Canadians have seen the harm the COVID-19 pandemic is doing to Native American communities in the United States, knowing it could happen to Indigenous peoples here.
The infection and death rates for many Native American communities is much higher than mainstream communities. The American Indian Studies Center at the University of California published a graphic that shows the huge disparities in infection and death rates affecting these U.S. communities.
For instance, Native Americans across New Mexico, the vast majority of whom live on remote tribal lands, are dying of COVID-19 at rates 19 times that of all other populations combined, according to data provided by that state’s Department of Health. They represent only 11 per cent of New Mexico’s population but account for 57 per cent of the state’s COVID-19 cases.
The Navajo Nation – which has populations in a few states – made headlines in the United States because, at one point, their COVID-19 infection rate surpassed that of hard-hit New York State.