COVID-19 Daily News Digest – June 3, 2020
Toronto police, city bylaw, not collecting data on race when enforcing COVID rules
“This is a huge gap, and a hugely problematic gap,” Sheila Block, senior economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, said in a separate call. The increased surveillance required during a pandemic brought along with it a risk of magnifying systemic issues, Block continued — noting that such issues could span across the economy, health and social systems, along with law enforcement activity.
It took 40 years to craft the memories of NWT Elders into this book.
Those parallels make the recent release of Yakeleya’s new book, We Remember the Coming of the White Man, timely.
The book, released on April 21, collects interviews with 10 Sahtú and Gwich’in Dene Elders in the NWT, written in their traditional Gwich’in and North Slavey languages alongside an English translation.
The interviews recount lives and experiences in the 20th century, from the arrival of missionaries and fur traders and discovery of uranium and oil to the creation of Treaty 11 – and the influenza epidemic.
COVID-19 May Have Stopped the Government But It Hasn’t Stopped Indigenous Women: Native Women’s Association of Canada to Announce ‘Move Forward Strategy’ to Mark First Anniversary of MMIWG Inquiry Report
The federal government has acknowledged that it has no timeline for the release of a National Action Plan to stem the violence, and has blamed the current pandemic for its failure to respond to the Inquiry report. But the Indigenous women of Canada, whose lives continue to be at risk, and who continue fear for the safety of their loved ones, are pressing ahead.
In Peru’s Amazon, the church fills COVID-19 aid void for indigenous people
“In societies that traditionally did not have writing systems and still are not widely writing-based communities, the amount of knowledge that is in oral history is massive,” he said. Watching the pandemic sweep through the Amazon, “what hurts me the most is that sort of loss,” he added.
Under provincial pressure, First Nation postpones powwow
“What I don’t want is division in my community,” Chief Cornell McLean told the Free Press. “We’d rather keep the members safe, and not losing any sleep.”
The band originally scheduled its powwow for the June 19 weekend; it decided on Monday to move it to July 24.
Translating COVID messages vital for Indigenous health
“Our race to translate these important messages has shown the vital need for a central communications group for Indigenous communities to be established and built into emergency plans.”
Group cooks up new initiative to tackle food security
“As much as (food security) has always been an issue, (the pandemic) gave a reason to work on it together with a targeted approach, targeted strategy, targeted resources and actually doing something,” Boyden said. “We can’t just rely on the way things have always been and we’re actually stretching beyond in trying to bring out the best.”
As COVID-19 delays Sixties Scoop compensation for survivors, court orders prompt interim payments
“With the expected payment from the settlement agreement I was planning on returning to college, paying my credit card bills and debts, and applying for medical and dental coverage for myself, my husband and my three children,” she said in an affidavit.
COVID-19 made things worse. The pandemic bumped her to part-time hours. Unable to afford daycare for her children when schools closed, she turned to food banks and collecting bottles to provide groceries, she said.
Government of Canada announces interest relief for First Nations through the First Nations Finance Authority
This funding will directly help First Nations to maintain financial stability and lessen the economic impacts of COVID-19, as well as allocate financial resources to other critical needs during this crisis. Furthermore these investments will support the stability of the First Nations Fiscal Management Act regime and the First Nations Finance Authority’s credit rating which was recently increased.
Application process open for Indigenous Youth Rise COVID-19 Support fund
The fund will go to support events such as art-based workshops, online concerts, talent shows or performances, webinars, podcasts, and games, among others.
The application process for funding opened in May and the deadline to apply is June 15, 2020.
Voice of The City: Exposing privilege during a pandemic
Understanding all this, in the midst of a pandemic we should not be afraid to continue to advocate for social justice. Advocating for vulnerable groups is not divisive, especially in an environment where vulnerable folks end up bearing the brunt of the problem.
Whether it is on the front line, through social media or the production of commentaries, we must continue to fight for the folks who continue to fall through the gaps in our system.
Indigenous voices needed in Lake Winnipeg conversation
Lake Winnipeg — Misti Sákahikan — has long been cherished as a source of life for First Nations, a place of spiritual regeneration, and vital to the survival of generations of people. Over the last few decades, First Nation elders and fishers sounded the alarm on impacts to the lake, calling on the provincial and federal governments to act. Their concerns were met with apathy and wilful ignorance.
Build Back Better by investing in Coastal First Nations Great Bear Forest Carbon Project
To create a sustainable economy, coastal First Nations looked beyond the destructive resource extraction model common to our coast 20 years ago. In 2000, the Coastal First Nations began working with BC on land use planning. A landmark 2006 agreement lead to the protection of the Great Bear Rainforest, making 85% of the rainforest off-limits to industrial logging. Then in 2009, when the two Parties signed the Reconciliation Protocol, it allowed for the validation and sales of carbon credits.
Iskwew Air making the supply rounds to remote B.C. communities
“A friend of mine helped me to start a crowd-funding campaign to be able to raise some funds to be able to fly into Indigenous communities and to be able to bring in essential services or goods that they weren’t getting elsewhere,” said Fraser.
Through collaboration, the group was able to raise $6,000 to cover the cost of fuel, essential goods and operating costs.
“But it’s become really clear during this COVID-time we need to be together, we need to be thinking collectively, and we need to love and lift each in all the ways that we can,” she said.
Shunning Virus and Big Oil, Alaska Tribe Revives Traditions
Though the coronavirus pandemic has made the tribe’s immediate future even more uncertain, James believes the self-reliance it has demanded is good preparation for her people in their longterm defense of their traditional homelands.
“We have to depend on our traditional way of life,” she said. “Even if we go back to ‘normal’ it wasn’t normal to begin with because there was too much greed and waste.”