COVID-19 Daily News Digest – June 12, 2020
Sask. prof wants to bring major technological advancements to Indigenous, rural communities
“Looking at food security after COVID. Why don’t we look at new ways to grow food in northern Saskatchewan. From the housing aspect, you’ve heard the stories of Indigenous housing and the needs around that, so why don’t we look at the innovative ways of 3D housing and how those things are going forward,” he said.
COVID-19 exposes inadequate funding levels at Indian Health Service
“Decades of underfunding of the Indian Health Service system, coupled with added burdens of chronic disease, put AI/ANs at higher risk of poor outcomes due to COVID-19,” Francys Crevier, the organization’s executive director, observes in written testimony. “The disproportionate impact COVID-19 has on AI/ANs, like the federal obligation for the provision of health care to AI/AN people, does not stop at the borders of a reservation.”
EDITORIAL: Canadian racism is far worse than the American brand
What makes racism such a lingering problem is it takes many different forms. We’re all capable of it, often without even realizing it. The key is how we react when confronted with our own prejudices.
How Indigenous leaders are changing the future of food
On a recent weekend, Anishinaabe chef Joseph Shawana headed out with his wife and son to harvest wild leeks in the forest. He served them up in a virtual cooking competition alongside Indigenous chefs from across the country. The cook-off was spearheaded by the Indigenous Culinary of Associated Nations.
Struggling Indigenous businesses to receive extra $133M in federal COVID-19 aid
Ottawa will spend a further $133 million to help Indigenous businesses suffering the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said Thursday the federal government has heard from many of the 30,000 First Nations, Inuit and Metis business owners who have said the last few months have been extremely difficult.
Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council refusing to reopen territory until specific COVID-19 protocols in place
“The head of our communities, our chiefs, our directors, are not feeling comfortable that enough has been done to ensure that the spread of the virus does not happen once everything is opened,” said NTC president Judith Sayers on CBC’s On The Island Wednesday.
“The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples talks about free, prior and informed consent, and we think based on health risks that this should happen,”
‘I believe in justice’: Fort Smith rally marks failure of feds to release MMIWG plan
The June 3 plan, expected to have been released in full next month, would have outlined a strategy Ottawa is co-developing with provinces, territories, Indigenous leaders, families and women’s groups. It’s postponement was blamed on COVID-19 related delays. It was meant to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls releasing its final report on June 3, 2019
Human rights group raises concerns over treatment of Indigenous seniors in Slave Lake
“There were a few elders that were there that had been in residential schools, which as you know, was a residential institution.” said Auger. “So this one replicates that whole environment where they were neglected, abused in different ways.”
American Indian tribes thwarted in efforts to get coronavirus data
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has turned down tribal epidemiologists’ requests for data that it’s making freely available to states. Authorities in Michigan and Massachusetts since early spring have also resisted handing over information on testing and confirmed cases, citing privacy concerns, and refused to strike agreements with tribes on contact tracing or other surveillance, eight tribal leaders and health experts told POLITICO. In some instances, officials questioned tribes’ legal standing as sovereign entities.
Royal B.C. Museum makes historic Indian Reserve Commission document accessible to public
The book from 1876 – Volume One of the “Journal of Proceedings” – was acquired by the museum in 2018 from a private seller for $15,000 and has been digitized. It details decisions between the Joint Provincial and Federal Indian Reserve Commission and Indigenous elders and chiefs on lands later designated as reserves on the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island
Young indigenous lives lost in the last pandemic were remembered at Red Deer Cemetery
He feels it’s also important to remember that these children were victims of this country’s past genocidal assimilation policies. They were forced to leave their families and suppress their language and culture.
Rapid COVID-19 testing now available in parts of northern Manitoba
“In places where there might be a remote factor, where self-isolation within the community is quite difficult, there might be a significant benefit to getting a test result back right then … so we can work out ways to isolate that individual,” Roussin said.
Centring Black, Indigenous, women of colour in a post-pandemic recovery
Ideas for a pandemic recovery resemble pre-pandemic plans to help Indigenous women and other marginalized communities: universal basic income, permanent remote work options, food to eat, resources to pay bills, and the ability to choose to educate children on the land and to live without violence or fear.
Indigenous teen overcomes past and raises $5,000 for local food bank with ultra-marathon
He picked June 13 to run from the Nicola Lake rest point to Spences Bridge and back again and expects to complete it in under 24 hours.
A GoFundMe page goal of $1,000 has since been upped to $5,000, and by the middle of last week had reached $4,500
Huu-ay-aht First Nation to get $5M back from federal government
The money comes after the federal government said it would no longer require Indigenous groups to repay loans to fund claim negotiations. Ottawa also announced it would forgive all outstanding claim negotiation loans and repay the money already spent by Indigenous governments.
COVID-19 pandemic sparks surge in lobbying of federal government
Lobbying commissioner Nancy Belanger says 441 lobbyists have registered with her office to make their case to the federal government on matters related to the pandemic.
She says registrations during March were the highest for that month that her office has seen since its creation 12 years ago.
The Powerful Alliance Between Integrated Science and Traditional Food Systems
Traditional Indigenous food systems are a central part of an integrated socio-cultural harmony and interdependent relationship with Mother Earth. Such is the case for Amazonian Indigenous peoples who practice a traditional form of shifting “slash-and-burn” agriculture known as “chagras.” Ceremonies revolve around themes of the chagras, while chagras also form the basis of family structures, local governance, health and survival. Indigenous agricultural systems like chagras fortify a deep connection between the people, their food, and the Mother Earth. This is the opposite of modern industrial agriculture and food systems that decentralize and disconnect food consumption from food production
‘Systemic racism’ in Canada reflected in health, income and other indicators
“I can take a look at all the things that people didn’t do, or I can take a look at the newly demonstrated capacity that our cities and communities have to address systemic racism,” he said.
“It breaks my heart that I don’t see 20,000 people showing up to support (Indigenous issues) and to support my relatives in that way, but it gives me hope that people are willing to learn now.”
Indigenous Services minister says RCMP commissioner must fulfill promise made to MMIWG inquiry
“Almost two years to this date when she spoke to the murdered and missing Indigenous women’s commission, that as part of the apology from the RCMP, that she undertook to do better, and that Indigenous peoples were entitled to the best there was of the RCMP,” Miller said at the government’s daily news conference. “That was a promise two years ago.”
Indigenous-led mural project adding more art to Vermillion
Southern Chiefs’ Organization forges new partnership
“Our team is dedicated to providing effective social services that are consistent with treaty and Indigenous rights. This partnership is the first of its kind in North America, but we see it as the best path forward for better outcomes for children and families in the future,” he said.