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Change dot org petition calls on federal government to support Indigenous communities through COVID-19

Over 15,000 people have signed a Change.org petition calling on the federal government to send urgent resources to support Indigenous communities through the COVID-19 pandemic. The petition says First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities are among the most vulnerable to the pandemic.

Led by signatories like Isadore Day and Grand Chief Wilton Littlechild, the petition lists numerous calls to action. They call for rapid COVID-19 test kits to be immediately sent to Indigenous communities and suggest requesting further support from the Canadian Red Cross.

Federal officials have said they learned lessons from the H1N1 pandemic, but the petition says those lessons need to be put in action. “While we recognize that one approach will not meet the needs of all communities, we believe urgent intervention will be needed NOW to avert catastrophic consequences to many communities,” reads the petition.

The H1N1 crisis remains a dark chapter in Canada’s history with many Indigenous communities saying they received body bags instead of help. Indigenous peoples were over six times more likely to be hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit.

Inequities have been made apparent again through COVID-19. Boil water advisories and inadequate infrastructure in some communities make it challenging to implement self-isolation or to even wash hands more frequently.

The petition says these factors increase risks of COVID-19 and calls the situation, “simply unacceptable.”

You can find the petition here.

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