Why Canada Needs an Indigenous-Specific COVID-19 Policy – The McGill International Review

by ahnationtalk on June 4, 202057 Views

Jun 3, 2020

Stay home. Wash your hands frequently. Maintain social distancing. It’s the elementary and omnipresent advice hammered by public health experts worldwide, from municipal authorities to the World Health Organization. But for Canada’s 61 Indigenous communities stricken with long-term drinking water advisories, including the 25-year-long and ongoing advisory in Neskantaga First Nation, COVID-19 prevention guidelines may fall a bit flat. How do you wash your hands regularly when you lack clean water? How do you self-isolate when there are more people in your house than your workplace?

The COVID-19 pandemic is a somber reminder of the enduring divide between Canada’s Indigenous and settler populations. Persistent water shortages, coupled with a fractured healthcare infrastructure, overcrowded housing, inadequate sewers and food insecurity make Indigenous reserves uniquely vulnerable to respiratory illnesses resulting from a COVID-19 outbreak. To make matters worse, many Indigenous communities struggle with limited access to local doctors or hospitals, often contending with an underfunded nursing station or having to fly to urban centres for more serious treatment. For fly-in communities in Canada’s northernmost territories, a disruption in services, flights, or the food supply chain could prove fatal.

Read More: https://www.mironline.ca/why-canada-needs-an-indigenous-specific-covid-19-policy/

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