Pauingassi First Nation goes into lockdown after a quarter of members test positive for COVID-19
“It’s safer for them to leave because we have very little resources at our nursing station, and one of them might take a turn for the worse. They can’t be treated here. They would have to be sent out by medevac, and there is always a lot of unknowns with that such as delays due to bad weather,” said Owens.
He admits it has been a slow process getting those infected flown out and is not sure why. He says the longer they remain in the community, the greater the chance for the virus to spread.
The outbreak in Pauingassi began in December, when the First Nation had a handful of positive cases. Owens believes those cases were related to people returning to the community after receiving medical treatment.
Government of Canada supports four safer drug supply projects in British Columbia
The four safer supply projects, based in Vancouver and Victoria, will provide people with opioid use disorder with a safer, medical alternative from a licensed prescriber. The initiatives will also connect them with important health and social services, including treatment, which may be more difficult to access during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Vaccination efforts accelerate across Ontario’s northern fly-in communities
“Today marks a significant step towards ending the COVID-19 pandemic in Nishnawbe Aski Nation. Vaccination teams are being welcomed in communities across our territory, and I thank Ornge for their dedication to making this a successful rollout,” says Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler. “The number of community members giving their consent to receive the vaccine is encouraging. I look forward to this momentum continuing within the coming days as more teams enter our communities. We all have a part to play in ending this pandemic. This includes receiving the vaccine if you can to protect those in your community who are not eligible to receive it.”
COVID-19 vaccinations accelerate in fly-in First Nations communities
NAN Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler said today marks a significant step towards ending the COVID-19 pandemic in the Nishnawbe Aski Nation.
“The number of community members giving their consent to receive the vaccine is encouraging. I look forward to this momentum continuing within the coming days as more teams enter our communities,” Fiddler added.
Brazil’s Amazon Region Hit Hard by COVID Second Wave
A devastating second wave of COVID-19 in Amazonas State has caused the healthcare system to collapse and raised the mortality rate in the region to 190 deaths per 100,000 people, the highest one in Brazil. The state had at least 266,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 8,000 deaths.
The surge began just after Christmas and has been growing since then. A new strain of the coronavirus was identified in the state’s capital city, Manaus, and is thought to now be the dominant one in the area.
How Manitoba plans to protect First Nations residents with the COVID-19 vaccine
Anderson also noted that the PRCT and the vaccine taskforce are working on ensuring younger First Nations Manitobans receive a vaccine sooner due to COVID-19 having a more severe impact on First Nations people.
“The median age of severe outcomes from COVID for First Nations people is also much younger than it is for other Manitobans. The median age is 51 for hospitalizations and the median age of death is 66 for First Nations people in Manitoba, which is a full 17 years lower than the rest of the province,” said Anderson.
Sixties Scoop class action settlement to move forward after delays
“We didn’t deny any claims during the pandemic. It just wasn’t going to be fair,” said Doug Lennox of Klein Lawyers, who provides ongoing counsel to class members.
“But we are now at a point where I think we can lift that pause and go forward and work for those survivors because they need answers.”
MANITOBA GOVERNMENT SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH GOVERNMENT OF CANADA TO SUPPORT ESSENTIAL AIR ACCESS TO REMOTE COMMUNITIES
“We are proud to work with the federal government, air industry and Indigenous partners to support the unique needs of our remote communities,” said Clarke. “In regions where there are no roads connecting communities, air services must remain operational as residents depend on this service for essential goods and access in and out of their communities. This partnership will help to ensure there will be no disruptions to services in our northern communities.”
‘It disgusts me’: how a wealthy couple lied to get a vaccine meant for Indigenous people
“They saw the most vulnerable people within the community on full display and continued on to get the shot,” said Janet Vander Meer of the White River First Nation. “That’s what disgusts me.”
Last week, Yukon officials announced the tickets had been stayed and the Bakers were summoned to appear in court, where they will face charges for failing to self-isolate for 14 days and failing to act in a manner consistent with their declarations upon arriving in the Yukon. If convicted, they could face up to six months in jail. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are also investigating. The Bakers have not commented publicly since the charges were filed.
First Nations are exerting more control over their borders. Health care could be next
Helga Bryant, the CEO of Northern Health, suggested she supports a future where Indigenous health care is led by Indigenous people.
“They are sovereign nations. They have a right to govern themselves,” Bryant said in Thompson. “They know those needs in their communities and I fully support efforts that they can make and hopefully will continue to make in the future.”
How Can We Improve Healthcare in Indigenous Communities?
Hospitals must also implement a better system of documentation that includes native people. Exclusion of data and research will not help any healthcare system who is servicing an indigenous community. Documentation should include not just basic statistics and medications, but availability of testing, results, side -effects, availability for research or vaccines, and understanding of current disease process.
Lastly, we must not only educate but advocate for the health of the community where elders are pivotal to the survival of a tribe. They are the guardians of tribal culture and language and the most at risk during this pandemic. As healthcare workers, we have a responsibility to all communities and seek preventative mechanisms that are appropriate for all.
Persistent to potlatch: The continuity of Nuu-Chah-Nulth potlatches through COVID-19
The Howards felt compelled to host this potlatch, after one of their relatives from Opitsaht projected that their family likely would host the first post-pandemic potlatch. After much consideration, the couple decided that the potlatch could be hosted online. “I expected a handful of people would watch and participate,” said Howard. But what happened next still has the couple in astonishment.
All Albertans who must self-isolate due to COVID-19 can now access hotel rooms at no cost
More than 850 Albertans have accessed hotel accommodations for self-isolation purposes since the December launch of the COVID-19 care teams and outreach campaign, McIver said.
The program has also worked with local community groups to make information and support accessible in multiple different languages.
“We believe it’s having a positive impact in communities where it’s needed in Calgary and Edmonton – what a great reason to provide that positive opportunity to Albertans outside of the two major cities,” said McIver.
Manitoba’s age-based vaccine rollout will see First Nations people 20 years younger inoculated
“This will ensure the same level of risk experienced by First Nations people at younger ages is adequately addressed,” Anderson, who is part of the Manitoba First Nations Pandemic Coordination Team, said.
When asked what she would say to those who think the age differential isn’t fair, Anderson said the severe health outcomes Indigenous people face aren’t fair.
First Nations people made up 73 per cent of all presumed active cases in Manitoba and had an 18 per cent test positivity rate, a Friday update from the pandemic response team said.
Vaccination comments by Nechako Lakes MLA draw ire of First Nations leaders
First Nations leaders are calling on the BC Liberals to discipline Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad for making comments on social media they say fuelled racism against their communities.
Nak’azdli Chief Aileen Prince and BC Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief Terry Teegee called for action after Rustad took to his personal Facebook page last week and asked if, and why, Nak’azdli First Nation was vaccinating its members as young as 18 years old, while vaccinations for senior citizens in Fort St. James had been postponed until phase two of the roll-out. He also asked why an 18-year-old would need to be vaccinated ahead of an 80-year-old.
Program to reduce spread of COVID-19 in crowded homes expanded to all Alberta communities
The COVID-19 support program was originally announced in December for people living in Edmonton and Calgary. On Monday, the government announced the program would be expanded to include the entire province.
“This program came about as a result of community organizations within Calgary and Edmonton, initially, coming to government and saying we all know which neighbourhoods the COVID spread has been higher, and there’s a reason for that,” said Municipal Affairs Minister Ric McIver.
“It’s because people are in living situations where they are not able to self-isolate, sometimes due to the number of people living in a household, sometimes multi-generational households.”
Indigenous Storytelling Month goes online during COVID-19
“My mom said as soon as I could talk, I was telling stories,” she said. “When I was a wee girl … I remember going to school, we had a show and tell. I would come up with some real whoppers.”
Now she’s sharing traditional stories with children for Indigenous Storytelling Month. However, it looks very different than in the past. Telling stories to schoolchildren is being done virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Take a seat: New structures offer much-needed respite for city’s homeless
“I think just metaphorically and physically, we’re raising people up,” said Adrienne Dudek, director of transitional and supportive housing for the Main Street Project.
She said the structures, which went up last week, are the quick result of a partnership with the University of Manitoba’s faculty of architecture that fulfil a need for public seating on Main Street.
“It gives people just a place of respite to just wait for services sometimes, just to participate in community and not be on the ground, just like you and I would go to a park and sit on a bench or sit in a space. It’s just a much more dignified way to be.”
Thompson COVID-19 immunization supersite opens amid vaccine shortages
Due to further reductions in the Pfizer-BioNTech shipments from the federal government, the Winnipeg and Brandon supersites — which opened Jan. 4 and 13, respectively — are no longer taking appointments. Only a small number of first-dose appointments are available in Thompson, the province said in a news release Monday, while immunizations at personal care homes are continuing ahead of schedule.