Everyday Indigenous resurgence during COVID-19: a social media situation report

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For Indigenous Nations on Turtle Island (Canada and the USA), the onset of COVID-19 has exacerbated food insecurity and adverse health outcomes. This situation report examines ways that Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island have met the challenges of the pandemic in their communities and their daily practices of community resurgence through social media. Drawing on the lived experiences of four Indigenous land-based practitioners, we found that social media can offer new forms of connection for Indigenous peoples relating to our foods, lands, waterways, languages, and our living histories.

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... Responses by other Indigenous communities around the globe draw similarities to those by Māori, by being rooted in reciprocity and kindness and demonstrating strong leadership and a value-based response to Covid-19. Examples include initiatives by peoples living in the Andes (Córdoba et al., 2021), Indigenous Nations in the USA and Canada (Corntassel et al., 2020), and First Nations communities in Australia (Crooks et al., 2020;Finlay & Wenitong, 2020) to name a few. ...
Aotearoa New Zealand has been commended for the overarching effectiveness of its Covid-19 response. Yet, the lockdowns challenged the health of whānau Māori (Māori families) alongside their social, cultural and financial well-being. However, Māori have repeatedly demonstrated innovative means of resilience throughout the pandemic. This review aimed to document the local grassroots, community-level responses to Covid-19 lockdowns by Māori. Three sources for searching for evidence were used: academic, websites and media, and Māori community networks. A total of 18 records were reviewed. Four of these records comprised published academic literature, 13 comprised news, online and media articles, and one was a situation report. Findings were grouped into three categories: distributive networks, well-being and resource support. The findings of this review provide an exemplar for the strength of Māori leadership and agency, alongside value-driven holistic approaches to health and well-being that could positively impact the health of all.
... Levkoe et al. (2021) similarly argued that addressing Indigenous food insecurity during the pandemic must be rooted in a decolonizing framework. Corntassel et al. (2020) looked at the everyday land and food activities Indigenous communities undertook to ensure food security. Levi and Robin (2020) further argued that public health measures (e.g., sheltering in place, social distancing, regular hand washing) cannot be followed by the many Indigenous families who lack access to clean water and live in overcrowded and substandard housing. ...
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This research brief presents results from a scan of peer-reviewed and grey literature published from March 2020 to the end of August 2021 looking at the impacts of COVID-19 on food security in Canada. The purpose of this literature scan is to look at how the national food-security landscape has shifted due to the pandemic and to analyze what these changes mean for civil society­–led food movements working on the ground to enhance food systems sustainability and equity. This brief presents key findings from the literature scan focus­ing on food-security policy, programming, and funding; food security for individuals, house­holds, and vulnerable populations; and food sys­tems. We then draw on our collective experi­ences as food scholars and activists to discuss the impli­cations of these findings for food movement organizing. Here, we focus on networks, policy advocacy, and local food systems as key considera­tions for food movements in a changing food-security landscape.
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Indigenous communities, organizations, and individuals work tirelessly to #Keep-OurLanguagesStrong. The COVID-19 pandemic was potentially detrimental to Indigenous language revitalization (ILR) as this mostly in-person work shifted online. This article shares findings from an analysis of public social media posts, dated March through July 2020 and primarily from Canada and the US, about ILR and the COVID-19 pandemic. The research team, affiliated with the NEȾOL-NEW “one mind, one people” Indigenous language research partnership at the University of Victoria, identified six key themes of social media posts concerning ILR and the pandemic, including: 1. language promotion, 2. using Indigenous languages to talk about COVID-19, 3. trainings to support ILR, 4. language education, 5. creating and sharing language resources, and 6. information about ILR and COVID-19. Enacting the principle of reciprocity in Indigenous research, part of the research process was to create a short video to share research findings back to social media. This article presents a selection of slides from the video accompanied by an in-depth analysis of the themes. Written about the pandemic, during the pandemic, this article seeks to offer some insights and understandings of a time during which much is uncertain. Therefore, this article does not have a formal conclusion; rather, it closes with ideas about long-term implications and future research directions that can benefit ILR.
Encounters between Euro- and Native Americans from the earliest times have prompted individuals on both sides to marvel at the difference in languages and to wonder about the differences in ideas and perspectives that must surely follow. Nowhere have these differences drawn more interest and speculation than in the complex realm of healing and medicine. Since the period of earliest contact between Cherokees and European colonists, the distinctive features of the Cherokee medical system and beliefs have been duly noted. From Adair and Timberlake to Mooney and Olbrechts to the Kilpatricks and Fogelson, interested observers have described and documented the beliefs, practices, and formulas that form the basis of Cherokee medical practice. The Cherokee medical formulas collected and examined over the years reveal substantial portions of the ideology that underpins Cherokee healing practices. The goal of this chapter is not to add another layer of understanding to Cherokee medical practice specifically, but rather to look at the linguistic evidence for an understanding of the basic state of nature and the cosmos in the Cherokee worldview. This fundamental project will cast additional light on the materials collected by others and form the foundation for a linguistically based examination of the Cherokee medical system as it is understood today.
For the Cherokee, health is more than the absence of disease; it includes a fully confident sense of a smooth life, peaceful existence, unhurried pace, and easy flow of time. The natural state of the world is to be neutral, balanced, with a similarly gently flowing pattern. States of imbalance, tension, or agitation are indicative of physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual illness and whether caused intentionally through omission or commission, or by outside actions or influences, the result affects and endangers the collective Cherokee. Taking a true anthropological four-field approach, Lefler and her colleagues provide a balanced portrait of Cherokee health issues. Topics covered include: an understanding of the personal and spiritual impact of skeletal research among the Cherokee; the adverse reactions to be expected in well-meaning attempts to practice bioarchaeology; health, diet, and the relationship between diet and disease; linguistic analysis of Cherokee language in historical and contemporary contexts describing the relationship of the people to the cosmos; culturally appropriate holistic approaches to disease prevention and intervention methodologies; and the importance of the sacred feminine and the use of myth and symbolism within this matrilineal culture. All aspects—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual—figure into the Cherokee concept of good health. By providing insight into the Cherokee perspective on health, wellness, and the end of the life cycle, and by incorporating appropriate protocol and language, this work reveals the necessity of a diversity of approaches in working with all Indigenous populations. CONTRIBUTORS Heidi M. Altman / Roseanna Belt / Thomas N. Belt / David N. Cozzo / Michelle D. Hamilton / Jenny James / Susan Leading Fox / Lisa J. Lefler / Russell G. Townsend
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