Jukasa News Update – Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Minister of Indigenous Services Marc Miller said there is no doubt the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic will hit Indigenous reserves harder than other communities.
Miller explained that during the first months of the pandemic, infection rates on reserves were relatively low compared to the general public. But in the past six weeks, there have been outbreaks in Indigenous communities across the country.
There are currently 123 active cases of COVID-19 on reserves _ the majority in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
A First Nation in northern Saskatchewan went into lockdown and closed its schools Thursday over concerns of COVID-19 transmission following a series of religious services where participants were unmasked.
Couples in Ontario can now be legally married by an Indigenous officiant who can perform traditional ceremonies.
The officiant will be able to submit the marriage for registration with the province.
Indigenous communities will be able to appoint officiants to perform marriages.
The province says the changes recognize the role of Indigenous communities and organizations in designating officiants.
The minister responsible says the new measure will enhance inclusiveness.
The amendments under the Marriage Act are effective immediately.
Canadians have a largely favourable view of police in their communities but Indigenous people, members of visible minority groups and younger Canadians are more likely to have had bad experiences and to feel threatened in the presence of police, a new poll suggests.
Seventy-seven per cent of Caucasian respondents to the Angus Reid Institute survey said they had a favourable or very favourable view of their local police.
But that dropped to 72 per cent for Indigenous respondents and 67 per cent for those who identified themselves as members of a visible minority.
The contrasts among different age groups was even more stark, with just 51 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds expressing a favourable view _ a percentage that rose through each successive age group to a high of 86 per cent among those 65 or older.
Quebec Premier Francois Legault replaced his Indigenous affairs minister with a former Montreal police officer Friday, as his government looked to reset relations with First Nations leaders.
Ian Lafreniere, a former cop who won a Montreal-area riding with Legault’s party in the 2018 election, takes over from Sylvie D’Amours, whose performance as minister had been criticized.
Relations between some Indigenous communities and the government hit a low point after the death of Joyce Echaquan, an Atikamekw woman subjected to slurs by staff as she lay dying in hospital last week.
Legault told reporters Friday it was important to make a change, adding the department’s longtime deputy minister was also being replaced.
Indigenous leaders have called on Legault to recognize the existence of systemic racism in the province, but he has repeatedly rejected the term.
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