COVID-19 Daily News Digest – July 22, 2020
Bear Clan Patrol among groups sharing $8.4M in federal COVID-response funds
“Today I’m very pleased to announce… support for organizations and projects like the Bear Clan Patrol’s community food bank as part of the additional supports available to urban and off-reserve members through this fund,” said Vandal, MP for Saint Boniface-Saint Vital.
“Through this important response program, Bear Clan Patrol will be able to provide the delivery of weekly food supply to vulnerable people here in Winnipeg’s inner city.”
Indigenous people need more support to weather 2nd wave of COVID-19: experts
Dr. Anna Banerji, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health and co-creator of the petition, says that while some of the government response to the petition’s calls has been positive, more funding for these communities is needed to tackle issues associated with COVID-19, including mental health.https://globalnews.ca/news/7201390/coronavirus-covid-19-indigenous-people-support-second-wave/
A Data-Driven Approach to Addressing Racial Disparities in Health Care Outcomes
At Brigham Health, a member of the not-for-profit Mass General Brigham health system (formerly Partners HealthCare), we proactively developed a robust data infrastructure to understand the differential impact of Covid-19 on our patients and staff; visualized data through dashboards to inform our hospital operations and infrastructure; and used this data to design high-impact strategies to reduce harm caused by racism and other forms of structural discrimination. We have outlined some key lessons learned throughout this process.
Homeless in tents fight Toronto parks bylaw in light of COVID-19 pandemic
“The applicants view their ability to erect a tent or shelter within their community and to store their essential belongings as integral to their ability to safely shelter in place in the midst of a global pandemic so long as they are homeless,” they say.
According to the urgent filing, the bylaw prevents the homeless from “engaging in essential life-sustaining activities” in public places. Forcing them into communal indoor spaces puts them at risk, they say.
Canada is providing support to urban and off-reserve Indigenous organizations
Since the beginning of the pandemic, people and organizations at all levels have taken action to protect and provide supports to some of the most vulnerable and those in need. Community-based organizations are on the front-lines and have led the charge in advocating for, and delivering support. Women’s groups, homeless shelters, mental health providers, and food delivery organizations have worked hard during this difficult time. Their work is essential, and their leadership saved lives.
The Nature Gap
Studies have found that, because they are more likely to live in polluted areas without sufficient tree cover and spaces to get outdoors, people of color and low-income communities are more susceptible to developing immunocompromising illnesses such as asthma—a risk factor for COVID-19.25 Studies have even established a direct link between exposure to air pollution and COVID-19 mortality.26 Meanwhile, access to urban nature—and specifically the addition of green spaces to the poorest neighborhoods—can provide mental health benefits. In fact, scientists estimate that every dollar spent on creating and maintaining park trails can save almost three dollars in health care alone—a benefit that is being denied to the most economically distressed communities.
WHO emphasizes importance of contact tracing to curb COVID-19
While mobile applications can support contact tracing, Tedros said that nothing replaces boots on the ground – trained workers going door-to-door to find cases and contacts, and break the chains of transmission.
“Contact tracing is essential for every country, in every situation. It can prevent individual cases from becoming clusters, and clusters turning into community transmission,” he said, adding that it is all the more critical as countries are opening up.
Pandemic situation of indigenous Americans concerning, says WHO chief
WHO’s Regional Office for the Americas has recently published recommendations for preventing and responding to COVID-19 among indigenous peoples, and WHO is also working with the Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon River Basin to step up the fight against COVID-19, Tedros said.
Chief of Brazil’s largest indigenous tribe dies of Covid-19
Venite, 68, was the leader of the Guarani Sapukai tribe, the largest native population of Rio, and was hospitalized in the Covid-19 Treatment Reference Center since June 26.
The Municipal Health Secretariat told the tribe not to perform the death ritual and thus comply with the rules of the Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) for the pandemic
Oklahoma governor stumbles into treaty rights debate
The announcement came after the collapse of a controversial agreement-in-principle that was negotiated by a fellow Republican state official. But Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter, who had tried to convince the Supreme Court that the Creek Reservation no longer existed, did not include Stitt in talks for the deal, which was disavowed not only by the Muscogee (Creek) Nation but by the Seminole Nation, barely a day after it was made public.
Indigenous people describe as ‘humiliating’ Brazilian government deal
The experience was disastrous, humiliating and shameful, a situation that no citizen deserves to go through, especially before the authorities of the Brazilian government,’ denounced the entity.
Journalistic media assure that, in the case of the aborigines, the meeting apparently had the objective of attacking them and trying to intimidate them, with a discriminatory speech and incitement to hatred against their peoples.
Burnaby joins call for race-based COVID-19 data in B.C.
“One of the things that has highlighted the need for us to recognize what is the makeup of our cities and … what type of things are not working for our citizens. And this is a beginning to correct some of the deficiencies that currently exist.”
Dhaliwal said he hoped the city’s equity policy will pursue similar race-based data to inform its policies.
Ecuador’s Amazon tribes turn to tech to track COVID-19 cases
“While this platform shows important and disturbing numbers, each digit is a person, a mom, a dad, a grandfather or grandmother. We have lost a lot of elders – they are the keepers of our traditions, our ancestral knowledge, our languages,” said Marlon Vargas, head of CONFENIAE, in a statement.
“We are using technology to help document how we are being affected and hope it brings the resources we need to combat this virus,” he said.
Mayors speak with members of Indigenous Land Back Camp
“We want to the actual ability to use our own space the way our community sees fit, so again this a lot of talking about consultation and more speaking to other folks, but we want a commitment to action, we would like to see that action part,” said Co-organizer Amy Smoke of the Mohawk Nation Turtle Clan from the Six Nations of the Grand River.
Covid-19: Indigenous knowledge and lack of medical facilities
The inability of the state to put together a prefabricated hospital is a reflection of the inefficiency of the state government. Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar, Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Health Minister Alo Libang are answerable to the people of this state. As people responsible, have they done enough? No.
Yukon flooded with mushroom pickers ignoring COVID-19 restrictions
“It’s a little bit of a gold rush of mushroom pickers,” said Josee Tremblay, manager of lands and resources at the First Nation of Na-cho Nyäk Dun, located in central Yukon. “There are people all over the territory.”
Yukon has been in lockdown since March due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, with out-of-town visitors allowed in under special circumstances and requiring two weeks of quarantine. Visitors travelling through Yukon en route to Alaska have a 24-hour window to get through the territory — something Tremblay said is being abused, with some people overstaying the allotted time.
Teach For Canada switches program delivery in light of pandemic to bring important Indigenous information to teachers
“We’re holding sessions this year called Sharing Our Gifts, and we asked community members to share any kind of lessons or teachings or knowledge with the [teachers] that they could take north with them,” says Shardae Fortier, director of community engagement and Indigenous relations at Teach For Canada and Red Rock Indian Band citizen. “We’re doing an hour each day for two weeks. We held one yesterday (July 13) and I think it was a great success — it was (delivered by) Narcisse Kakegabon, a citizen of Long Lake #58 who has taught in Pikangikum since 2018.”
Federal, AFN child welfare agreement years in the making
In January of 2018, the federal government hosted an emergency meeting on Indigenous Child and Family Services. It brought together over 300 First Nations, Inuit, and Métis child and family services technicians, experts, Chiefs, provincial and territorial Ministers in the realms of child and social services and policy representatives, and federal representatives from various departments.
At the emergency meeting, Canada Commitment to six points of action to address the over-representation of Indigenous children in care:
COVID-19 driving indigenous in Colombia’s Amazon region into extinction
Since April, we have sent several alerts about the precarious situation of our healthcare system. La Chorrera has a single healthcare center, and it does not have the medical equipment or infrastructure necessary to treat COVID-19 patients. Healthcare workers have done their best with their scarce resources, but it has become increasingly difficult to treat patients because the center does not have electricity and its generator is faulty. Without electricity it is impossible to ensure the availability of oxygen for patients.