COVID-19 Daily News Digest
Escaping coronavirus in Ecuador’s Amazon
In the first of this two-part series, we bring you a story of what happens when an environmental crisis and a health crisis are stacked on top of one another, affecting one of the most vulnerable populations in one of the world’s most vulnerable regions.
When COVID-19 hit Ecuador, its Indigenous communities fled to their ancestral homes in the Amazon. But more trouble awaited them in the rainforest.
Indigenous elder’s death from COVID-19 in care home was overshadowed by racism, family and friends say
“My first thought is, who is calling at 1:30 in the morning? The question is, how does the care home deal with the situation when somebody has not done the appropriate thing?” she said.
The Ministry of Health told CBC News that during the pandemic there are no new protocols outlining swifter timelines to remove a body or belongings from a care home.
Friendship Centre campaign dispels COVID myths
More than 60 per cent of Indigenous people live off-reserve and in urban centres. Without reliable data to track the rate of COVID-19 among urban Indigenous people, friendship centres play a key role in supporting their health and safety.”I am so proud to be a part of this campaign and to use my comedy to help deliver useful information about COVID-19 to help keep people safe and healthy as this pandemic continues to evolve,” McMahon said in a July 14 news release.
10 Indigenous guardian programs, including Yukon’s Kluane First Nation’s, get federal funding
On July 22, the federal government announced $600,000 for 10 Indigenous guardian projects across the country. This marks the third year of its Indigenous Guardians pilot program, which provides funding for Indigenous communities to monitor and protect the environment as they see fit.
The guardians’ jobs are to collect information on the health of the land. While they have no authority to enforce laws, they record what they see and educate anyone entering their traditional territory about sensitive habitats and wildlife, along with the regulations designed to protect them.
Grandmother St. Anne still offers comfort, inspiration to Indigenous elders
The annual Lac Ste Anne Pilgrimage normally attracts thousands of pilgrims, mostly First Nations people, to the lake west of Edmonton. While the pilgrimage itself is more than 130 years old, Indigenous people considered it a sacred place for generations before that. They come to Lac Ste Anne in prayer, seeking St. Anne’s intercession and healing for themselves and their loved ones.
Coronavirus crisis threatens internet opportunity for Native Americans
Only about 15% of eligible tribes have applied, said FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel during a question-and-answer session at the virtual RightsCon conference.
The FCC says 628,000 tribal households lack access to standard broadband, a rate more than four times that of the general population, and a 2019 study by the American Indian Policy Institute found nearly one in five reservation residents has no internet at home.
As an Indigenous Lakota Woman, Running Is My Art Form and My Advocacy
Running has definitely made me more aware that I have targets on my back. I am a woman of color and I am aware of the statistics of missing and murdered Indigenous women. Look at what happened to Ahmaud Arbery. He should have been able to enjoy his run. What we’re seeing now with the Black Lives Matter movement — and the deaths that we’re all forced to see on TV or on our phones of George Floyd, Tony McDade, black trans people being murdered — is that it’s all rooted in white supremacy, systemic racism, and oppression. Our traumas are so similar, and we are more than the stereotypes that are painted of us. We’re runners, we’re athletes, we’re lawyers. I really love seeing the unity building between Black Lives Matter and Indigenous folks, because Indigenous folks are fighting for sovereignty and Black folks are fighting for liberation.
Green energy projects funded for remote, First Nations communities
“We believe strongly in working with and supporting leaders from Indigenous Nations, communities and industry,” said George Heyman, minister of environment and climate change strategy. “Together we can increase access to clean energy, reduce pollution and support good jobs as we build back from economic effects of COVID-19. Investing in expanded opportunities for people and communities with new, clean technologies is an integral part of our CleanBC plan for building a stronger, sustainable and better low-carbon future for everyone.”
Why Indigenous communities are taking COVID-19 measures into their own hands
“The reality is that the ways pandemics are experienced at local and regional levels are shaped by national and even global forces of power: colonialism and imperialism,” she said.
“These different kinds of institutional spaces always combined racial assimilation with cultural assimilation. So, curing the ills of the body required also curing the ills of so-called Indian culture, to use the terminology of the time,” she said.
Premier wants review of ‘disturbing’ data suggesting Labrador Innu, Inuit ID’d more often in RCMP releases
Premier Dwight Ball says a CBC story showing that a disproportionate number of people named in RCMP media releases during a 12-week period were from Indigenous communities in Labrador is “disturbing.”
“I read it and it was disturbing, the analysis that I seen there,” Ball said Monday afternoon at an event in Corner Brook.
Maricé Morales: A Culturally-Sensitive Model to Address the Staggering Rate of Latinos’ COVID-19 Infections
Politics aside — which the general public is frankly tired of — effective leadership in any organization is based on the organization’s ability to quickly identify the “comparative advantages” of its members by fostering the freedom for them to lead in their area of expertise. While the responsibility of governing with a racial equity lens cannot solely depend on BIPOC, in the event that BIPOC leaders do speak up on an issue, we must acknowledge and embrace their input as soon as it is offered instead of delaying action by questioning their credibility or dismissing their expertise all together. Additionally, it must be said that we, BIPOC, may unconsciously do this among ourselves, too.