COVID-19 Daily News Digest – July 15, 2020
An oil spill in the time of coronavirus
On April 7, 2020, a landslide ruptured three pipelines along the Coca River, spilling at least 15,800 barrel of crude oil in a region long affected by a history of toxic dumping by the Chevron-Texaco Oil Company.
The oil spread downriver, first along the Coca River, then along the Napo, a tributary of the Amazon, eventually even reaching Peru, contaminating water, soils, plants and wildlife along the way. One morning, children came home from the river covered in oil, by the next, the fish caught in the river tasted of oil. This is Ecuador’s largest oil spill in 15 years, affecting 120,000 people during the pandemic’s peak.
Assembly of First Nations Alberta uses new mobile app to communicate with members
“Using an app is an innovative way in which we can lean on the latest technology to make sure that our leaders and our communities are connected and informed to information we receive at a national level,” said Regional Chief Marlene Poitras. “Specifically, during this pandemic, the AFNAB app has proven to be an efficient and reliable way to reach First Nations across Alberta using a device that many already have in their pockets.”
Governments Worldwide Are Failing Indigenous Peoples During the Pandemic
I was on a panel with people from the federal government who are in charge of Indigenous data and they were like, “Well, you know, we’ve done inter-jurisdictional scans and when we compare ourselves to other countries with Indigenous populations we’re doing quite well,’” said Courtney Skye, a fellow with Yellowhead Institute who has monitored government responses to COVID-19 in Indigenous communities.
“So, basically it’s: ‘We’ve compared ourselves to other colonial oppressors and others aren’t doing anything, so we’re doing well’…it was crazy to have that so blatantly stated,” Skye said.
Native Americans see hope in ‘day of reckoning’ that’s 20 generations in the making
Change has been the operative word in tribal communities of late: The Supreme Court ruled on July 9 that a large swath of eastern Oklahoma remains a Native American reservation based on a treaty signed with the Creek Nation in the 19th Century. This month, there have also been legal victories for Native environmental activists in their attempts to block two major oil pipelines. Statues of Christopher Columbus, whose arrival in the New World heralded the conquest and mass murder in the eyes of many Indigenous Americans, have been toppled in several states.
Bengaluru-based Biocon’s COVID-19 Drug Gets DGCA Approval After Only 30 Human Trials
Amid rigorous research to come up with a vaccine that can bid adieu to the deadly coronavirus, Bengaluru-based pharma Biocon’s Itolizumab has got the approval for “restricted emergency use” to treat COVID-19 patients on the basis of clinical trials on only 30 patients across only four centres
COVID-19 cases reported in two First Nations
The new case in Six Nations of the Grand River brings the total number of confirmed cases there to 15, Ohsweken Public Health Officials said in a release Tuesday.
And the Samson Cree Nation in central Alberta is warning that a non-resident member who visited Maskwacis and Ma-Me-O Beach has tested positive for COVID-19. They did not provide a timeline.
Expert Q&A with John Borrows on Indigenous health and economic prosperity
“ In my view, environmental protection, sustainability and clean-up will be at the heart of a lot of future growth for Indigenous-owned small and medium-sized businesses. Indigenous peoples’ own laws will be crucial to the success of these ventures because they speak to the obligations Indigenous peoples have long had to the earth. Sustainable fisheries and responsible forest management also plays a vital role in Indigenous communities.”
Bolsonaro is denounced at UN for negligence towards indigenous peoples
The congressman’s office affiliated to the Sustainability Network (REDE) party cited in its lawsuit Bolsonaro’s vetoes that free the Brazilian government from its obligation to provide drinking water, hygiene and hospital beds to the native communities, journalist Mônica Bergamo says in her Tuesday’s article in Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper.
The former military man was denounced in November by non-governmental organizations at the International Criminal Court for the recklessness with which he treats native peoples.
Indigenous Peoples are crucial partners to build a better post–COVID-19 world, says IFAD President
Despite representing over six per cent of the global population, they account for about 18 per cent of the world’s poor.
They are at disproportionate risk in public health emergencies, becoming even more vulnerable during this global pandemic.
Indigenous Peoples are custodians of about 80 per cent of the world’s biodiversity and are also among the worst affected by climate change as a result of their close interaction and reliance upon the climate and natural systems.
When shame serves a useful purpose
The shame I am praising is not the shame that most exploited children feel or the shame that many Indigenous people experience because of their situations. The shame I am praising is that which causes us enough discomfort and remorse to act, to speak up, and to insist that our governments attend to these issues to relieve us of the shameful burden of collective guilt.
Now is the time to build sustainable food system resilience
As a result of the pandemic, Canadian governments at all levels iii have recognized food systems and their components as essential services. While there has been recent short-term emergency assistance for some farmers, long-term, focused re-investment could be considered. The goal to re-localize aspects of our food systems has recently precipitated questions about what we can produce for local Canadian markets.
West Coast Trail closed to overnight camping after consultation with First Nations
“The health and safety of First Nation communities, visitors, Parks Canada team members, and of all Canadians is of utmost importance to Parks Canada,” said park superintendent Karen Haugen on CBC’s All Points West.
In addition to the West Coast Trail, Nitinaht Triangle, Cape Beale Headlands, Keeha Beach, Tapaltos and the Broken Group Islands are closed to overnight camping for the rest of the 2020 season.
Kamloops-area chiefs call for help as overdoses spike
Casimir also cited the COVID-19 pandemic as a likely cause for the increase, noting it has made it more difficult for substance users to access support and reduction services.
“It’s so important to have a healthy community,” she said. “That starts with making sure we have systems in place to support addictions and mental health.”
$100K in bursaries available to N.W.T. students impacted by COVID-19
A new bursary is offering $5,000 to Northwest Territories students whose post-secondary education has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In total, the Hotıì ts’eeda research support unit will be awarding $100,000 in bursaries, according to a news release issued Tuesday.