COVID-19 Daily News Digest – May 30, 2020
‘Water is life’: Covid-19 exposes chronic crisis in Navajo Nation
“It’s embarrassing, it’s degrading, it’s heartbreaking for my kids because they can’t jump into a shower like everybody else and just wash,” the 35-year-old preschool teacher tells AFP after returning to her prefabricated home in Thoreau, which lies in the southeast corner of this sovereign territory, the United States’ largest Native American reservation – a 27,000 square miles (70,000 square kilometres) expanse extending into the states of Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.
‘We Know What Is Best for Us.’ Indigenous Groups Around the World Are Taking COVID-19 Responses Into Their Own Hands
“We can’t be waiting for the government to decide,” says Myrle Ballard, a Canadian Indigenous researcher studying effective health responses to COVID-19 for Indigenous communities. “We Indigenous people know what is best for us.”
Saskatchewan First Nations request $120M US to build own PPE stockpile
James Smith Cree Nation Chief Wally Burns said his community, in partnership with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) which represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan, has lined up a supplier to provide all First Nations in the province with surgical masks, gloves and sanitizer, but said ISC has been noncommittal about the proposal.
Families of N.W.T. missing and murdered Indigenous women ‘confused’ by delay of federal action plan
“It would have been nice if the federal government had thought about other family members like us to give us resources to go to,” Black said. “Gameti has no resources, nobody’s coming to ask me how I’m doing.”
Martel said she’s been receiving messages from strangers that believe they have more information about Brittany’s case, but who say they were turned away from RCMP when they came forward with their details.
Indigenous minister says Ottawa won’t dictate terms of powwows, ceremonies
“We don’t want to say don’t do it at all, but we want to think about how we can be creative.”
Grand Chief Arlen Dumas added that Indigenous leaders across the province were taking different approaches to holding events and ceremony. Some decided to remain in lockdown and cancel powwows.
Indigenous Broadband – Connecting the North
The low population density in Northern Canada does not attract the same number of telecommunication providers as southern regions of the country. This has led to a lack of competition between providers in the north, contributing to the creation of a predatory market atmosphere where clients are paying outrageous prices for access to basic services. “Our goal is to innovate the North,” says Fabian, “as soon as you leave major city centers, choice of access is almost non-existent. We want to create competition and give everybody choices.”
Minister says Ottawa must respect choice of First Nations to hold powwows
Miller countered that Indigenous leaders have told him First Nations people have long lived under a two-tiered health system and “they are the victims of it.” Health outcomes on First Nations tend to be poorer than the Canadian average and care offered is significantly limited compared to urban centres.
Environmental activists take pipeline protests online during Covid-19
Protesters opposing the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to B.C.’s Lower Mainland and the Coastal GasLink pipeline through the northern part of the province say they’ve canceled demonstrations and events due to Covid-19. Their strategy depends increasingly on phone blitzes and social media campaigns, as climate activists across the globe have moved online to try to stay relevant. But with pipe going in, they’re also thinking about on-the-ground actions they can take without risking their health.
‘Water is life’: COVID-19 exposes chronic crisis in Navajo Nation
“It’s embarrassing, it’s degrading, it’s heartbreaking for my kids because they can’t jump into a shower like everybody else and just wash,” the 35-year-old preschool teacher tells AFP after returning to her prefabricated home in Thoreau, which lies in the southeast corner of this sovereign territory, the United States’ largest Native American reservation.
‘We have to do it’: Living without family during COVID-19
“To leave my family here; I can’t see them, I can’t hug them, I can’t socialize with them,” he said. “That’s the hardest part about this that we have to do. We have to do it. We have to be away from our loved ones.”
“I know right now there’s no testing centers that are located on any First Nation communities in the province.” said Cook. “Using the nursing station for tests can potentially contaminate your only health care facility.”
Tales of reconciliation in a dangerous time
This is just one example of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Winnipeggers working together to combat COVID-19.
Some might call this reconciliation. I am not so sure, but there are more examples.