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Memo from Grand Chief- March 25, 2020

Memo from Grand Chief- March 25, 2020

We are providing this update as follow-up to our call at 1:00 pm EST/ 12:00pm CST on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

Download a copy of the memo

Information will be continuously updated at

  • Comfort and power in prayer. Today many of our communities will be joining in prayer on Wawatay Radio with Wally McKay. This will be happening at 7:00 pm CST / 8:00 pm EST.
  • Call with Premier Ford, Minister Elliott and Minister Rickford on March 26 at 10:30 am EST/ 9:30 am CST. Tele: 1-855-331-8822/ID: 2102692
  • Numerous First Nations will be closing their winter roads over the next few days

How to Contact NAN & NAN COVID-19 Task Force

  • Please send all inquiries 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.


NAN COVID-19 Task Team

An update was provided by Dr. Natalie Bocking:

  • COVID-19 is increasing rapidly in Ontario with over 600 confirmed cases.
  • NAN territory has no confirmed cases. Thunder Bay has no confirmed cases. Timmins has 4 confirmed cases. Fort Frances has 1 confirmed case.
  • Currently processing 1600 samples per day, increasing to 2500 samples per day by the end of the week.
  • Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and Sudbury Hospital will begin processing tests in the next two weeks.
  • Critical Care Working Group – looking at supplies required and outlining a very specific lists of equipment required for NAN territory.
  • Mental Health & Addictions Working Group – looking at discussing the stress associated with COVID-19, social distancing, isolation, emotional and mental pressures and how to support Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers through COVID-19.
  • The NAN COVID-19 Task Team will outline what the legal repercussions are to not abide by the Federal Quarantine Act and Provincial Public Health Legislation related to infectious diseases.
  • Will circulate guidelines on how to handle a deceased community member if the cause of death is related to COVID-19.

Airport Screening

  • NAN will continue to monitor the airport screening measures around COVID-19.

NAN Legal Services

  • Immediate needs support is now in place to get people home who have been released from prison.
  • A memo will go out and be posted on the NAN website. Direct questions can be sent to or (807) 356-6600.


  • Changes to operations – patient escorts will be limited to the following:
    • Parent accompanying a child (18 or under);
    • Escort who is providing clinical care (medical escort);
    • Patient interpreter; and
    • Family member who has no alternate way to travel to patient destination (i.e. no roads).
  • ORNGE will also be increasing screening measures for all travelers.
  • ORNGE statement will be posted on NAN website.
  • NAN will write ORNGE to ensure they are operating at max capacity and to ensure resources are available for all patient transfer.


  • We hope everyone has been continuing to update and ensure their pandemic plan is resourced.


  • A couple of officers have committed to stay in Peawanuck for 4-6 weeks duration.
    • Peawanuck Chief and Council have agreed to provide additional accommodations for those officers.
  • Developing options for officers who reside in the Toronto area.
    • Stay in the First Nation or looking to secure accommodations in Cochrane, Sioux Lookout, Thunder Bay, etc.
  • Officers Union has been informed of the new schedules and length of working hours – will discuss with the Union directly when the schedule is developed.
  • Exceptional Circumstances Funding request will be sent out today.
  • Still investigating drugs and the trafficking of drugs – drug warrant was executed in one of the drive-in communities yesterday.
  • NAPS will develop a generic letter regarding their actions with the officers during the time of COVID-19 and the measures that have been put in place.
  • NAPS officers should and will be assisting with the enforcement of community safety measures around COVID-19– this will be reemphasized on a call with officers’ tomorrow.


  • An update is posted on the NAN website.
  • Met with Ontario to discuss funding and surplus dollars.
  • NAN communities are asked to send updates around education plans moving forward and education funding questions to or (705) 288-3743.

Canadian Rangers

  • NAN will follow up with the Canadian Rangers again for an update on providing services in communities.

Stay updated.

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