, polio, pertussis, rabies, and Japanese Encephalitis.
Jiklai COVID-19 aims to keep indigenous communities safe amid pandemic
We chat with Mi’kmaw educator Trevor Sanipass about Jiklai COVID-19, a project that will help indigenous communities stay informed on COVID-19, with helpful info & tips.
Boswell: The Ottawa archeologist who robbed Indigenous graves
Even now, in this year of the COVID-19 pandemic, a highlight of the museum’s re-started programming for visitors — a celebration of history and culture called Indigenous Experiences — unfolds from a tipi near the ossuary zone.
The NCC is now developing plans to acknowledge the site’s “sacred role as a burial ground.” In the parklands blueprint that mapped the ossuary’s estimated location, there’s a pledge to “respect the sanctity” of the Hull Landing area, “recognize the site’s symbolic importance” for local Algonquin people — possible descendants of those ancient people disinterred by Van Cortlandt — and to invite them to “contribute to the design” of future commemorative features.
Coronavirus accelerates a mental-health crisis for Canada’s indigenous youth
“Sometimes I feel like mostly I’m on my own. I learned to be independent at a young age. And I’m not typically the kind of person who is going to reach for help, for that, perseverance, I try to do it myself first. I’ve always been an introverted girl so oftentimes it’s difficult for me to open up and find the motivation,” she told CNN from her home in Norway House Cree Nation, Manitoba.
First Nation to receive pandemic supplies through drone shipments
Drone Delivery Canada, a company based in Vaughan, Ont., will initially make small shipments of roughly 4.5 kilograms at a time to Georgina Island First Nation in Lake Simcoe during a pilot project funded by the federal government.“I think the community will feel more at ease knowing there is another avenue for us to obtain supplies without (contact),” said McCue.
Jagmeet Singh calls for ‘systemic change’ for policing during Vancouver Island visit
“When violence is perpetrated against Indigenous people, it is dehumanizing the value of Indigenous lives,” said Singh on Sunday. “Today, I really want to highlight that the killing of Chantel Moore was the killing of a daughter. This was the killing of a granddaughter. Chantel was a mom and her daughter asks about her every day. I think it’s so important for us to remember the human value and worth of Indigenous people.”
Navajo women mobilize to protect elders from COVID-19
“Many elders live in multigenerational households, challenging social distancing recommendations,” Schad said. “Some elders, especially Navajo, live independently in traditional homes. Those lack running water and common utilities … and this, again, complicates the CDC recommendations of frequent hand-washing.”
Role of community engagement in combating COVID-19
Coming back to the role of community in combating COVID-19, it has been observed that the lack of community participation is one of the main reasons that massive interventions by the government are not bearing much fruit. Community engagement could be the missing link in enabling the adoption of and adherence to the government’s public health guidelines.” In order to control the outbreak, the government has been trying its best to focus on behavior modification measures like maintaining physical distancing, hand washing, cough manners, and so on but these measures will only yield results if the community is engaged in its implementation.