COVID-19 Daily News Digest – June 23, 2020
COVID-19 diverts attention from Bill 44
Bill 44 also stipulates that “Rates for different customers or classes of customers must not differ based on affordability or other socio-economic factors.” This amendment is clearly in response to the PUB’s 2017 recommendation that Hydro establish a lower First Nations On-Reserve Residential class rate. The Board was moved by testimony presented by First Nation intervenors. Hydro subsequently instigated legal proceedings against the ruling.
Violence top concern for Indigenous women during pandemic
“There’s not enough housing, there’s overpopulation in housing, and that leads to what we’re dealing with today with violence that’s occurring more with our women in the homes, because they can’t get away from the abusers,” said Whitman. “You have Elder abuse, who still live in the home because of the multiple families, and you have abuse of young children that can’t escape. They’re not in daycare. They’re not in schools. They’re not even in any of the playgrounds.”
Nearly 100 COVID-19 cases ‘deleted’ from districts, added to Chennai in the last 2 days
The June 21 bulletin also witnessed a similar trend. While the June 20 bulletin stated that Chennai had recorded 1,254 local cases, the cumulative count for the city should have been 39,619 instead of 39,657 listed under the column ‘indigenous cases’ till June 20. The math once again didn’t add up. There were 38 cases that were suddenly added to Chennai’s indigenous case count, with no explanation.
US demand for clean energy destroying Canada’s environment, indigenous peoples say
“In order for you to get that kind of power,” he said, “we have to sacrifice our way of life in a lot of ways.”
Canada’s indigenous leaders say an unprecedented push for clean energy in the United States is inadvertently causing long-term environmental damage to the traditional hunting grounds on their public lands.
The Nunatsiavut’s issues are common among Canada’s First Nations – a 2016 survey of 22 planned future hydropower projects in Canada found that all 22 were within 60 miles of at least one indigenous community.
Native American groups address mental and behavioral health as COVID-19 wears on
“Please stay connected with relatives and neighbors by phone or video chat and remind them that they have support,” Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer said recently, imploring Navajos to take care of their mental well-being as well as their physical health.
DEEP DIVE: Infrastructure investments for a greener, more resilient and sustainable country: Ideas and considerations for Canadian decision-makers
These infrastructure investments need to facilitate and support autonomy and vibrancy of Indigenous communities, meeting the Call for Action as part of our commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation process. As well, a commitment to equity must inform these investments to ensure that they impact even the most vulnerable Canadians.
First Nations woman highlights Indigenous struggles with classic tune
In the midst of a racial awakening, a First Nations woman from Nova Scotia decided to shed light on Indigenous struggles using a classic Billy Joel song. Nigel Newlove has the story.
Upcoming inquiry into racism in B.C. health care to include whistleblower protection: health minister
The 15-page report details anonymized instances of overt racism witnessed within the health-care system: an Indigenous teen in unbearable pain from of a skateboarding accident ignored for hours in an emergency waiting room, a woman choosing to put up with a worsening medical condition rather than go back to the hospital where she was subjected to racial slurs, and doctors deeming Indigenous parents unfit to care for their baby with little or no evidence.
Chiefs slam Manitoba Premier over plan to ban smoking in First Nations casinos
“The premier wants to be seen to the public that the health and well-being of First Nations are paramount to him but he has not given any support to our COVID-19 response efforts nor did he provide any on-reserve funding.”
“COVID-19 is one example of how First Nations took the extreme action to shut down transport from in and out of the communities. If First Nations do get sick, it is because the province has not taken any decisive action that First Nations are prepared to take.”
COVID-19 relief funding available for Indigenous-owned businesses
“Indigenous businesses are experiencing revenue shortfalls at this time, as many are located in rural or remote areas and operate in hard-hit service sectors such as tourism, hospitality and retail,” Minister of Indigenous Affairs Greg Rickford said in a news release. “This funding responds to their unique challenges and will help them get back up and running so they can contribute to the rebuilding of the provincial economy.”
6 hospital staff screen positive for COVID-19 in Sioux Lookout
“I want to emphasize that this is a cluster of asymptomatic people, who on screening, were found to be positive with no symptoms. At this time there is no outbreak of illness, and we are carefully monitoring anyone who is in the hospital or has an associated risk from the cases,” said Gemmill, in his weekly virtual conference with regional media.
Coronavirus and Wildfires Combine to Pose Potential Threat to Indigenous Lives and Lands
On their own, a wildfire or pandemic can wreak havoc with natural systems. But coming at the same time, they represent a compound risk, where each risk can greatly accentuate the damage caused by the other. For instance, respiratory problems caused by particulates in smoke from wildfires sicken or kill thousands of people each year. But these and other health problems will be particularly exacerbated this year because of the novel coronavirus.
Treating racism: Canadian doctors of colour share their experiences in medicine
“I don’t want to see Black and Indigenous issues pitted against each other. You start to get into that old argument which isn’t helpful — we’ve suffered so much more than you, or you’ve suffered so much more than us. There’s no comparison. We have to be anti-racist about everything.”
‘Everybody is healthy’: Will the pandemic spur a new approach to homelessness?
The city’s four downtown shelters, in concert with Ottawa Inner City Health and the City of Ottawa, have taken extraordinary steps to protect the city’s homeless during the pandemic. COVID-19 outbreaks have been successfully halted at the Shepherds and Cornerstone Housing for Women. No one who lives or works in the downtown shelter community has died from the respiratory disease.