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Memo from Grand Chief- March 19, 2020

Memo from Grand Chief- March 19, 2020

We are providing this update as follow-up to our call at 1:00 pm EST/12:00pm CST on Thursday March 19, 2020.

Download a copy of the memo

Please dial into tomorrow’s call prior to 1:00 pm EST/12:00 pm CST to ensure that we can start on time. We realize that everyone’s time is valuable, and we want to be able to provide you with information as clearly as we can. Also please remember to mute your line, and take the call from a landline if you can.

I had the opportunity to speak with an Elder today. He reminded me of what my parents used to tell me. Pandemics are not new in our communities; we have been challenged by them before. People organized and looked after each other. Whether it was gathering medicines, caring for homes or for the sick.   They had a plan and knew how to  look after themselves.  It was good for me to have     that powerful reminder today. We must take these lessons forward and take care of each other.

Communications Resources & Materials

Information will be continuously updated at

  • Public health resource materials, public service announcements  and  COVID-19  information materials are being developed to be shared via the NAN Website.
  • We are working on voice recordings on information about COVID-19 that will be sent to Wawatay radio and allow for communities to play them on their local radio stations. We will also be having them played on urban radio station to reach the urban members.
  • I will be on Wawatay radio tomorrow  around  10:00  am EST,  and will  try  to  make  regular appearances starting next week.

How to Contact the NAN COVID-19 Task Force

Please send all inquires regarding COVID-19 to

This e-mail will be constantly monitored. All inquiries will be directed to the appropriate resources who will respond as quickly as possible.


  • We were hopeful that a meeting/call with ISC would take place this afternoon regarding processes for immediate funding  relief.  So far, we have not heard anything further. We   will provide that information to you as soon as we can, and it will be posted on the NAN website.
  • Tribal  Councils   should   be   preparing   to   assist member   First   Nation communities with budgeting, inventories and paperwork for when the funding process is released.

Food Security & Essential Supplies

  • We are working with community partners to mobilize essential supplies to vulnerable members in NAN territory and urban centers as quickly as possible.

Community Priorities – Pandemic Supplies

  • If you have not already done so, please make a priority list for your community (i.e. hand sanitizers, Protective Personal Equipment, food storage, etc.) and send them to us at
  • Resources to assist in planning are available on the NAN website.

NAN COVID-19 Task Team

An update was provided by Dr. Natalie Bocking:

  • The number of cases is rising in Ontario (mainly Southern communities)
  • Many cases are travel related, but this may change
  • So far 12% of cases have required hospital admission
  • Testing is available in remote nursing stations, but swabs continue to be an issue.

The task team is also assisting with:

  • Questions from First Nations and partners
  • Gaps between Ontario region FNIHB and remote nursing stations
  • Advocacy for test-time turn-around in the form of testing abilities at labs in Thunder Bay and Timmins


NAN Legal Services

  • The Northwest Regional Senior Justice provided notice that Ontario Court of Justice sittings in the Northwest Region are now scheduled at all satellite court sites (not at courthouses) will be held by audio or video from base courts.
  • Court information can be viewed


  • A contact list of senior personnel, on call supervisors for each region, and duty inspectors, has been posted on
  • Meetings continue to ensure efficient policing coverage across the territory and to plan for unique community situations/directives.

Social Assistance

  • A memo from the Ministry of Children,  Community  and  Social  Services has  been  posted to outlining early    measures    for    COVID-19 which include temporary flexibilities to the Ontario Works program.

Next call: Friday March 20, 2020 (1:00 pm EST/ 12:00 CST)

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