COVID-19 Daily News Digest – August 27, 2020
First Nations create pandemic ‘education bubble’ in Sioux Lookout, Ont.
About 45 students from Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug and Muskrat Dam First Nations are set to begin school on Sept. 8. The majority of them will attend Sioux North High School in Sioux Lookout, Ont. and live in the supportive housing units IFNA built especially for students. The Home Away From Home Community Student Dwelling opened last year.
Students will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms before moving into their home away from home and special cleaning measures will be taken to protect them from catching the virus, Hoppe said.
‘Form of erasure:’ Indigenous inmates may be misrepresented in 2020 census, activist says
“I just kept asking questions and getting answers I didn’t like,” she said. “People who are incarcerated are vulnerable when it comes to government protections. They don’t have agency to challenge prison policy or mistreatment; they can’t really launch a legal fight from a locked cell. So, for me, it’s a moral obligation to carry this fight for them.”
Eldest son of Brazil leader tests positive for COVID-19
Sen. Flavio Bolsonaro is the fourth member of President Jair Bolsonaro’s direct family to be infected by the new coronavirus, including the president himself, first lady Michelle Bolsonaro and Jair Renan Bolsonaro, another son.
The Brazilian president has downplayed the virus’ severity, arguing against restrictions on economic activity he claims will prove far more damaging than the disease. His approach to the pandemic runs counter to most health experts’ recommendations.
Indigenous communities in Alaska harder hit by coronavirus
Alaska Public Media reported culture and economics can contribute to the disparity. Data indicate Pacific Islanders in Alaska have contracted COVID-19 at about eight times the rate of the rest of the population. Alaska Natives are more than one-and-a-half times as likely to contract the coronavirus.
Officials say the groups are more likely to live in crowded, multi-generational housing where the virus can easily spread and that customary community gatherings can also contribute to infections.
‘It’s taking away our wise men’: COVID-19 hits Peru’s Indigenous people hard
“This pandemic is taking away our wise men,” Zebelio Kayap, the Indigenous leader of the Organization of Border Communities of Cenepa (ODEFROC), says in a broken voice. Kayap speaks with indignation about what is happening in the communities of the Awajún and Wampis peoples in the Peruvian Amazon.
“So far 35 people have died from coronavirus in the Awajún and Wampis communities. One of them is Santiago Manuin,” Kayap says.
First Nations back-to-school COVID-19 funding falls far short, says AFN regional chief
Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Chief Bobby Cameron, who is the AFN regional chief for Saskatchewan, said the over 630 First Nations across Canada need about $1 billion to fully prepare for the restart of classes amid the pandemic.
“Obviously our expectations were much higher,” said Cameron, who holds the education portfolio.
NDP MPPs: COVID 19 ‘omnibus’ bill not fair to First Nations
Calling the act “illegal,” Mamakwa wants to see it appealed or amended regarding changes to the Environmental Assessment Act.
“First Nations are not against development (But) We need to be at the table…to be engaged. We need to have a say on what happens on the traditional territory of the First Nations.”
Attacks on the rise during COVID-19 against Xinka leaders opposed to the Escobal mine
More than 90 Guatemalan and international organizations signed a letter calling on Guatemala’s Public Prosecutor to fully investigate an increase in attacks against members of the Xinka Parliament and the Peaceful Resistance of Santa Rosa, Jalapa, and Jutiapa, since the COVID-19 lockdown began in March. The letter also highlights the ongoing impunity in cases of attacks against environmental defenders in the region dating back to 2014, when the Escobal silver mine was put into production despite widespread opposition and violent repression.
Cluster of COVID-19 cases in N.S. linked to traveller who failed to self-isolate: Strang
Dr. Robert Strang said Wednesday that there have been three small clusters of COVID-19 cases in Nova Scotia over the past two weeks. All of the clusters originated in the Nova Scotia Health Authority’s northern zone.
Strang said one cluster involves someone who travelled from outside the Atlantic bubble to visit family and did not self-isolate.
3 schools closed, remote learning for at least 11 Manitoba First Nations
Most schools are implementing a model that will see half of all students attend class two days a week and work at home remotely two days a week, Murdock said. Some schools will close on Friday for deep cleaning, she added.
“The problem that we’re encountering, too, is that some of our schools only go up to Grade 8 or 9, so the high school students have to attend off-reserve into urban centres,” Murdock said. “Many of the parents don’t want to send their student to the provincial school, so we’re being asked to provide those services.”