Gaining trust: History of Indigenous experiments poses challenge in COVID health
Dumas said he understands why there is so much mistrust among Indigenous people. His own family members have reached out with concerns that a COVID-19 vaccine will be just another experiment.
The skepticism is grounded in real historical wrongs, said Ian Mosby, an assistant professor at Toronto’s Ryerson University.
There are many examples in Canadian history of scientists sponsored by the federal government or the government itself doing medical experiments on Indigenous people, he said.
“The problem is trying to solve it in the middle of an emergency, in the middle of a pandemic, and trying to gain that trust,” Mosby said.
FSIN presses federal government to make First Nations a priority for the COVID vaccine
The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) Executive wants First Nations to be on the priority list. FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron explained First Nations people have an Inherent and Treaty Right to Health, adding the Medicine Chest Clause clearly dictates First Nations people can expect the COVID-19 vaccines to be readily available in their communities once they have been shipped out.
“That’s our way of saying to the government we are implementing one of our basic treaty rights to health and this is it,” he said.
Manitoba premier wants extra doses of vaccine if Ottawa reserves portion for First Nations
“There would be the least amount available in Manitoba after the federal government holds back the portion” for the province’s Indigenous population, he said.
“This puts Manitobans at the back of the line. This hurts Manitobans, to put it mildly.”
Pallister said the health and welfare of Indigenous people is the principal responsibility of the federal government and wants Ottawa to provide an additional amount of vaccines for Manitoba First Nations communities.
“They have to step up and protect our Indigenous communities first … but not punish everyone else who lives in the same jurisdiction as Indigenous folks by short-changing them on their share of vaccines,” he said.
Government funds suicide-prevention programs for Indigenous youth, post-secondary students
The B.C. government will spend $2.3 million to expand mental-health supports and suicide-prevention programs for First Nations and Métis youth and post-secondary students who are at risk of mental-health decline amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funding comes as new data released by the Canadian Mental Health Association and the University of British Columbia show that British Columbians are struggling with stress, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and hopelessness during the second wave of the pandemic.
Liberals table bill to implement UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
“We’re at a starting line putting 150 plus years, longer than that, of colonialism and the impact of (it) behind us,” he said. “Let’s move to a different model.”
The proposed legislation, if passed, would require the federal government to work with First Nations, Métis and Inuit to do everything needed to ensure Canadian law is in harmony with the rights and principles contained in the UN declaration.
It would also have the federal government create an action plan for those goals as soon as possible and no later than three years after the bill comes into force.
‘This is an unfolding nightmare’: Shamattawa First Nation COVID-19 outbreak worsens
“We need the military’s medical expertise, we need their temporary field hospitals, we need temporary structures,” Shamattawa First Nation Chief Eric Redhead said in a phone interview from his home in the remote community about 745 km north of Winnipeg.But despite repeated calls for help from the federal NDP and the community’s chief, the federal government has not yet committed to sending troops to the fly-in community.
“This is an unfolding nightmare,” NDP Churchill-Keewatinook Aski MP Niki Ashton told the House of Commons Thursday.
U of T hosts virtual, three-day Indigenous health conference
A three-day Indigenous Health Conference that kicked off Thursday at the University of Toronto will focus on solutions to health-care challenges facing Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
The conference – held virtually from Dec. 3 to 5 – will include more than 700 attendees from across Canada and is built around the theme of Indigenous youth and suicide prevention.
Connectivity a critical digital lifeline for Indigenous women across Canada experiencing violence and abuse during COVID-19
“It’s unfathomable to imagine the dual crises of domestic violence and physical isolation brought on by COVID-19. We are well into a second wave, and the need is urgent,” said Sevaun Palvetzian, Chief Communications Officer and lead for corporate social responsibility at Rogers Communications. “For women and children escaping violence and abuse, phones and connectivity provide an essential digital lifeline. We’re proud to work with the National Aboriginal Circle Against Family Violence, which provides housing and support for Indigenous women, when home is no longer safe, and to help enable connectivity for women to safely access resources.”