COVID-19 Daily News Digest – November 26, 2020
Island First Nations can’t lockdown due to dependence on local communities for food, medical service
“We are a community without cell service, we are a community without 24-hour medical care, and we are a community without a functional or large grocery store,” he said. “Any time that a community member from Pacheedaht leaves, it puts them at higher risk of contracting COVID.”
Some First Nations seeing uptick in COVID-19 cases despite careful beginning
Pandemic fatigue is playing into the rise in cases, Makokis said. Potts said the realities of on-reserve life can make it difficult at times to keep the virus under control, especially with new restrictions on gatherings.
“Due to overcrowding, due to the lack of service buildings and other things, often people have to gather, so I think it could definitely pose a challenge,” she said.
Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation in lockdown after two people test positive for COVID-19
One person tested positive on Sunday after travelling to Port Alberni a few days earlier, said Elmer Frank, Tla-o-qui-aht’s emergency preparedness co-ordinator and chairman of the community’s emergency operations centre. The person self-isolated as soon as symptoms developed, Frank said. The First Nation carried out contract tracing and two other families isolated and monitored for symptoms.
‘Don’t think you’re immune because you’re isolated’: B.C. Indigenous chief warns after COVID-19 outbreak
Svanvik said there are roughly 1,500 people on the island and 30 people tested positive and one person died. Later, they learned six people had the antibodies of the virus.
“My job is about relationship and partnering with communities and providing them the information they need to make their own decision,” she said. “That’s completely the role of a self-determining nation and I work for them.”
Six Nations has two active cases of COVID-19
The latest were confirmed on Wednesday, but not announced until Friday. Six nations has had 97 total cases, with 95 resolved and one death.
‘For our children’: How families are passing down Indigenous languages
In 2018, Allan started a YouTube channel with playlists of videos in Ojibwe for Norman to watch. After daycares closed down due to COVID-19, the family started creating their own videos, and, in August, Allan launched a website to share language resources and track their journey. “I’ve now become the person I wanted to find when I was starting out, which is someone who is a bit more competent at speaking and is engaging with other families. I want people to know that where they are in their language journey now is not where they will be. They may be surprised at what that path might look like.”
NWT publishes report on isolation, not clear if measures will change
Calls for change to the NWT’s isolation rules – and who pays for isolation centre stays – have recently gained momentum. Both Fort Simpson and Fort Liard have expressed interest in allowing residents to isolate within their communities after medical travel, which currently can’t ordinarily happen.
Indigenous governments said Covid-19 had triggered anxiety and fear within several communities that experienced past epidemics or illnesses that devastated families. Having people self-isolate in the community could potentially exacerbate those anxieties, according to comments documented in the report.
‘These spaces are lifelines:’ Nunavut lockdown leaves some with nowhere to go
This is the scene at Iqaluit’s Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre from Sundays to Thursdays. Nunavummiut usually arrive around noon to gather at tables and enjoy meals that can include stew, green salad and freshly baked buns. The people aren’t necessarily homeless, but some of them don’t always have enough to eat.
But with Nunavut in a territorywide shutdown, Qajuqturvik’s dining room is closed. Public health orders restrict gatherings, so the centre has stopped its programming and meals are only available for takeout.
“Food security is always an issue for people, but I think the bigger issue now is people’s mental health,” Thorhaug said in an interview.
Ottawa providing nearly $20M to help Nunavut combat growing coronavirus outbreak
The funding announced late Wednesday by the ministries of Indigenous services, northern affairs and economic development will go toward food support, personal protective equipment and other essential needs during the territory-wide lockdown imposed last week.
Mi’kmaw and Wolastoqi women create new online store to highlight their arts and crafts
Women from First Nations communities in New Brunswick have a new online store to help find a bigger audience for their art and to make up for sales lost to COVID-19.
The site is called Nujintuisga’tijig E’pijig, which means “Indigenous women salespeople or vendors” in the Mi’kmaq language, and currently features 16 artists — but there is room for up to 30.
Leona Newkinga, a Mi’kmaw and Inuit woman who lives in Elsipogtog, has her bead work featured on the site. She hopes it can bring a bigger audience to her work.
Infrastructure, overcrowding among challenges facing northern Sask. communities as COVID-19 cases rise
“Some have not been able to self-isolate because they don’t have the necessary infrastructure to accommodate them, especially in places where they have overcrowding in the home.”
Ndubuka said that is something he and his staff are hoping to address by getting winter-friendly places for people who need to self-isolate to stay and by creating more educational tools in various languages so that people understand the risks of transmission.
Indigenous colonialism having deadly consequences during global pandemic, scholars and activists say
A gathering of scholars and activists on Wednesday pointed to soaring test positivity rates on First Nations and suggested that Indigenous colonialism in Canada is alive and well and killing Indigenous people in the midst of a global pandemic.
The online discussion with Pamela Palmater, Winona LaDuke and host Dr. Niigaan Sinclair, spoke about how Indigenous people are dealing with ongoing colonization, what has or hasn’t changed due to the pandemic, and where Indigenous people and their allies can go from here.
“Racism impacts health and we see that particularly here in Manitoba,“ said Sinclair. ”Fourteen per cent is the test positivity rate in Manitoba. They closed schools in New York for a 3% positivity rate.