Now, as the novel coronavirus advances, indigenous groups are locking down and imploring outsiders to stay away.The pandemic is exacerbating deep-seated health and socioeconomic inequities throughout the world. Analysts say that makes indigenous peoples particularly vulnerable. In many communities, key services such as water and housing are chronically underfunded. Many are remote, leaving residents no choice but to travel long distances to access anything beyond basic health-care services. And indigenous peoples may suffer from higher rates of chronic illnesses, underlying conditions that can put them at greater risk of severe complications from covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.“You combine all these factors together and what you see is a perfect storm of risks,” said Jeff Reading, a health sciences professor at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C. “If the virus gets into a community . . . it will spread like wildfire.”Anna Banerji, director of global and indigenous health at the University of Toronto’s medical school, said the coronavirus is particularly dangerous for tribal elders, who occupy a special place in their communities as knowledge keepers and language holders.“To lose, potentially, some elders or many elders all at once could be really devastating,” she said.Here’s how some indigenous communities are preparing.Waswanipi,


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