COVID-19 Daily News Digest – December 16, 2020
Tribes decide how they get COVID-19 vaccines. Here’s what tribes in Montana chose.
As Native American tribes are sovereign nations, they and their health care providers have the option to receive COVID-19 vaccines through state or federal channels.
The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Blackfeet Nation and Little Shell Tribe elected to receive their allocations through the state.
All five of the state’s urban Indian health centers and all Indian Health Service (IHS) sites chose to receive their allocation from IHS, a federal agency, according to the governor’s office.
UN experts raise concern over charges against US indigenous leader and rights defender
“It is absolutely essential that the authorities do more to support and protect indigenous communities that have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic”, the experts stressed.
“We also call on authorities to initiate dialogue with the Great Sioux Nation for the resolution of treaty violations”.
The experts who raised their concerns were José Francisco Calí Tzay, Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples; Mary Lawlor, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association; E. Tendayi Achiume, Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism; and Karima Bennoune, Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights.
Ontario Helps Municipalities and Indigenous Partners Respond to COVID-19
“Our government is responding to the ongoing challenges of the pandemic by targeting $120 million of the Social Services Relief Fund to where it is needed most,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “This additional funding will help our community partners respond to local housing pressures and help vulnerable Ontarians find – and keep – the housing they need.”
Municipalities and Indigenous community partners can use the discretionary funding to improve the delivery of critical services, protect homeless shelter staff and residents, renovate and purchase facilities to create longer-term housing solutions, add to rent banks and support plans to prepare for potential future outbreaks and/or emergencies.
B.C. should consider investigations into Indigenous specific racism in other public services: Turpel-Lafond
“I think it probably would have been, personally an easier finding if it was just simply a game that was happening in B.C. health care which was away from patients. Even though it would have been profiling and potentially racist,” says Turpel-Lafond.
“What I found in fact, was despite some guessing happening here and there, at the direct point of care with Indigenous people, First Nations and Metis in British Columbia, I found hundreds of examples of direct, personal racism and implicit bias.”
Alberta expands number of quarantine hotels to include Fort McMurray; 23 new cases, 17 recoveries in RMWB
The hotels are intended for people who cannot safely quarantine at home. An example would be someone living with an immunocompromised person or in tight spaces. Food, accommodation and transportation will be covered by the Alberta government.
A one-time payment of $625 will be given to anyone needing to complete their quarantine at a hotel. Canadians are already eligible for $500 per week from the federal government if they have COVID-19 or have to care for others who have it.
“This is the same payment we make available to Albertans who evacuate from natural emergencies like fires and floods,” said Kenney. “My view is that vulnerable people affected by this public health emergency who do the right thing by self-isolating need similar support to be safe.”
COVID-19 vaccine and misinformation: First Nations leaders urge people to do their homework
“A lot of concerns being raised by participants was that they felt like the vaccine was being tested on them to make sure that it was safe before giving it to the white guys,” said Driedger. “Historically when have people of First Nations, Métis and Inuit ancestry ever been prioritized to receive anything good before?
“So some of the concerns citizens were expressing made sense in that context.”
History is prevalent in the conversations taking place online. It’s also the basis for many peoples’ fears.
“I think it has to do with the treatment that they’ve had through the years. I wonder if we’re actually doing a good enough job on education…really helping people to understand what is this [vaccine] and what are some of those nuances.”
De Beers puts road application on hold after consulting Indigenous groups
The proposed route would have gone over Lake of the Enemy, a historic, culturally and spiritually significant area for the Yellowknives Dene First Nation.
According to De Beers, the route would shorten the overall distance by 53 kilometres, reduce environmental risk, and bring down the cost of transportation.
However, according to YKDFN, elders and knowledge holders were unable to contribute to an archaeological study that led to the proposed route.
Sarah Gillis, the director of environment at YKDFN, said that without contribution from elders and knowledge holders, “we cannot acknowledge the proponent’s yet to be published report as meaningful work.”
Brazilians in the Arctic: A Global Experience with Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Motivated by the well-being of Brazilians living in Norway and the Norwegian Arctic, Celma R. Hellebust, a Brazilian lawyer residing in Stavanger, Norway, contacted psychologist Ana L. Gonçalves, a resident of Brazil, in March 2020 about the possibility of her helping Brazilians residing in Norway and the Norwegian Arctic on an emergency and voluntary basis. Gonçalves had experience in distance psychological assistance mediated by technology, and also an attentive awareness of the emotional disorders that social isolation can cause in people. With this, the creation of a working group was proposed with professionals from psychology, psychiatry, and infectious diseases. Initially, five Brazilian professionals volunteered to collaborate with the project.