kitatipithitamak mithwayawin: Indigenous-Led Countermeasures to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and other Pandemics Then, Now, and Into the Future
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) was first identified on December 31 2019 in Wuhan, China. As of May 23 2020, 5,403,979 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in 213 countries and territories around the world with an attributed 343,975 deaths.Studies on H1N1 and other pandemics show that Indigenous communities in Canada suffered most from these diseases. Yet, many Indigenous communities and organizations also responded effectively. The outbreak of COVID-19 thus represents a critical moment. On one hand the same mistakes could be made, with similar impacts. On the other hand, there is an opportunity to do things differently in ways that are grounded in the priorities of Indigenous communities and organizations. The overall goal of this specific project is to document the impacts of and responses to COVID-19 on the part of First Nations and to explore how these vary over time and in space. The data that arise from this project will be made available to community health directors in “real time” and help ensure that they are appropriate and useful, in turn will play a critical role in helping communities respond to the threats associated with COVID-19 now and into the future.