Due to the need to present information disaggregated by Indigenous Peoples, Cultural Survival is producing this map to collect and disseminate information to show the situations Indigenous communities are facing as a result of COVID-19. As the number of cases increase daily, and the lack of access to testing in rural areas, the data presented here will evolve over time. Empty areas do not imply that there are no cases of COVID-19 or human right violations. This is a continuous and not exhaustive effort and we invite Indigenous Peoples and their communities to contribute.
In addition to providing our regular comprehensive programming, Cultural Survival has swiftly adapted to also provide emergency support to Indigenous Peoples who are being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, globally. Indigenous communities experience alarming rates of inequities and systemic discrimination, including limited to no access to information, holistic medical care, medical supplies, food, housing and more. Additionally, Indigenous Peoples are nearly three times as likely to live in extreme poverty and likely to suffer negative outcomes from infectious diseases. Many Indigenous Peoples also experience disproportionate rates of malnutrition, pre-existing health conditions and lack of access to culturally relevant information, quality healthcare, housing, and clean drinking water.
Rural Indigenous communities are often intentionally not recognized by their governments, therefore do not have access to resources to support their self-determined responses to COVID-19 and ensure their communities are healthy, safe and well-informed of the daily changes of this virus. Recognizing these pre-existing and evolving barriers, we have responded by providing life-saving support, assistance and redistributing resources to the most vulnerable communities. Our Indigenous grant partners have informed us of the unique situations they are experiencing on the ground in their communities, how they are responding, and what is needed. We have a unique disposition to respond to their needs while simultaneously upholding Indigenous rights, and prioritizing health, well-being and cultural continuity during this critical time. As much of the world is being informed of what COVID-19 is and how it spreads, Indigenous Peoples are largely being left out of this conversation and this information sharing and their access to information is further complicated by language barriers. Public health information is not being made available in Indigenous languages, leaving Indigenous elders and rural communities behind, and uninformed on effective prevention measures.
Our COVID-19 response features a holistic, multi-layered approach including curating a global monitoring system for COVID-19 for Indigenous communities using Google maps technology to document COVID-19 cases and related human rights violations. Public health data focuses on cities and majority groups, not rural Indigenous communities, therefore, increasing Indigenous Peoples lack of access to resources to support and empower them to respond accordingly. This technology will also enable Indigenous Peoples to share their own factual data, rather than it being suppressed and controlled by governments and other institutions, and to bring awareness to the human rights violations occurring with concerning frequency during the global pandemic.
There is a great need for disaggregated data as many State governments are not tracking infection rates by ethnicity or minority groups, but it is widely known and ignored that Indigenous communities and People of Color are disproportionately affected.