VIDEO: First Nations elders on Vancouver Island encourage COVID-19 vigilance
Two teachers at a First Nations school in Port Hardy have put together a video about COVID-19 with elders from Gwa’sala and ‘Nakwaxda’xw First Nations, speaking their Gwa’sala and ‘Nak’wala dialects.
”Our communities have been really concerned about COVID-19 entering our villages. The elders had some messages they wanted to share with the community of encouragement and safe practices,” said Robin Rosborough, a pre-kindergarten teacher who created the video with Grades 2/3 teacher, Michelle Hinatsu.
Saik’uz First Nation identifies potential COVID-19 exposure
Non-residents attempting to enter a northern B.C. First Nation near Vanderhoof will be turned away.
Saik’uz First Nation has beefed up its checkpoints, which now include voluntary temperature checks after confirming a potential COVID-19 exposure Dec. 18, which took place at two Saik’uz households after a visit from a member living outside the community.
“We understand this may be alarming news, but we also understand that our community is resilient and resourceful,” acting chief Jackie Thomas said in an online community update last Friday.
Vaccine distribution in burdened communities begins with building trust
While Black, Latinx, and indigenous Americans are dying from COVID-19 at nearly three times the rate of white Americans, Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, an associate professor of internal medicine, public health, and management at Yale, worries that many people in these communities will be reluctant to receive the vaccines. This is in part because of a deep-seated distrust of the healthcare system and of health interventions based on both a history of racism and their lived experiences.
Island Lake First Nations get rapid COVID-19 tests
“It’s a big step forward. It’s very beneficial for the community and the people,” said Dino Flett, chief of Garden Hill First Nation, about 475 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.
“We know how this virus plays. It’s very sneaky. It can get into our communities, and we’re just trying to protect people — our elders, our children and the vulnerable people.”