COVID-19 Daily News Digest – July 29, 2020
Congo Basin’s endangered wildlife find unlikely guardians in indigenous hunters
The Congo Basin is home to the world’s second-largest rainforest and a unique array of biodiversity. But the ecosystem’s remote location cannot protect it from the threat of poaching. Special correspondent Monica Villamizar and videographer Phil Caller traveled to the Central African Republic before the pandemic to report on indigenous tribal hunters working to protect endangered wildlife.
Walking together towards a new future
Living in poverty, having limited access to health care and experiencing the repeated stresses caused by the inequities in our society all contribute to health conditions that put these populations more at risk for severe cases of COVID-19.
The death of George Floyd and other unarmed Black men and women have also brought the structural inequities of our society into bold view for many people. Racism and persistent inequities undermine the human rights, opportunities and dignity that Americans hold dear.
Indigenous Communities in Chile Raise Concerns about Public Health Risks Posed by Mining Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic
“It is important to point out that from March 18 to the present, the Atacameño People’s Council [an Indigenous governance body representing 18 communities] announced publicly that they would close all tourist centres in the community, which are managed by the community members. They also demanded that the mining companies Soquimich (SQM) and Albermarle – the two most important lithium producers in the country – take preventative measures to minimize the flows of personnel (which can reach up to 10,000 people) since their operations take place in close proximity to surrounding communities (some of which even have mining camps in them).
Agnico Eagle pipeline plans in Arctic Canada halted after Indigenous community outcry
In the July 17 decision, the Nunavut Impact Review Board outlined four items for which Agnico had to provide more information on before a technical review could be scheduled, including supporting evidence for environmental impacts and incorporation of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit.
Langevin said Agnico will provide a response to the review board “fairly shortly” because “the timeline is important.
“The sooner [we start] the construction of this project, the sooner we’ll be in a better position to basically face the future,” he said.
Wisconsin’s tribes have relatively low COVID-19 cases — here’s how they’re doing it
“We have continued to emphasize the need for safety guidelines, such as only going out when absolutely necessary, social distancing of a minimum of 6 feet apart, masking, sanitizing, etc.,” said Debra Danforth, community health division director for the tribe.
Ontario Invests in Supportive Housing for Niagara Region’s Most Vulnerable
“Communities across the province are facing housing challenges, which have been heightened by COVID-19. Our government is proud to be working to ensure that every Ontarian has a place to call home,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Together, we are supporting innovative approaches so that our most vulnerable can safely move into housing with crucial support services.”
Thunderbird House gets needed upgrades as Indigenous cultural hub transformed into COVID-19 testing site
In the meantime, Johnston sees another silver lining of the pandemic. While the space has operated as a testing site, it’s given the board time to brainstorm a path forward for Thunderbird House.
The board recently enlisted a lawyer to join its ranks and is working with a local consultant on a long-term business plan to ensure Thunderbird House can remain sustainable moving forward.
Indigenous town councillor slams Black Lives Matter activists for being selfish by protesting in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic and putting elderly lives at risk
‘When you are not one of our elders wanting to die in isolation you do your part so that the vulnerable don’t have to face this heartbreak,’ she said on Wednesday.
‘This is why you don’t protest in the middle of a pandemic and this is why you adhere to regulations. Sometimes it’s not about you.’