COVID-19 Daily News Digest – October 12, 2020
York Region firm’s drones providing lifeline to isolated Indigenous communities (7 photos)
The multi-partner project is expected to greatly help isolated communities like Beausoleil First Nation during not only the current COVID-19 pandemic, but also when the weather turns colder and choppy waters and eventually ice make the ferry trip all the more difficult.
“It has a 30-kilometre, one-way range and can take 10 pounds of payload,” Vaughan-based Drone Delivery Canada (DDC) president and CEO Michael Zahra said, noting this marks the first time a project like this has been launched in Canada
B.C. officials wrestled to define major industrial projects as essential through pandemic.
Internal communications show government staffers worked to rationalize allowing these projects to keep going amid widespread closures in other areas and calls from First Nations leaders and others to shut them down.
A lengthy list of essential services was released by the province in late March, services defined as “essential to preserving life, health, public safety and basic societal functioning… the services British Columbians rely on in their daily lives.”
Grand chief sounds alarm as COVID-19 outbreak in Little Grand Rapids grows to 33 cases
As of Friday, Little Grand Rapids had a total of 33 confirmed cases, said Grand Chief Arlen Dumas. He expects that number could continue to grow.
“There’s approximately 230 contacts in the community,” Dumas said in an interview with guest host Faith Fundal on CBC Manitoba’s Up to Speed on Friday afternoon.
Local First Nations communities gifted with masks and sanitizer from Taiwan
Taiwan has been donating masks to Canada in an act of diplomacy, and Friday (Oct. 9), the director general of an office representing the people of Taiwan gifted Kamloops-area First Nations communities with 6,000 masks and sanitizing materials.
Andy Chen is the director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Vancouver. He says Taiwan has donated more than 55 million masks to countries all over the world since the beginning of the pandemic.
Isolation tents, Red Cross deployed to Manitoba First Nations battling COVID-19
Ottawa has set up two special isolation tents on the reserve and the Canadian Red Cross had a team in the community this weekend.
“I pray for our community, for the people and for the ones that were positive with it,” Bushie said in a FaceTime interview Sunday.
The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs said as of Friday, half the people in hospital in Manitoba were First Nations. The AMC reported 60 known active cases on reserve. That number makes up just under half of all active cases in Canada on First Nations reserves.
Sioux Valley Dakota Nation declares state of emergency after rash of suicides
“It is with a heavy and solemn heart that we recognize our lack of current resources in the community to properly and appropriately address the ongoing and urgent mental health needs of our people,” reads the memo addressed to the federal minister of Indigenous Services and the provincial minister of Indigenous and Northern Relations.
Systemic racism is doubly damaging for Indigenous people in a pandemic
“One thing that hit me harder than I expected was something that was said to me by Quebec’s Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Ghislain Picard,” Miller said on Thursday. “He said that (Indigenous) people normalize the situation — they just expect to be treated like garbage when they go in (to hospitals). I don’t know why that bothers me so much. Indigenous people aren’t surprised by what happened (to Joyce Echaquan); they’re disgusted but they’re not surprised, because it’s happened before. It was on video, obviously, for everyone to see, and I think people are shocked. All instances of racism are unacceptable, especially when you’re at your most vulnerable. So, too, when it comes to interaction with police and excessive use of force.”
Harvest season time to forage for wild food and gather seeds for saving
“The pandemic put fuel on the fire, people are in survival mode and thinking they need to prepare for the end days,” he said.
“Amongst Indigenous communities you were seeing this return to traditional food ideology that was basically trying to decolonize our diet.”