Studies on other pandemics including SARS, MERS, and H1N1 show that disadvantaged groups generally suffer the greatest incidence and mortality rates. With respect to H1N1, Indigenous communities in Canada had three times the incidence rates and 15 times the hospitalization rates than that of the general public, in part reflecting long-standing health inequities across the country.
Countermeasures were generally inadequate and at worst created more harm than good. Communities had poor access to medical experts and supplies and misinformation generated uncertainty and fear that persists today. Yet, many communities and Indigenous organizations also responded, effectively mitigating the effects of H1N1.
The outbreak of COVID-19 thus represents a critical moment. On one hand the same mistakes could be repeated, while on the other, there is an opportunity to anticipate these in ways that Indigenous priorities play the core role in shaping countermeasures here and into the future.
The Goal of this project is to provide support and resources to Indigenous communities in innovative and culturally appropriate ways during COVID-19 to better serve Indigenous communities and organizations now and into the future.
Project Activities will evaluate the implications of past and existing countermeasures to pandemics with respect to Indigenous communities across Canada and address any gaps in understanding and support related to COVID-19 and other pandemics in the future.
This project will play a critical role in supporting Indigenous communities across the country as they respond to the pandemic and to facilitate outreach and change regarding health-related policy at the provincial and federal levels of government