7 Tsimshian elected Leaders prepare to ramp up protection of members from the spread of COVID-19
The Tsimshian communities are remote with no capacity to manage the spread of COVID-19. Visitors from outside B.C. have been arriving at the communities by boat and car notwithstanding clear signage that the villages are closed to visitors. The First Nations have plans in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their communities and would like to see alignment between these plans and provincial pandemic planning.
More crews sent to fight forest fire near Eabametoong First Nation in northern Ontario
Vulnerable people from the fly-in First Nation were evacuated from the community on August 12, due to poor air quality as a result of the fire. Evacuees include elders, infants and their families, and those with medical conditions that make them susceptible to the effects of smoke. The health authority said community members will be required to isolate and monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 when they return from Thunder Bay, Kapuskasing and Timmins.
Back to school feels like ‘a gamble’ for Manitoba First Nations parent
“I feel like it’s a gamble sending the kids back, especially with our [COVID] numbers spiking in the province. But as a parent, I really want them to have that structure and obviously the education. So I’m kind of torn,” she said.
Ecuador’s indigenous Amazonian peoples launch online COVID-19 tracker
We designed this tool after seeing that the government failed to provide official information. For the first few months of the pandemic, there was practically no formal information about the impact that COVID-19 could have in indigenous areas. Seeing this gap, we began the task of organizing all the COVID-19 records into a database. At first, the [data] emerged from alerts in each territory, afterwards it was confirmed by implementing rapid tests, and later on, a majority confirmed through PCR tests which we did with several universities. We began publishing this data twice a week as an infographic. [Then] we saw that disaggregated data was required for each territory and nationality. This is where the idea of creating this dashboard came from.
Tourism association signs off on pandemic funding agreement with Indigenous Services
One of the major sticking points that slowed the agreement was ISC’s insistence there be no stacking of federal funding. Those businesses that received the maximum $40,000 emergency loan via Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFI) would then not be eligible for the full $25,000 being offered through ITAC’s stimulus grant.
North Coast First Nations call for B.C. border crackdown amidst increased tourism
In an open letter to B.C. Premier John Horgan the Nations of Gitga’at, Gitxaala, Kitselas, Kitsumkalum, Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla opposed the government’s choice to declare angling an essential activity, and faulted Phase 3 of the government’s BC Restart Plan as a “rush to normalcy” that doesn’t account for the North Coast’s limited medical resources.
“Our people rely on the hub city of Prince Rupert for the majority of our services, including activities that contribute to our mental health,” the letter reads. “Our safety and well being should not be jeopardized by people who reside outside of BC who are just visiting for non-essential reasons. The BC Government must make it clear that travelling from other provinces to participate in recreational fishing and other forms of tourism is not acceptable at this time.”
Scale of COVID-19 infections in Mexico ‘clearly underrecognized,’ says WHO
Coronavirus deaths among the poor and Indigenous people of Mexico are sharply higher than for wealthier people, says Mike Ryan of the World Health Organization’s health emergencies program.
Tourist ban leaves Brazil’s indigenous lands vulnerable to loggers
When community leaders closed off the village, they knew they would be forgoing vital income. But they did not expect that illegal loggers would move in.
“We used to have five trails, (but) four of them have been deforested,” said indigenous leader Toho Pataxo.
“We are looking into the possibility … of opening new trails (after the pandemic), so that tourism doesn’t stop. If tourist income stops, our whole community stops.”
Living, learning for the future
Then, the discussion circles around to the COVID-19 pandemic. We cover U.S. President Donald Trump, a possible vaccine, and cancelled ceremonies. A debate ensues about whether conferences should be held in the community, and if elders should attend.Talk expectedly turns to the most important topic: children. Questions fly about sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, and babies. Answers come with stories, photographs, and calls to the children playing in the next room.