COVID-19 Daily News Digest – December 9, 2020
Manitoba to receive larger share of Moderna vaccine because of high Indigenous population, premier says
Pallister attributed the increased allotment to the work of Indigenous leaders.
The federal government had proposed doling out COVID-19 vaccines to the provinces based on population, with a portion of the vaccine reserved for Indigenous communities, Pallister said at a news conference last week.
The premier said if that is the case, he wanted Ottawa to provide an additional amount of vaccines to Manitoba because it has a higher Indigenous population than other provinces.
Alaska Indigenous theater production transforms classic holiday tale in ‘Tlingit Christmas Carol’
“If you enjoy a “Christmas Carol” like I do … you’ll recognize the story,” Starbard said. “It definitely plot-wise has a lot of the things — obviously not exactly the same, but — you’ll definitely recognize the story.”
The production is five roughly 20-minute episodes, or “staves,” livestreamed through Perseverance Theatre’s Facebook page and YouTube channel, each Friday until Christmas Day, Dec. 25. It will remain available to stream until Russian Orthodox Christmas in January 7.
Illegal mining sparks malaria outbreak in Indigenous territories in Brazil
Brazil is suffering from the third-highest number of COVID-19 infections in the world, and the second-highest number of deaths, behind only the U.S.
“As miners travel from one mine to another, malaria is spreading to areas of other mines of non-Indigenous lands as well,” the mayor’s office said, and raised another concern over the local health care system: “In addition to new cases, frequent interruptions in malaria treatment cause a large number of relapses.”
CDC: Covid-19 Hospitalization Rate for Native People Rises, Remains 2nd Highest of Any Demographic
In its latest weekly Covid-19 surveillance summary for the week of Nov. 28, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the overall Covid-19 hospitalization rate for American Indians and Alaska Natives has now grown to 521 per 100,000 people. This new rate is up from 487.3 for the week of Nov. 14.
Indigenous tourism group paid CEO $25K bonus days after it was tasked to distribute COVID-19 relief funds
Indigenous Services Canada is now reviewing several complaints against the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) over the bonus and how the organization distributed stimulus funds to hard hit Indigenous tourism business owners across the country.
Amid swirling concerns over fairness, Indigenous Services officials put a hold on the money the day after the announcement, demanding ITAC improve its application process, according to emails obtained by CBC News.
“There seems to be allegations that ITAC is not funding projects fairly, funding potential non-Indigenous owners, and the process is flawed,” wrote ITAC CEO Keith Henry, in a June 14 letter to the organization’s executive committee. His letter included a summary of a June 12 meeting with federal officials.
Canada ‘must build back better’ for Indigenous people after COVID-19: Bellegarde
“That gap amplifies every threat and every harm from this pandemic, from the risk of infection to the stress of lockdown,” National Chief Perry Bellegarde said in remarks to the virtual general assembly of the national political advocacy organization he has led since 2014.
“It is a riff that is both deep and wide. And it’s been carved by decades and centuries of racism, discrimination and indifference.”
“We must try to replace fear and distrust with a common purpose to build a better, stronger, and more resilient and a more tolerant Canada,” he said.
Indigenous leaders flag treaty obligation for COVID-19 vaccine delivery
“I do want to see our people prioritized because of treaty obligations,” Culbertson told Global News.
Treaty 6 has a clause that states the Crown must provide aid to Indigenous people during times of pestilence and famine. It was negotiated after European colonizers brought smallpox to Canada and decimated the buffalo population.
“This is… one of the biggest emergencies that we’re going to face in our lifetime,” Culbertson said. “Yet, First Nations have been facing emergencies… for generations.”
Virtual platform offers health care access for remote, Indigenous communities
Sabe Wellness is a virtual care platform that provides access to primary care, specialists and allied health professionals to Indigenous communities.
“Our name is based on one of the Anishinaabe’s greatest teachings. Sabe represents honesty, and the English definition is to understand and to comprehend. We like the idea of honesty and understanding as a health care platform,” said Alysha Buck, pharmacist and Sabe Wellness co-founder on Tuesday.
The platform was officially launched on Nov. 12. While anyone who owns a Manitoba health card can access this service, the platform is mainly targeted towards remote and Indigenous communities.
Move elders out of Shamattawa now, COVID-afflicted First Nation urges prime minister
There are 264 confirmed cases in Shamattawa, a community of about 1,300 people, according to a letter sent Tuesday by Shamattawa Chief Eric Redhead and Grand Chief Garrison Settee of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, a political advocacy group that represents 30 northern Manitoba First Nations.
Just a few weeks ago, in mid-November, there were only a handful of cases on the reserve, which is about 745 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.
Pandemic highlights need for internet equality, First Nations chief says
“It’s opening up this whole other world for individuals to … market themselves in a way that wasn’t the norm before and wasn’t the norm when we had a dial-up connection,” Sellars said.
He said the business growth could be repeated by Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in rural and remote areas, but only if they have reliable and fast connectivity.
Ontario’s Indigenous Affairs ministry not aware of most of province’s Indigenous programs, audit finds
“I do believe that the province can do a better job of assessing and reporting its own effectiveness and improving the lives of Indigenous people,” said RoseAnne Archibald.
“And I also agree that we’re not always engaged in ensuring that the programs and services meet our needs.”
The audit found that the ministry plays conflicting roles in land claim negotiations and has not identified ways to reduce the amount of time settlement negotiations take.
More than 300 new COVID-19 cases identified among Manitoba’s First Nations people
According to the PRCT’s latest report, which covers Dec. 5 to 7, of these new cases, 125 were identified in people living off reserve and 192 in people living on reserve. This brings the total number of active COVID-19 cases among the province’s First Nations people to 1411.
‘I don’t want us to lose anybody’: Shamattawa grandfather fears for family after testing positive for COVID-19
On Monday, he said all the people in his home had tested positive, except for four residents who haven’t sought testing yet.
“We need to flatten the curve [and] get this thing in control,” he said.
“My fear is … losing people from this. [I have] more concern for the elders and for the people that are sick,” Miles said
Labor slams Federal Government’s approach to food security
“It is important to acknowledge that this is the third time this matter has been examined in recent years and none of those inquiries has resolved the concerns about food prices and security that have been expressed,” said Leeser.
“Consequently, complaints concerning food pricing need to be examined by a body that is equipped to do the thorough, forensic examination that will satisfy the public. That is why the Committee is recommending these matters be investigated by the ACCC undertaking an enhanced market study which they have never done in remote communities.”
New grants to help rural, remote and Indigenous communities combat overdose crisis
“Overdoses are hurting people and families in every corner of our province. And every community needs a full set of tools to help with this crisis,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, on Tuesday. “To prevent overdoses, respond to overdoses, and save lives, this funding will help communities meet their residents’ needs, in their own way.”
Canada: Over $1 Billion USD New Investment In Clean Water Supply For First Nations
The investment is intended to provide reliable and lasting funding to ensure water infrastructure can be maintained in good condition, thereby ensuring longer lifecycles and more durable systems. The new investment will also assist in identifying water system issues earlier and help prevent future long-term drinking water advisories. The annual funding will also support training for water operators and help communities to better retain qualified operators for years to come.