COVID-19 Daily News Digest – November 28, 2020
Stell’aten First Nation near Fraser Lake identifies positive COVID-19 case
Stellat’en First Nation identified a case of the novel coronavirus in Stellaquo near Fraser Lake.
“This serves as an important reminder to follow safety protocols,” chief Robert Michell said in a Nov. 26 letter to community members.
He said due to confidentiality purposes no further information can be released.
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19
The First Nations community of Ahousaht is in lockdown and its two schools are shut down after a community member tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, Nov. 26.
“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through,” said Dick, adding that his team of six is fully committed to doing their best to be transparent and help in any way they can.
Vancouver Island First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage
A remote Vancouver Island First Nation wracked by an outbreak of COVID-19 also had the additional burden of a storm-caused power outage dumped on its shoulders today.
Ehattesaht First Nation is under a lockdown with nine active COVID-19 cases as of Nov. 26, on their reserve near Zeballos
Coun. Ernie Smith told community members in a Facebook update that 11 cases had been recorded in the community of about 500 since last week, two of which have recovered.
BC’s COVID Cabinet: First Nations Leaders Call on Premier Horgan to Mandate Re-Appointed Health Minister and Newly Appointed Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation to Collaborate in Disclosing Life Saving Information
“As one of our communities is in the midst of an outbreak, this information becomes even more critical to Nuu-chah-nulth,” said Judith Sayers, President of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. “We call on Premier Horgan to ensure his new ministers’ mandate letters include a strong commitment to sharing information and saving Indigenous lives.”
The Heiltsuk Nation, Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council and Tsilhqot’in National Government, supported by a growing number of nations, have been requesting the following COVID-19 information from the BC government since May 2020:
- The location (not the personal identity) of proximate, presumptive and confirmed COVID cases near their communities;
- Whether the proximate case involves a person that has travelled to one of the Nation’s territories within the last 14 days; and,
- The name of a person infected by COVID who is a member of one of the Nations, to be used for culturally-safe contact-tracing.
SCO looking to feds for realistic vaccine timeline for First Nations
Priority groups will include seniors, people with serious medical conditions, essential workers and some Indigenous communities.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately impacting our Anishinaabe and Dakota communities. Canada must prioritize our people to end this health care crisis that is impacting so many First Nation lives.”
As of Nov. 25, close to 20% of the province’s daily COVID-19 case counts were accounted for by First Nations people, with 28% in hospital and 42% in intensive care.
COVID-19 test positivity rate among First Nations people in Manitoba now over 20%
Thirty-six deaths have been reported among First Nations people in Manitoba since the start of the pandemic, with nine in the past week alone, the pandemic response team said Friday.
Eighty-five First Nations people are currently in hospital with COVID-19, including 23 in intensive care.
That means First Nations people make up more than half of the total of 45 Manitobans in intensive care with the illness.
Fear of racism deters many Indigenous people from seeking medical treatment, says health-care leader
“People are fearing that they will be treated in a racist manner, or not receive the standard of care that a non-Indigenous person would,” Dr. Cornelia (Nel) Wieman, told Dr. Brian Goldman, host of White Coat, Black Art.
The death of Joyce Echaquan was a wake-up call to the kind of inequity that Indigenous people face as patients in the health-care system, says Wieman, who is also a psychiatrist and Acting Deputy Chief Medical Officer at the First Nations Health Authority in Vancouver.
Indigenous leaders offer collective stories of hope through year of crisis
“In our culture, when an elder dies, we lose a whole library,” says Yanama Kuikuro, president of the Kuikuro Indigenous Association of Upper Xingu. “When we heard that Covid-19 had reached Brazil, we were really concerned for the elderly.” So, he and other indigenous leaders from the Upper Xingu territory in Mato Grosso state – part of the Amazon region – set up a project to keep the virus at bay.
Indigenous restaurants in Vancouver join national campaign to send holiday feast boxes to people in need
Winnipeg-based Feast Café Bistro owner executive chef Christa Bruneau-Guenther from Peguis First Nation and Indigenous Culinary of Associated Nations (ICAN) board member announced today (November 27) the launch of Indigenous Feast Boxes, a fundraising campaign to support Indigenous chefs across Canada and their teams.
The meal kits will be provided to Indigenous families and community members in need during the fast-approaching holiday season.
“This fundraising campaign is a way to secure jobs but also support families, elders, people with health risks and the larger community as a whole,” Bruneau-Guenther explained in a news release. “The holidays can be hard financially, but they are also a time of warmth and giving.”
Fort McMurray schools miss connection to Indigenous elders
“Teachers here in Fort McMurray, as a part of reconciliation, try to incorporate more Indigenous teaching and traditional knowledge into the classroom,” said Melanie Walsh, social media and event co-ordinator at McMurray Métis and part of the team that spearheaded the video project.
“To do that most accurately is to bring elders in who are traditionally knowledge keepers. Due to COVID-19 and the pandemic, that’s not safe this year so we kind of went back to the drawing board and came up with the idea to produce a video on Louis Riel.”