Health researcher hopes COVID-19 means new policies for Indigenous peoples

Federal government has reported at least 190 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on reserves across Canada

The Canadian Press · Posted: May 17, 2020 10:11 AM CT | Last Updated: May 18

A health researcher studying COVID-19 as part of a national immunity task force hopes the pandemic elevates concern for persistent health issues, such as inadequate housing, for Indigenous people in Canada.
"This pandemic has opened the eyes for a lot of people across Canada," said Dr. Carrie Bourassa, scientific director of the Institute of Indigenous Peoples' Health, part of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
"I would like to think that what these ... studies will do is change a lot of policies for Canadians and for Indigenous people," she said. "I hope that this will also raise the bar and help people to understand that equity has not been reached for Indigenous peoples in Canada."
Bourassa was recently tapped to come up with a plan to engage First Nations, Métis and Inuit people in studies about how the virus has spread and who is immune.

The Anishinaabe-Métis professor at the University of Saskatchewan said an Indigenous advisory circle will soon be announced for the two-year project.

It's critical Indigenous people are included in such studies, she said, because they could be more susceptible to the virus, given factors such as overcrowded housing and poor access to healthy food and clean water.
"Those are now huge mitigating risk factors," she said. 

The full article: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada...


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