COVID-19 Daily News Digest – July 4, 2020
BEAUSOLEIL FIRST NATION REMAINS OFF-LIMITS TO NON-MEMBERS
“Although we have welcomed and accepted tourism onto our beautiful territory, we must also strongly remind everyone that we are still in the COVID-19 pandemic,” reads a statement from the community. “Beausoleil First Nation through its Emergency Control Group is whole-heartedly doing everything they can to protect our vulnerable population. Any blatant disregard to this work puts our community at great risk, further disregard to the orders outlined by Chief and Council and the Emergency Control Group will result in trespassing fines and charges being levied.”
This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land—COVID-19’s Impact on Indian Country
COVID-19 is an acute condition with a direct connection to the built environment that exposes the chronic disenfranchisement and injustices we see in Native communities. We need to work together as a country—as a civil society—to create sustainable, long-term solutions that will lift up the true sovereignty of our Indigenous communities. Acknowledging our history is a movement in the right direction, but if we are to create systemic change we must take action and design sustainable, transformational solutions for future generations to come. As we celebrate the 244th anniversary of these United States, I’m hopeful that time is now.
Hip-hop artist and activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez on why it’s so important to support indigenous communities right now
“The solutions that we can fight for to protect communities and human lives within this pandemic are completely aligned with the solutions that we need to invest in for the future. The climate crisis is so far from just an environmental issue; it encapsulates everything that humanity is facing, specifically frontline communities.”
New guide equips religious leaders to better protect rainforests
Critical to the world’s rainforests are the indigenous and local communities who live in the forests and have been their greatest caretakers for countless generations. Engaging indigenous communities is especially important now, as COVID-19 has exposed the vulnerability of forest communities to pandemics.
From the start, IRI’s work has been built on partnership with indigenous and forest communities. Each declaration and national political strategy is developed in consultation with indigenous representatives.
Ordinance on industries won’t hurt land rights of indigenous people, asserts Assam govt
On Monday, in a bid to fast track industrialisation amid the raging coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic that has roiled the state economy like in other parts of the country, Assam cabinet had allowed setting up of MSME units by submitting a self-declaration without taking any permission or clearance for a period of three years.The ordinance also allowed land for setting up industries would be “deemed converted”.
Indigenous leaders angry about coronavirus risk from Brazilian military visit
The Yanomami are the last major tribe to live in relative isolation on a vast reservation about the size of the U.S. state of Indiana and have been invaded for decades by gold miners who have brought diseases fatal to their people.
Roberto Yanomami, head of a community at Surucucu, said the government organized the trip without consulting tribal leaders.
“We are worried strangers came here and left the COVID-19. The Yanomami people were called into the garrison with no explanation,” he said in a video message, his face painted black with dye from the fruit of the genipapo tree
Indigenous B.C. tour operator keeps culture alive through virtual journeys in COVID-19 era
Spread across a series of posts, viewers were taken across the waters of Bute Inlet, introduced to a grizzly feeding near the shore, taken into lush forests, and given a glimpse of Homalco First Nation member Janet Wilson offering a strand of her hair to a cedar tree as token, before cedar pulling. This was Homalco tour’s “Instagram takeover” on Indigenous B.C.’s social media.
Ecuador indigenous group holds hostage police, official; demand return of corpse amid pandemic
Members of the Shuar Kumay community insist that Alberto Mashutak did not die of COVID-19 and that they should be allowed to give him a traditional burial, said lawyer Marcos Espinoza, who represents the community.
“It is a violation of collective and cultural rights and we are proposing… that a judge order the exhumation and the transfer of the body,” he said.
B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline
The report, a requirement under the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act approved by all parties in the B.C. legislature in November, was released July 3 and covers the first four months of its existence. It emphasizes progress such as updating B.C.’s school curriculum to include more Indigenous culture and history, and changes to child welfare laws to keep Indigenous children with their families and communities.
LETTER: Respecting First Nations
We’ve been calibrating and filtering so many of our choices in the past three months through the lens of “is this essential? or is this necessary?” Is it necessary to grocery shop every day or can you accommodate better planning and less frequent shops in order to reduce risk to everyone? Is it actually essential to be in a shared office when technology provides the tools to do that from a distance? It’s been challenging and inconvenient and the sense of hardship and loss is real. But, is it necessary to impose on communities who are still practicing Phase 1 restrictions in order to keep their families and their elders safe?
Woman wants racial data used in health care, cites treatment problems
Health researchers say the lack of race and Indigeneity data in Canada makes it impossible to properly identify racial health disparities, which is why the B.C. and federal governments are discussing how race-based data could be used to determine which populations are more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus.
Many Saskatchewan First Nations residents are travelling hours to get coronavirus treatment
Close to 40 per cent of First Nations in Saskatchewan have no immediate access to a hospital equipped to handle complicated cases of COVID-19.
This is according to data mapped by the Institute for Investigative Journalism’s Project Pandemic using Esri ArcGIS technology. The numbers indicate that 28 of 70 First Nations in the province are more than 50 kilometres from a facility that the provincial government has confirmed can offer care for coronavirus patients.