COVID-19 Daily News Digest – August 20, 2020
B.C. First Nations head to the polls amid pandemic
“We will have the safety measures in place with the two metres,” Camille said, noting there were no concerns in moving forward with the election.
Mail-in ballot packages were made available to anyone living on reserve who may not have been able to vote in-person, and were also sent to off-reserve members.
Shíshálh woman to lead research on COVID response for Vancouver’s urban Indigenous population
Brittany Bingham recently became the first Indigenous PhD graduate from Simon Fraser University’s faculty of health sciences, and her earlier research and PhD involved community-based projects and the incorporation of methods that draw on Indigenous culture.
“There are approaches to research where the researchers just examine the data, and then put out the information,” she said. “We’re going to get advice from the community experts on what data is important, what should we be looking at and what they need to inform their work with the community.”
First Nations COVID-19 back-to-school innovation
As schools across the country struggle with how to keep students safe, a First Nation school near Regina has come up with a unique solution which combines traditional knowledge and cutting edge technology. Nigel Newlove reports.
Native Americans are 3.5 times more likely to contract coronavirus compared to white people in the US, CDC reveals
Racial and social inequities between these communities and white populations have adversely affected tribal nations.
Additionally, this population tends to rely on shared transpiration, live among large groups of people in close quarters, and had limited access to running water.
For the report, the CDC looked at the prevalence of coronavirus among Native Americans in 23 states between January 22 and July 3.
When COVID-19 Came to the Kuikuro
First, they carried out a census of the village, registering the number of houses and the men, women, and children living in them. Then, using a phone app, trained contact tracers regularly updated the system with information about travelers within each family and indicated whether anyone had presented symptoms in the 14 days prior. They also recorded dates of entry and departure to and from town and between villages. “We believe it makes it easier to control [the spread] if we know where the disease is coming from and who the person is so we can isolate them,” says Waura, who is one of three Indigenous geo-spatial technicians.
Province Announces Increased Funding For First Nations Policing
“This funding announcement will include a 2.75% annual increase to address inflation but will also add enough money to support four additional members for the police service,” said Cullen during today’s press conference.
In all, Manitoba’s total investment in First Nations policing will increase to more than $15 million annually by 2022-23.
Barrier business booming for First Nation-owned company
Owned by the Pasqua First Nation, the company is fielding approximately 20 quote-requests from Saskatchewan schools to build the Plexiglas barriers as the new school year looms.
The province’s public and separate school divisions are to delay start dates by a week, with classes to commence on Sept. 8. Some First Nations communities are planning for later start dates at their schools.
Resource plan could create 2.6 million jobs, guide COVID recovery: report
Canada’s natural resource and manufacturing sectors can provide up to 2.6 million jobs and a 17% jump in GDP to guide the nation’s economic recovery through the COVID-19 pandemic, says a new report issued Wednesday.
The Task Force For Real Jobs, Real Recovery released its independent report, Securing Canada’s Economic Future, along with 19 policy recommendations that include developing a national low-carbon energy grid as well as a national hydrogen industry, and supporting the potential of small modular nuclear reactors. The report also calls for a range of tax credits and incentives for research and development on tech innovations that lower industrial emissions and advance government climate goals.
Quebec is still not publishing race-based data about COVID-19. These community groups aim to fill the void
Frustrated by the Quebec government’s refusal to collect race-based COVID-19 data, a Montreal entrepreneur and three community groups have decided to take matters into their own hands. Montreal entrepreneur Thierry Lindor launched a new online platform, dubbed Colors of Covid, Wednesday, hoping to demonstrate how Black and Indigenous communities, as well as people of colour, have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 in Quebec and across Canada. Their website will offer a voluntary and anonymous survey.
Growing number of First Nations raise concerns about Doug Ford’s omnibus bill
Bill 197, an omnibus piece of legislation that was passed last month without public consultation, included a rewrite of environmental rules that critics said weakened key protections. Both the Fort Albany and Attawapiskat First Nations denounced the law in late July. In an open letter dated Aug. 7, the grand chief of the Mushkegowuk Council — which represents Fort Albany, Attawapiskat and five other nations near James Bay — called on Ford to honour Ontario’s treaty obligations to consult Indigenous people on matters affecting their traditional territories.
“There was no due process,” Grand Chief Jonathan Solomon said in a phone interview, referring to the Ford government.
Opinion: Tribal food sovereignty during COVID-19
Communities across rural America are faced with new challenges and opportunities during an unprecedented time. In Tribal communities, these challenges are eminent, and we must listen to and trust each community’s plan of action regarding the safety of their residents and the sovereignty of their local food systems. Tribal communities across our state and nation continue to serve as a testament to the resiliency and problem-solving capacity of people across rural America.