COVID-19 Daily News Digest – December 25th, 2020
COVID-19 contact tracing underway north of Williams Lake at Xat’sull
Member tests positive after having flu like symptoms
- REBECCA DYOK, LOCAL JOURNALISM INITIATIVE REPORTER
- Dec. 24, 2020
Xat’sull First Nation (Soda Creek Indian Band) is the second Indigenous community within the Cariboo to recently confirm a potential COVID-19 exposure.
A positive case of the potentially deadly virus was identified Dec. 23.
Non-residents attempting meanwhile to enter Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation southwest of Williams Lake are currently being denied access.
The semi-remote Indigenous community near the Fraser River identified a positive COVID-19 case on Dec.18 after a on-reserve member returning from Kamloops tested for the disease after having signs of pneumonia.
COVID-19 posed a threat to elders. Anishinaabe director Sarain Fox took it as a cue to preserve her auntie’s stories in new documentary
Thu., December 24, 2020, 11:34 a.m. CST
How society treats its elders is a question the COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated and one that Sarain Fox says society at large should not ignore.
For Indigenous elders who hold generational knowledge for their communities, the threat of COVID-19 has even higher stakes, said Fox, an Anishinaabe artist and activist.
This feeling inspired Fox, who has hosted “Rise” for Viceland and “Future History” on APTN, to document her own family in “Inendi” a short documentary released this month on CBC Gem. The title means “she is absent.”
Fox and her mother visit Auntie Mary Bell, their oldest living relative, and hear her stories of trauma in residential schools and the joy and reclamation that make up their family’s history.
“The threat of losing my auntie or not being able to get it done, it became really real during the pandemic The idea that a virus could enter the community and take not just my auntie but all of our elders. I think I felt that responsibility to all the young people. We’re moving into unprecedented unknown times and what can we grasp? What can we hold on to? What can we preserve if everything is threatened?”
Nine new COVID-19 cases reported Thursday
Dec 24, 2020
The Grey Bruce Health Unit reported nine new cases of COVID-19 Thursday including three at Saugeen First Nation.
A pair of cases were reported in Brockton while single cases were found in Saugeen Shores, Kincardine, Georgian Bluffs and Owen Sound.
A case at Saugeen First Nation was first reported Monday. Before that point, no cases had been reported inside local First Nations communities.
Shilo soldiers making progress in COVID-19 fight
By: Drew May
Posted: 12/24/2020 3:00 AM
Dozens of soldiers from CFB Shilo will spend Christmas in two northern Manitoba First Nations in an ongoing fight against COVID-19 that, so far, is going well, said the base’s commanding officer.
Lt.-Col Mike Reekie said Wednesday that 35 soldiers from 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry have been deployed to Red Sucker Lake First Nation, in addition to the 40 already in Shamattawa First Nation.
Both communities have been hit hard by COVID-19 and hundreds of cases have been reported in the Northern Health Region. As of Wednesday, there were 909 active cases of the virus in the health region.
Reekie, who spoke to the Sun from self-isolation at CFB Shilo, said almost everyone in both communities has been exposed to the virus, so they need manpower to take care of sick people and deliver essential goods.
Métis elder encourages holiday discourse
Thu., December 24, 2020, 11:21 a.m. CST
In an effort to reframe traditional knowledge sharing amidst the ever-growing list of emerging technologies during the COVID-19 pandemic, a Métis woman in southeastern B.C. is encouraging the Columbia Valley community to draw inspiration from their ancestors.
Wilmer resident Sharon Wass, who is a member of the Métis Nation of B.C. (MNBC), has been raising awareness about the art of storytelling in the Columbia Valley this winter.
“It’s not just at Christmas, but it is a time when family and community usually gets together, there’s a lot of meal prep and laughter in the kitchen. It’s very much a family activity and there’s so many ways for everyone to participate,” explained Wass. “In many First Nations winters, it’s a time for storytelling and that’s when legends are told. When it’s stormy, that’s usually when legends were shared… it was a time when you could take the time to talk for hours and hours.”
At the root of every subject, there’s a story that’s close to someone’s heart. For Wass, the importance of telling stories about life-lessons, current events, language and culture and safety messages remains an investment for all nations — especially during a global healthcare crisis.
She noted how some of the virtual platforms that can be used to connect with physically distant friends and family are geared toward having a host, or one speaker talking at the same time, which can be advantageous when reframed as the sharing of traditional knowledge and manners for all ages.
“I think it’s almost ironic I’m talking about not disappearing down our own rabbit hole of technology, but at the same time, to take that technology to connect with one another over the holidays,” said Wass. “The technology actually forces us to be respectful and wait your turn to speak, which is a lesson that would have been taught through oral storytelling in the past.”