COVID-19 Daily News Digest – July 7, 2020
Opinion: Decolonizing Indigenous health care in Quebec
Among Quebec political leadership, it seemed that only Manon Massé of Québec solidaire paid any attention to the efforts of Indigenous communities. She wrote in La Presse on April 22 about her admiration for the measures that Indigenous communities had put in place, and asked whether they would be given a place at decision-making tables. Premier François Legault has been silent on that question. The Quebec Regional Chief of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador, Ghislain Picard, called on public health authorities and the government of Quebec to “actively involve” First Nations in decisions.
93% spike in First Nations overdose deaths recorded in B.C. during COVID-19
May was the deadliest month ever in B.C. for illicit overdoses, with 170 deaths reported by the B.C. Coroners Service.
One of the contributing factors in the spike in overdose deaths with the onset of the pandemic has been an increasingly toxic street drug supply due to supply chain disruptions.
“Right now, more than ever, we know that the toxicity of the street supply has gone up exponentially in this pandemic,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer for B.C
Prepaid credit cards used for off-reserve First Nations COVID-19 relief cause headaches
“It was $47. We have been under this pandemic for four months, so it equals out to $10 a month because there’s charges [to use] the card,” said Parenteau
She plans on getting food and cleaning supplies with the money but questions why AMC didn’t send a cheque instead of a prepaid card with user fees.
Epic canoe trip raising thousands for COVID-19
From Nipigon, the crew will spend seven days paddling Lake Superior to the Michipicoten River, spending time on the Spanish and French Rivers and Georgian Bay, before taking the Ottawa River to their destination in the nation’s capital.
How to advance equity in energy solutions in the COVID-19 era
What should energy professionals who care about these interconnected crises and operate in historically underserved communities do? What’s the best way to look at COVID and racial injustice, and focus the negative emotions and stress onto positive, equitable energy solutions towards climate change?
India’s first coronavirus vaccine, Covaxin: What we know so far
More than 140 candidate vaccines are under various stages of development. One of the leading candidates is AZD1222 developed Jenner Institute of University of Oxford and licenced to AstraZeneca British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Cambridge, England. The MRNA-1273 vaccine developed by Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, Washington and taken up for production by the US-based Moderna pharmaceutical is just a step behind. Both these firms have already inked an agreement with Indian manufacturers for production of the COVID vaccines
Indigenous Historian Nick Estes on Toppling Statues, Racist Team Names & COVID-19 in Indian Country
President Trump’s visit to Mount Rushmore comes after months of escalating coronavirus infections in Native communities, but Indigenous scholar and activist Nick Estes says South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, like many of her Republican counterparts across the U.S., has taken a “hallucination-based approach to the COVID-19 pandemic,” and notes she refused to enforce social distancing at this weekend’s event that attracted thousands of people. He also reacts to growing pressure on the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians to change their racist names.
The effects of COVID-19 on the mental health of Indigenous communities
Responding to similar challenges throughout the world, the United Nations have urged member states “to include the specific needs and priorities of Indigenous peoples in addressing the global outbreak.”
AMSANT says NT coronavirus border restrictions with Victoria poses risks to vulnerable groups
Mr Paterson said if the Government does not impose a border ban on Victoria, then it must implement mandatory supervised 14-day quarantine for anyone who enters the Territory from a coronavirus hotspot, with immediate effect.
“We can’t wait. Let’s take a leaf out of NSW and other states that are implementing the closure to the border of Victoria effective immediately,” he said
Isolation, drug toxicity lead to spike in First Nations overdose deaths amid pandemic: FNHA
McDonald said the FNHA has been fighting since the start of the community to bring in services for Indigenous people, including at supervised consumption sites and within First Nations communities. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said it’s clear that “issues with systemic racism” prevent Indigenous people from accessing care in a culturally safe way.
Ottawa, AFN agreement to map out funding for First Nations child welfare overhaul
Blackstock said Ottawa always had money to address the inequalities within the Indigenous child welfare system, as shown from the billions of dollars being spent on COVID-19 relief.
“They simply chose not to do it,” Blackstock said.
“They may be wanting to use this as political cover, but hopefully I’m wrong. Hopefully, it actually is something that’s going to be meaningful change.”
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experts call for immediate action to avert mental health crisis
Indigenous governance must be prioritised to manage the COVID-19 recovery in communities through equitable, needs-based funding to support strengths-based, place-based, Indigenous-led, and community-led initiatives that address the social and cultural determinants of health and wellbeing.
Chiefs don’t hold back on Pallister
“Whenever we want to do land transfers or something innovative in this province, the systemic racism rears its head and tries to cause complications,” said Dumas.
The chiefs listed other examples: Pallister telling a First Nation not to have a powwow during COVID-19; telling First Nations cannabis retailers they have to charge a provincial “social responsibility fee” (which amounts to a tax); singling out First Nations gaming sites in the Phase 3 pandemic recovery reopening plans.