COVID-19 Daily News Digest – June 18, 2020
Health Unit announces two new COVID-19 cases
The two new cases bring the health unit’s total to 89. There are six active cases, four listed as being in hospital. Eighty-two are listed as resolved and there’s been one death as a result of COVID-19.
Indigenous communities have moved powwows to the internet
In late March, an Indigenous dance movement, the Social Distance Powwow, was born. Like many Indigenous traditions, the movement was born out of necessity. Originally started on Facebook, the group formed due to strict social distancing measures imposed in many Indigenous communities. It has since grown to include over 190,000 members and inspired similar groups on Twitter and Instagram. Weekly events bring people together, while people celebrate graduations, sobriety dates, and birthdays with powwow posts as well.
New COVID-19 cases on NW Ontario First Nations
“These are significant as the transmission occurred in the community,” the authority said.
It said it has met with all parties, including Chief and Council, community doctors, the nursing station, Indigenous Services Canada and the Preventing Infectious Disease team.
Rainy River First Nations COVID-19 test being redone
The community this week reported it had one positive COVID-19 case.
However, in an update posted on Facebook Tuesday, the community said the test was reviewed, and the results are “indeterminate.”
‘We got these monies late’: Trump administration makes tribes wait more than 80 days for full COVID-19 relief
More than two months later, Indian Country has yet to see the full relief promised by the United States, which has taken on moral obligations of the highest responsibility and trust as part of its unique relationship with tribes and their citizens. The roller coaster ride has been characterized by a string of broken promises and has prevented the first Americans from addressing the devastating impacts of the coronavirus in their communities, leaders and advocates say.
The Unique Struggle Indigenous Communities in Colombia Face With COVID-19
“When an elder dies, it leaves an enormous void in the community,” says Nelly Kiuru, a spokesperson for the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC) and a member of the Amazonian Murui Muina people. “Herds in the jungle have a guide and without that guide, the herd disperses. That happens too when an elder dies and it’s why we insist on their protection.”
Burnaby grad creates platform to help Indigenous-owned businesses
In pursuing his curiosity about the pandemic’s impact on Indigenous businesses, Schulz discovered that with over 50,000 Indigenous businesses in Canada, almost all are small or medium in size, and they often lack digital infrastructure, such as broadband internet and e-commerce capability. They are also likely to struggle to secure the traditional financing available to other businesses.
Kayapó chief dies from COVID-19 in Brazil, led protest against Amazon dam
Brazil’s indigenous people lost one of their pioneering leaders to COVID-19 on Wednesday with the death of Paulinho Payakan, a Kayapó chief who led protests against the Belo Monte hydro-electric dam in the 1980s.
Alongside Kayapó chief Raoni and musician Sting, Payakan helped bring international attention to the environmental and social cost of building the world’s third largest dam on the Xingu river in the Amazon rainforest
Initiative to provide laptops, tablets, free wi-fi for Indigenous learners
Kw’umut Lelum said the COVID-19 pandemic has had a big effect on Indigenous communities, which have one in four people living in poverty. With education and other services being provided virtually, it is hard to ensure that the most vulnerable have the proper technological resources, the organization said.
Nuu-Chah-Nulth council keeps restrictions on visitors
While Nuu-Chah-Nulth territories’ parks, beaches, and forests attract a lot of tourism, said Sayers, the tribal council directors have been clear that their members’ health is a higher priority than economics, and that the council’s focus is on protecting them, especially those who are most vulnerable.
Alberta Energy Regulator keeps suspension of environmental regulations despite opposition
Moira Kelly, a spokesperson for the federal Department of Environment and Climate Change, told CBC in a statement that the letter addressed to Wilkinson raises “serious questions” about Alberta government’s decision to postpone some environmental monitoring regulations and the “lack” of Indigenous consultation.
Kelly said the government’s laws to protect the environment, human health and conservation are still in effect during the pandemic. The government expects parties to “continue to make every reasonable effort” to continue environmental monitoring in a way that protects the health and safety of Canadians.
COVID-19 threw B.C.’s mining sector new curveball to swing at
“I think there’s a solid foundation, particularly from an employment and community economic contribution perspective, that the mining industry is going to stay the course whereas a lot of other industries in the province have obviously been pretty severely impacted by the effects of the pandemic,” Patterson said.
Canada buying 140,000 blood tests to begin immunity testing of COVID-19
The tests, which look for antibodies created by the human body after exposure to a virus, will help determine who has had COVID-19, which populations are most vulnerable to new outbreaks, whether having it makes someone immune to further illness, and how long that immunity might last.
Storytelling project sets out to examine experiences of Indigenous youth in foster care
“It originally just started with this idea of storytelling for getting youth to be able to share their own knowledge of the child welfare system with their own experiences in it and finding a way to tell their stories but in a safe way,” said Victor.
Wanuskewin goes digital to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day
“Normally for National Indigenous Peoples Day we have activities for the guests to enjoy, like interpretive programming on the trails, teepee raising, archeology sites and live music,” said Chris Standing, Wanuskewin’s manager of visitor services. “But this year, with COVID-19 and social distancing, we are out filming and creating a live presentation of our programming instead.”