Safety messages getting across as Fort St. James, surrounding First Nations continue COVID crisis
Concern continues to be seen in Fort St. James and its two neighbouring First Nations reserves. COVID-19 numbers continue to climb in Northern BC. As such, Mayor Bob Motion says people in the area are getting the message loud and clear.
“It’s here. We have to believe that everybody you run into could be a carrier [of COVID-19] and deal with them accordingly,” Motion said.
“Looking around the community, you can see that more people are staying home, there are not as many people out and about, not as many people driving around,” continued Nak’azdli Whut’en Chief Aileen Prince.
Shamattawa chief frustrated as First Nation rapid response team leaves community amid COVID-19 outbreak
Chief Eric Redhead said that team — a small group of nurses and doctors sent by the Manitoba First Nations COVID-19 Pandemic Response Coordination Team — was helping the community test upwards of 70 people a day for the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. Now, that number is closer to 15, he said.
Redhead said widespread testing is a big part of the community’s pandemic planning, and he’s frustrated that the First Nation’s leadership will no longer be able to use that tool to get a sense of just how far the illness has spread.
Sask. First Nations disproportionately hit by COVID-19, doctor says
“The situation is extremely overwhelming, certainly. All communities are over their maximum capacity,” Khan said.
Since March, 11 residents have been hospitalized and 15 have died. Khan said 766 cases are still being actively monitored.
That means First Nations people on reserve are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 and subsequently hospitalized, he said, adding that speaks to historic and existing health inequities.
75 of Manitoba’s First Nations people have died from COVID-19
According to the Manitoba First Nations COVID-19 Pandemic Response Coordination Team (PRCT), 16 of these deaths have taken place in the last week.
First Nations people account for more than 22 per cent of the province’s total cases, with 5,049 cases since the beginning of the pandemic. In the past week alone, there’s been more than 800 new cases among the First Nations population – both on reserve and off reserve.
Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation southwest of Williams Lake identifies positive COVID-19 case
“The emergency operations centre is a key part of co-ordinating our efforts to make sure that we contain any exposure that might have happened,” he said in a statement, noting the disease is affecting the First Nations population at a higher rate than that of the non-Indigenous population.“We will need to be twice as vigilant through the holidays,” he added.
Sask. among 6 provinces asking federal government to delay Bill C-15 implementation
In a letter to the federal ministers of Crown-Indigenous Relations and the attorney general’s office, Saskatchewan Minister of First Nations, Métis and Northern Affairs Don McMorris and five of his counterparts from across the country asked for a delay in the Bill’s implementation.
“While we support the principles in UNDRIP, the Government of Saskatchewan cannot endorse the federal legislation as it is currently drafted,” McMorris said in a statement sent to CBC News.
“Saskatchewan has asked the federal government for more time to better understand the Bill and to discuss with those impacted by the legislation, including provinces, territories and Indigenous partners.”
Meet the Toronto Indigenous organizations bringing COVID-19 testing, food directly to people’s doorsteps
The mobile health unit launched by Anishnawbe Health Toronto in June is an effort to bring support directly to Indigenous people across the Greater Toronto Area.
Jane Harrison, the organization’s mobile health unit coordinator, says the team saw a need for on-the-spot care for parts of the population that might not otherwise receive the medical attention and healing they need.
Harrison, who is also a nurse, says after witnessing the toll that COVID-19 had taken on many with precarious housing situations, the team saw the need for an accessible service that would not only provide testing for COVID-19 but also medical care for those unable to come to the centre.
No timeline on vaccine rollout for northern Manitoba First Nations
“There is no timetable at the present time.”
Atwal said the planning process is underway, and the province is working with its partners to distribute the vaccines.
As the province awaits Health Canada approval for the Moderna vaccine, Atwal was asked if it will be easier to ship that vaccine to more remote regions, given the fact that it can be stored at -20 Celsius rather than Pfizer’s -70 Celsius.
Inuit Action Plan underway to implement recommendations from landmark Canadian report on violence against Indigenous women
“Inuit representatives are working to ensure that Inuit women and girls receive the same standard of safety, health, education, and justice enjoyed by all Canadians, and the physical, emotional, economic, social and cultural security that many Canadians take for granted,” the two organizations said in a joint news release on December 15.
“The Inuit Action Plan will address these inequities with concrete, timely and measurable systemic changes so that Inuit women and girls — as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual persons — achieve substantive equality.”
Indigenous based online art sale gets international attention
Due to the pandemic, Sisters Sage has been relying on the online community to replace lost business that often comes from trade shows and door sales.
“There was a void that needed to be filled,” Angus said.
“Now, everybody wants to do economic reconciliation, and this is the easiest way to do it, put your money where your mouth is.”
Alberta sets record 904 opioid deaths so far in 2020, cites COVID-19 as factor
The Opposition NDP said Kenney’s United Conservative government has contributed to the rise in deaths by cutting front-line aid, including closing a safe consumption site in Lethbridge earlier this year.
“We have seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic that Jason Kenney puts his personal ideology ahead of professional public health advice,” said Heather Sweet, the NDP’s critic for mental health and addictions.