COVID-19 Daily News Digest – July 13, 2020
Alberta to launch third-party review into COVID-19 response as First Nations report new cases
Though case numbers have largely levelled off, recent data suggests a potential spike in infections. On Friday, the most recent date with data available, Alberta posted 77 new COVID-19 infections, the highest single-day total in more than two months.
The Piikani Nation west of Lethbridge announced its first confirmed coronavirus case Saturday, closing down many of its departments as a precautionary measure.
In its Saturday update, Siksika Nation said 28 positive COVID-19 cases had been identified from more than 2,500 tests, with 15 of those cases remaining active. One new case on the Nation east of Calgary has been confirmed since Thursday.
Province provides funding to help First Nations recover through SIGA
He says the money goes to the 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan for things like economic development, social programs, education and the development and maintenance of community infrastructure.
A negotiating team met with the provincial government and the result is $43.4-million in financial support.
Loved ones hold memorial on Piikani First Nation for lives lost to Canada’s other pandemic — opioids
“We’re seeing a spike not with the other pandemic that we’re dealing with but we’re seeing spikes with drug addiction and it’s hitting First Nations extremely hard,” Jackson said. “It’s running rampant. It’s increased since COVID-19.”
N.W.T. ignored in Alberta monitoring suspension despite agreement: leaked emails
We have been made aware … that the Alberta Energy Regulator has indefinitely suspended several environmental monitoring requirements for major oilsands producers,” wrote Erin Kelly, the N.W.T.’s deputy environment minister to her Alberta counterpart.
‘It’s really frustrating’: B.C. Indigenous groups share impact of border closures
“Of course it’s negatively impacting. But our directors have said, our chiefs have said, people before economics,” said Judith Sayers, the president of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, in an interview. “I think everyone is slowly realizing the impact economically, but right now we just really feel that we want to protect the members first.”
Members of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, made up of 14 First Nations along the west coast of Vancouver Island, have deployed a variety of tactics to help ensure their borders are kept sealed from non-residents
TD Bank: COVID-19 having a disproportionate impact on young, minorities
As for minorities, the rate was 64% among Black Canadians, 65% of South Asians, and 70% of Filipinos, versus the 53% rate in the general population.
In terms of financial capabilities, almost 30% of Indigenous households are anticipating the need to borrow money for essential expenses in the next few months. This rate was just under 20% in the general population.
Greenpeace delivers over 28 tonnes of emergency supplies to Indigenous communities in Brazil to fight COVID-19 with coalition efforts
Greenpeace Brazil has partnered up with health professionals and other organisations to deliver over 28 tonnes of urgently needed medical supplies; including COVID-19 tests, oxygen cylinders, hand sanitisers and personal protection equipment, to remote cities in the Amazon region. The solidarity project, called “Wings of Emergency”, has reached more than 50 Indigenous groups since 8 May.
Oil Comes First in Peru, Not Coronavirus Danger, Not Indigenous Rights
Peru’s metallurgical and mining industries produce and use most of the oxygen used in Peru. But indigenous communities are apparently seeking that industrial oxygen be made available for treating COVID 19 infection. They denounced Frontera Energy’s decision as a violation of human rights.Indigenous communities have been protesting “large exposure to toxic materials and the disproportionate impact on specific groups of the population.” Over the last five years, the company allegedly was responsible for at least 80 major oil spill-overs, six of them since February. Indigenous peoples have expressed concern that waste material and toxins will remain after oil extraction in Loreto is finished.
More than 230,000 Covid-19 cases were recorded yesterday in the darkest 24 hours of the pandemic so far, World Health Organization reveals
According to the WHO situation report on July 12, the US is steaming ahead with new infections — reporting 66,281 in one day.
WHO chiefs have warned the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic is yet to come because the spread of the virus is accelerating in some parts of the world.
The total number of cases worldwide has doubled in the last six weeks, according to Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the UN agency.
It’s time to say goodbye to exclusion
“The recognition that Indigenous traditions, teachings and celebrations are not an exercise in being politically correct, but are an intrinsic part of our shared Canadian identity — well, it’s nothing short of inspiring to behold.
If my new job has taught me anything, it’s that barriers can be broken wherever and whenever we make the effort to build mutual understanding.
Simply put, people are ready to do the work.”
Delays in COVID-19 relief funds threaten upgrades to tribal health care
The federal money has been slow in arriving. The U.S. Treasury Department split the $8 billion into two different allocations, with the first 60% decided by population and the remaining amount decided by other factors. The department said in a June 17 update it had released all of the money except some slated for Alaska. Torres said Wednesday her tribe still hasn’t received its full allotment.
James Jones Is Bringing Indigenous Style and Dancing to TikTok
Jones, who is Cree, is a full-time speaker and performer; his main cultural artform is hoop dancing, but he also does grass dancing and fancy dancing as well. “I started out as a breakdancer when I was a youth, and transitioned to my traditional dances as I started to reconnect with my culture,” Jones tells Vogue. In 2019, he was even a finalist on So You Think You Can Dance Canada, and he has also performed with the Indigenous EDM group A Tribe Called Red.
COVID-19 and the Global Food Supply: Big Lessons From the World’s Small Farms
Successes in farming communities in Nepal, India, East and West Africa, Guatemala, Peru, Burkina Faso, and several other countries hold lessons for those in the US who look to small farms as a way to build resilience and food security. “Small-scale agricultural producers have a strong capacity for innovation,” notes Do Christophe Ouattara, World Neighbors Senior Program Officer in West Africa. “In Burkina Faso, indigenous soil and water conservation techniques improve production and contribute considerably to food security.”
Racism thrives during COVID-19 pandemic
“…governments and institutions at all levels continue to deny the reality of racism. When acknowledged, the talk shifts quickly to managing diversity or tokenizing difference.
Pre-pandemic, the threat to society was crafted in the language of a war on terror (and before that: the war on poverty, and war on drugs, etc.). In that war, the quintessential enemy are the Muslims. Today, the tendency would be to deny this. However, the reality of Bill 21 in Quebec, not to mention the escalating Islamophobia, contests such denial.
In the background, percolating through all these decades if not centuries, has been anti-Indigenous and anti-Black racism, both pillars of a colonial settler society anchored in white supremacy.”