COVID-19 Daily News Digest – May 6, 2020
OPINION | N.W.T. diamond mines have earned our confidence and support in time of COVID-19 crisis
He foresees thousands of new jobs to tackle all our society’s problems, uphold Indigenous rights and leave no one behind. Nowhere does he say how we will pay for this, or what will replace mining’s financial contribution to the North.
Why this professor launched an Instagram Live show about COVID-19 and vulnerable communities
The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black, racialized, Indigenous and Latino communities, are the same disproportionate structural inequalities that we saw before COVID-19.
Manitoba had 281 COVID-19 cases, 37 considered active, as of May 4
He also said that there have not been any positive tests for COVID-19 in any First Nations community in Manitoba to date, though he did not divulge how many people who tested positive have self-identified as Indigenous. “I would only release such numbers in collaboration with our Indigenous partners.”
United Chiefs and Councils of Mnidoo Mnising call for COVID-19 response committee
Last week, the mayor of the Town of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands, Al MacNevin, wrote a letter to the province’s minister of transportation asking for intervention based on complaints from motorists having to detour.
Canada sends nurses to northern community hit by COVID-19
Gull Bay First Nation, where the first nurse sent by the province arrived a week and a half ago and two others are expected in the coming days, has seven confirmed cases of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus
U.S. to start disbursing nearly $5B to Indigenous governments to fight coronavirus
Amounts calculated for Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act regional and village corporations, for-profit businesses that serve tribal villages in Alaska, would be held back until pending litigation relating to their eligibility was resolved, the statement said.
The decision frees up about 60 per cent of the $8 billion in funds earmarked for tribes in the CARES Act, after delays caused by a legal dispute among the nation’s Indigenous populations over who is entitled to the aid.
Trudeau’s ‘Zombie Policies’ Threaten Indigenous Rights
The Liberal government has quietly directed the federal bureaucracy to continue its negotiations with band councils — through Zoom online calls — over matters of lands and self-government.
The Liberal government calls them “recognition and self-determination tables.” As of January, there are more than 80 ongoing negotiations involving some 390 First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities with a total population of more than 760,000 people.
The government boasts that the process is “jointly designed,” but in fact government negotiators have a veto over what gets forwarded to the federal and provincial cabinets for approval.
Indigenous post-secondary students confused about federal COVID-19 funding support
Bear said even though she receives an allowance of $750 per month, that amount has to cover rent, bills and essentials like food.
Bear tried accessing provincial support through her school, but was informed by her principal that because she is receiving band funding she isn’t eligible for New Brunswick’s Emergency Bridge Funding for Vulnerable Post-Secondary Students.
The worst time for a pandemic – how coronavirus and seasonal floods are causing hunger in the remote Amazon
Rural Amazonians still rely on visiting local towns to buy food, trade and receive salaries and welfare payments. This presents a wicked problem – stay home to avoid COVID-19 or feed your family.
New Brunswick Indigenous Summer Games cancelled amid COVID-19 pandemic
“We had requested that we get to host in 2021, that was very important to Eel River Bar,” Simonson said. “ASRNB had no problem with that.”
“We kinda all saw it coming,” Simonson said about the games being cancelled. “I don’t even think there’s a pow-wow that hasn’t already been cancelled.”
Ecuador indigenous community fears extinction from COVID-19
The Siekopai nation along the border between Ecuador and Peru, with some 744 members, has 15 confirmed cases of the virus and two elderly leaders died in the last two weeks after showing symptoms of COVID-19, the group said.
COVID-19 situation in northern Saskatchewan expected to get worse before curve is flattened
The emergency operations centre (EOC) in La Loche broke the numbers down, reporting 68 confirmed cases in the village alone with 21 presumptive cases (meaning these are being treated as positive cases until confirmed by laboratory testing). The adjacent Clearwater River Dene Nation had seven confirmed cases while English River Dene Nation had six. Beauval and three nearby communities reported nine combined positives cases
Help us make this work. Because really, like they say, the virus doesn’t move on its own. The people are the ones that move the virus. So if we contain ourselves, we contain the virus. And eventually it’ll flatten the curve somewhat.”
MN Native communities coping, not conquering, COVID-19 outbreak
Data released by health authorities in late April showed early medical emergencies declared by tribal and state officials, and precautionary steps recommended and taken by federal, state and local governments, slowed the spread of illness from the global coronavirus pandemic within Native communities.
COVID-19: Brazil’s indigenous people ask WHO for emergency fund
Indigenous organisations in Brazil had written to the head of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, asking for help to provide personal protective equipment that is unavailable to health workers in tribal reservations and villages, Wapichana said.
The appeal followed an open letter sent by dozens of international artists, musicians and actors on Sunday to Bolsonaro calling on him to protect Brazil’s indigenous people.
Virtual campaign aims to keep young Indigenous athletes connected during pandemic
The campaign, called Be the Spark, aims to get Team BC athletes and coaches sending videos and photos into the I-SPARC team that show inspiring messages, ideas for physical activity or igniting connections between estranged teammates.
Construction of new Skidegate health and wellness centre postponed due to COVID-19
Yovanovich said most of the exterior of the new centre had already taken shape since the groundbreaking in March 2018, but work about to begin on the interiors had to be postponed.
Toronto to begin tracking racial and socio-economic data in COVID-19 patients
“These data represent our friends, our family members and our loved ones,” Dr. Eileen De Villa said. “In public health, we use these data to help us understand how an infectious disease, in this case COVID-19, is impacting and spreading in our community.”
Cherished’ Cree elder first Indigenous person in Quebec to die from COVID-19
“It is only a small comfort to know that it is precisely in those long-term facilities that the majority of COVID-19 tragedies have been experienced,” he added.
On Monday, provincial authorities announced that for humanitarian reasons, families would now be permitted to visit those in palliative care, and caregivers’ access to long-term care homes would become the rule rather than the exception.
How to protest pipelines (safely) during the coronavirus era
On March 26, the EPA made the perplexing announcement that it would respond to the novel coronavirus threat by temporarily relaxing enforcement of the country’s environmental protection laws. Earlier that same month, South Dakota’s governor, Republican Kristi Noem, signed a bill categorizing pipelines as “critical infrastructure,” which made tampering with them a felony offense. She also approved an anti-protest measure that designated a group of three or more people resisting oil construction or tampering with oil equipment as a riot — another felony.
Brazil sacks officials who curbed deforestation on Amazon indigenous lands
Last Thursday, April 30, Brazilian Environment Minister Ricardo Salles fired two IBAMA, environmental agency coordinators responsible for successfully combating Amazon illegal deforestation and land grabbing — Renê Luiz de Oliveira and Hugo Ferreira Loss.
Nunatukavut says more funding needed to combat effects of COVID-19
“It’s a hell of a lot less than what was needed and proposed,” he said. “That was very disappointing. If you’re offering a program where individuals can access it, it doesn’t have much integrity if you can only offer it to a handful of people. You need to be able to have some funding to make it credible and have a measurable, positive impact.”
COVID-19 check point turns into dance contest
Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory, Atikameksheng Anishinaabek, Long Lake First Nation, Cowessess First Nation and Constance Lake are just a few participating in the challenge and more can be found online.
Assembly of First Nations Establishes COVID-19 National Task Force to Assist First Nations in Ongoing Planning and Response
Regional Chief Adamek said, “The health, safety and well-being of First Nations is our priority and will guide our work on the Task Force. Now more than ever, we need to work together and draw on the full expertise of the AFN’s Policy sectors, Chiefs Committees and outside experts to inform the work of the AFN Executive and coordinate solid information to support First Nations.”
Data gaps exist on COVID-19 cases in Indigenous communities, says research fellow
ISC’s data includes two deaths and 17 hospitalizations, but that information only became available online after CBC News asked why it wasn’t. The ISC website does not include the number of recovered cases, the number or names of First Nations communities affected, or account for First Nations members who live off-reserve, including in long-term care facilities.
NATIVE AMERICANS AND THE CULTURE OF CAPITALISM IN THE TIME OF COVID-19
One can hope that, despite all of the pain, suffering, and uncertainty the pandemic has caused, this will be a pivotal time in history in which people realize that we live in and perpetrate a system of injustice. A system where people continue to lose their lives because of exploitation and inequality. A system that needs to change.
Why self-determination is vital for Indigenous communities to beat coronavirus
We cannot let the response to COVID-19 erode the self-determination of Indigenous people as occurred with past epidemics. Indigenous communities have dealt with disease before. Not only are Indigenous communities taking COVID-19 seriously, they have been leading the way.
By respecting Indigenous authority and resourcing Indigenous communities, we stand a better chance of beating this disease
Weiler supporting improved Internet as a COVID recovery project for rural areas
“As we continue to improve upon our broadband connectivity and there’s continued acceptance of people working remotely, I think that’s going to open up a lot of opportunities for the Coast,” Weiler said on April 27. “I think that really could be a game changer.”