Military personnel prepare to spend Christmas in remote communities fighting COVID-19
“If you’d asked me a couple years ago, I would not have in my wildest dreams imagined that this was the situation we’d find ourselves in,” Brig.-Gen. William Fletcher said in an interview from Edmonton.
Brig.-Gen. Fletcher, who is in charge of all army troops from Thunder Bay to Vancouver Island and domestic operations on the Prairies, said military pandemic response plans made prior to the arrival of COVID-19 in Canada have put the Armed Forces in good shape.
“We’ve got a saying in the military that a plan never survives contact with the enemy, but it’s a good baseline” to start from, he says.
Manitoba First Nations using rapid COVID-19 tests to screen travellers
Garden Hill, Red Sucker Lake, St. Theresa Point and Wasagamak First Nation, also known as the four island lake communities, have acquired 1,000 rapid COVID-19 tests.
“Indigenous people know the healthcare system isn’t able to respond as quickly as needed, said Elvin Flett, chairman of Four Arrows Regional Health Authority, in a news release. It is very important we increase our own capacity to fight COVID wherever possible to improve the health of our people.”
Saskatchewan advocates hope progress doesn’t regress as COVID-19 vaccines roll-out
“Getting to feel solidarity together in those moments of crisis is actually something we need to build upon and not just wait until we’re in a massive worldwide crisis again,” Erica Violet Lee, an organizer with the Indigenous Joint Action Coalition said.Lee said the shared vulnerability to the virus created empathy and action — which she hopes continues after the pandemic ends.
“We have to ask ‘what in our system wasn’t working before the pandemic?’” she said.
Manitoba Premier could learn a lesson or two from Peguis First Nation
After being asked about Peguis First Nation Chief Glenn Hudson holding “relaxed lockdown” days during the holidays (families will be permitted to visit one household), Brian Pallister called the decision “a massive mistake.”
He said: “COVID does not discriminate, neither should we and we are not going to have two sets of rules around who gets to have Christmas and how it’s celebrated this year because we’re all doing our part to protect one another.”
Northern Manitoba COVID-19 patients being treated at Winnipeg care home
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and Manitoba’s First Nations Pandemic Response Team have confirmed residents of Bunibonibee Cree Nation Personal Care Home have been flown to Winnipeg for care at the Holy Family Care Home. Staff from the personal care home have also come to Winnipeg to help out with the residents.”
“Nine residents of Bunibonibee Cree Nation arrived in Winnipeg last evening and we are expecting an additional three residents coming in today,” a WRHA spokesperson said Friday.
Local Indigenous organizations come together on homelessness project
The Village Project is set to design and construct 22 tiny homes located near the Circle of Life Thunderbird House to accommodate larger families and support family reunification.
Led by Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, the project is also supported by six other Indigenous organizations including End Homelessness Winnipeg, and guided by Indigenous Elders, with services based on Indigenous approaches and models.
“This project came from a recommendation from the Kikininaw Oma – Unsheltered Strategy Report which recommended that there needs to be a creation of housing for those who are experiencing unsheltered homelessness in Winnipeg,” said Lucille Bruce, President and CEO of End Homelessness Winnipeg on Friday.
Oglala Sioux activist hopes Haaland will be the voice of ‘land, earth and indigenous people’ at Interior
Tatewin Means is the former Attorney General for the Oglala Sioux Tribe and current Executive Director of the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation. Responding to the nomination of Rep. Deb Haaland as Secretary of the Interior, she says, “For a patriarchal system to have an indigenous woman to lead those efforts is truly a sign that the status quo of white men making decision is going to change.”
Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations want consultation on COVID casino closures
The organization operates seven casinos, which employs hundreds of First Nations people “who have mortgage payments, who live in the towns and cities, who all pay taxes,” Cameron said Friday.
“It’s affecting a whole lot of people, including those children whose parents work in the casinos. Because maybe Mommy and Dad’s not going to be able to afford as much food as they’d like or pay certain bills.”
Halton Region donates ambulance to the Kenora Chiefs Advisory to support COVID-19 response
“We would like to send a big thank you out to Halton Region for the donation of a decommissioned ambulance to Kenora Chiefs Advisory,” said Joe Barnes, Executive Director of the Kenora Chiefs Advisory. “The ability for us to create new partnerships not only within our region, but outside of Northwestern Ontario will always remain a priority for us.”
“Because of this donation,” Barnes continues, “our frontline staff will be able to utilize the vehicle to the fullest as we continue to navigate this pandemic and see the continued needs for thinking outside the box when it comes to response for our communities.”