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Open Access Publications from the University of California

COVID-19, Intersectionality, and Health Equity for Indigenous Peoples with Lived Experience of Disability


As Māori and tāngata whaikaha (Māori with lived experience of disability) of the nation-state known as New Zealand, we are deeply concerned about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this commentary, we invoke intersectionality as an analytical tool for understanding critical issues tāngata whaikaha face in the context of the universal approach encompassing New Zealand’s pandemic response. We propose a “call to action” framework comprising four elements: (1) guaranteeing self-determination for tāngata whaikaha; (2) addressing all forms of racism, ableism, and other structural forms of oppression; (3) rectifying historical injustices; and (4) allocating resources for the pandemic and beyond in alignment with need.

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