COVID-19 Daily News Digest – June 20, 2020
OPG Donating 10,000 Face Shields to Indigenous Communities
“Helping Indigenous community neighbours and partners during this time of crisis is important to OPG, particularly as we approach National Indigenous Peoples Day on Sunday, an important day for us to recognize the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of Indigenous peoples,” said Ian Jacobsen, Director of Indigenous Relations for OPG
Hitting the virtual powwow trail, how the Kenora Chiefs Advisory is filling the void
“I feel like when we’re dancing together, it really connects us in a much deeper way. And just knowing that this may be the only time this year that we were able to get dressed in our regalia dance together … it meant a lot to be able to dance for the special.”
Members take Alberta Cree Nation to court over postponed election
“The majority of the elders are asking for the election and them using COVID and using the elders as a way to move their agenda is very disrespectful,” Martin said.
Band members are leaving the final decision up to the federal court, which is scheduled to hear their complaint for failure to hold an election on June 20.
B.C. investigating ‘racist and abhorrent’ game at hospital emergency room
Health Minister Adrian Dix announced the investigation in a hastily called press conference Friday morning, saying “the allegation is that a game was being played to guess the blood-alcohol level of patients in the ER, in particular Indigenous patients.”
Southern First Nations sign health-care control agreement
“Now we’ll start to see a bigger focus on a bigger and bigger transfer of authority to First Nations leadership in the years to come,” said Daniels, who hopes to see tangible results in six to 12 months.
Indigenous chiefs reflect on BLM, Ipperwash and what it means to be Canadian
has helped. A lot of Indigenous people have supported the Black Lives movement and joined the protest in Canada. It’s opened people’s eyes to say, ‘What about Indigenous people?’ We’ve also faced systemic discrimination. Now is a good time to have that conversation. What are the issues and what do we need to do to solve that situation? Nevermind COVID, it’s harder to protect yourself against police brutality.
NEW STREAMING SHOW “RED HOOP TALK” EXPLORES THE REALITY OF INDIAN COUNTRY WITH GUESTS
Launched in mid-April, “Red Hoop Talk” streams on Friday nights (8 p.m. EST). The show features the pair chatting and interviewing guests about the week’s news and important topics throughout Indian Country. While the show digs into serious issues that affect Indian Country, O’Loughlin and Melendez also inject the show with history, culture, storytelling and more than a bit of humor.
Thousands gather in a call for justice against race-based police violence in P.E.I. Indigenous healing walk
“It keeps happening, so in my mind I thought that we need to come together to show solidarity with our Mi’kmaq brothers and sisters that are in New Brunswick,” said Sarah Bernard, a Mi’kmaq woman from Scotchfort, Abegweit First Nation on P.E.I., and one of the event’s organizers.
A recently-contacted tribe is the ‘most infected’ in Brazil
An Arara man told Survival: “We’re very worried. At the health post [near the village] there is no medicine, no ventilator. We wanted a ventilator for that post so we wouldn’t have to go into town. The village is 3 days away from the city, where the hospital is located. We’re asking for protection with these coronavirus cases. The number of invaders has increased a lot, they’re cutting down a lot of timber. The government isn’t stopping them. There are too many invaders in the area.”
Funeral held for Indigenous man killed last week by RCMP in New Brunswick
The premier has agreed Indigenous people should lead some kind of review, but he has said a public inquiry could take too long and might produce recommendations that will never be implemented.
Still, Higgs said his government remains open to holding an independent inquiry.
Indigenous tourism group to launch website to support B.C. businesses
“We are working with partners to help Indigenous communities build more confidence on how to reopen effectively,” said Henry. “Over half our Indigenous tourism businesses aren’t on reserve, so a lot of them will reopen along with the non-Indigenous business community. But about 45 per cent are on reserve and there is significant concern about having an indigenized approach to how we reopen.”
Opinion: A different kind of National Indigenous Peoples Day
On the one hand, the pandemic is drifting us apart and because of it, we may not be able to welcome you to our home, as we do more and more every year, to take part in our pow wows, to take part in the celebrations of our cultures. We will not be able to welcome you to the “KWE! Meet with Indigenous Peoples” event that we are now accustomed to holding at the beginning of September. This is very unfortunate, since more and more of you are participating year after year, and it is an exceptional opportunity to get to know us better. Let’s hope it is only a postponement.
Hydro One standing with Indigenous customers, businesses and communities to support economic recovery and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
Hydro One has partnered with GlobalMedic, a registered Canadian charity specializing in disaster relief, to deliver 10,000 kits of food and safety supplies to First Nations communities across Ontario. Hydro One is also supporting the Métis Nation of Ontario’s (MNO) pandemic relief fund and its 31 community councils in providing necessities such as food, medical and pharmaceutical supplies to its vulnerable citizens.
‘The reality is in the statistics’ for Indigenous people
Indigenous people make up only five percent of Canada’s population, but 30 percent of all incarcerations – comparable to the figures in the U.S., where Blacks and African Americans make up just over 13 percent of the general population, but 33 percent of incarcerated prisoners.
“Tell me there isn’t something wrong with that,” said Burston: a reflection of poverty, lack of opportunity, racialized policing and enforcement.
COVID-19: B.C. First Nations hoping for major role in post-pandemic economic recovery
Fort Nelson First Nation was one of the first Indigenous communities to close the borders of their territory to outsiders. Gale said strict protocols are still in place, and several important economic ventures are temporarily on pause, Including a $100 million geothermal project in the Clark Lake area that could produce sustainable clean energy and produce energy to sell to B.C. Hydro, and power 100 greenhouses, contributing to greater food security.
Mi’kmaw culture on display for National Indigenous Peoples Day despite COVID-19
“The Indigenous community has known these things for so long and we’ve lived it and I think the general public, they’re starting to see it,” she said. “They’re starting to hear it, and I think people are just starting to care.”
First Nations Chiefs urge Quebec to respect Aboriginal and treaty rights in relation to Bill 61
The bill seeks to restart Quebec’s economy and to address the impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency by allowing certain projects, which aim to boost the province’s medical or food self-sufficiency, to avail of numerous acceleration measures, such as streamlining the expropriation procedure, permitting the commencement of work before the required rights have been secured and allowing the payment of compensation to the applicable government ministers for work authorized in the habitats of wildlife or vulnerable plant species.
Rally in downtown Montreal calls for defunding police, but on Indigenous people’s behalf
The mounting recent toll of Indigenous people’s deaths happens to coincide with the Black Lives Matter protests, and protesters said they share a main goal with that movement—they want to see the police defunded and money redistributed to people who work with First Nations instead.
Food is medicine: Six Nations chef fights colonization with cooking
“We need to incorporate these foods as a part of resiliency and bringing back our culture. Eating our traditional foods was taken away from us as a part of colonization, as a way to eliminate us. That’s when white sugars and flours and heavy lards were introduced to us,” she says. “Food is medicine, and I fully believe that. That’s why I like to have discussions with people and have cooking classes about incorporating these ingredients back into their diet, so it’s not scary anymore.”
Elders provide vital virtual cultural connection during pandemic
“A number of our students have moved away from their families and communities to attend university,” says Marcia Guno, director of the Centre, which has been working hard to continue programming. “So we’ve needed to figure out a way to get our programming moved online and make sure our students know that we’re there for them.”