COVID-19 Daily News Digest – May 15, 2020
COVID-19 in the Ecuadorian Amazon: Mining Companies Put Indigenous Communities at Grave Risk
International organizations condemned Solaris Resources’ “ongoing interference in Shuar indigenous territory as well as its disdain for the self-determining decisions of the PSHA,” noting that “the actions of this company and its subsidiary in Ecuador (Lowell Minerals) constitute serious threats to peace and health in the Amazon region as a whole.
Premier Moe, Ottawa at odds over Indigenous ceremonies during coronavirus pandemic
“With respect to the comments of the minister, as well as Indigenous Services themselves, around these particular events being exempt from public health orders — that simply cannot be the case,” Moe said.
17 Organizations Providing Emergency Food Relief to Native Communities During COVID-19
Although the federal government distributed aid for tribes, communities say it is not enough. In response, Native-led organizations have established funds and mobilized volunteers to keep the most vulnerable fed and safe. Food Tank is highlighting these incredible efforts that you can support to ensure that Native communities receive the food and supplies they need.
In Amazon city, indigenous chief felled by COVID-19 buried with dance and singing
“We lost a brave chief who fought to establish a model indigenous community with quality education and services that we are denied,” said Vanderlecia Ortega, an indigenous nurse who monitors her neighbors for coronavirus symptoms and had arranged an ambulance to take Kokama to hospital.
Federal COVID-19 supply council member quits over links to company that landed Indigenous Services contract
A member of a council created by the federal government to provide procurement advice during the COVID-19 pandemic stepped down late Wednesday evening over her ties to a company that landed a contract with Indigenous Services Canada to provide temporary medical facilities to a northern Manitoba First Nation
First Nations fishermen in northern Manitoba welcome federal COVID-19 relief response
“I was looking forward to fishing but it is great news. We just have to figure out what it means,” said Chris Clarke, president of the Norway House Fisherman’s Co-op.
Clarke is a third generation commercial fisherman and said the Norway House co-op has 49 members, and employs around 200 people in the northern Manitoba First Nation.
“A lot of our local economies are dependent on the local fisheries,” said Clarke.
Sacred Indigenous ceremonies to continue despite COVID-19
Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says banning sacred ceremonies is a ‘dark stain’ on Canada’s history and they can go on despite COVID-19 restrictions with First Nations leadership deciding how to proceed safely.
Indigenous businesses step up to help local communities fight COVID-19
Originally from Sagamok, he lives just outside of the reserve and runs Mukwa Adventures, one of many indigenous-owned tourism operators hit hard by the COVID-19 virus.
Now he’s joining forces with Thrive Tours and Indigenous Sports and Wellness Ontario to donate roughly 30 cases of hand sanitizer to reserves around the region.
Brazil: In response to COVID-19, authorities must ensure adequate access to healthcare for marginalized groups
“The measures taken so far by the authorities have been inadequate. The needs of more marginalized populations must be recognized, given many of them face greater risks of adverse impact from the pandemic and the response to it. Authorities must draw up measures, hand in hand with these populations, to ensure that everyone can enjoy their rights without discrimination, so that the rights to life and health of all people are ensured
Wet’suwet’en land title disputes an ‘internal issue,’ B.C. minister says
Pandemic restrictions played a part in the lack of consultation with Wet’suwet’en members, some of whom say they didn’t get a look at the final text until May 9, again by video link.
‘Virtual’ Hearings Are Silencing Indigenous Voices in Alaska
Throughout April, in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic, BLM held “virtual” public hearings to gather input on ConocoPhillips’ Willow Project, a massive oil-and-gas drilling plan that will transform a vast expanse of Arctic tundra into a sacrifice zone for industry.
“I myself was muted after my initial comment,” resident Martha Itta wrote in a letter to BLM following the virtual public hearing, “and they would not unmute me.”
Métis doctor tapped to help analyze data gaps in counting Indigenous COVID-19 cases
“Even though there are all these jurisdictional divides in this health information system where it’s way harder to identify our people with COVID in cities, now people are trying to work together and admit there’s gaps. We need to bring things together.”
COVID-19 compounds mental health challenges in northern First Nations
Waterhen First Nation councillor Dustin Ross Fiddler said his community contemplated declaring a state of emergency on Wednesday after a 14-year-old girl died by suicide. He said he’s aware of 10 other recent suicide attempts, which he attributes to the intense pressure of the pandemic and the forced cancellation of the reserve’s mental health programming.