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Memo from Grand Chief- March 27, 2020

Memo from Grand Chief- March 27, 2020

We are providing this update as follow-up to our call at 1:00 pm EST/ 12:00pm CST on Friday, March 27, 2020.

Download a copy of the memo

Information will be continuously updated at www.nancovid19.ca

  • Calls will now be Monday, Wednesday, Friday, starting next week at 1:00 pm EST/ 12:00pm CST.
  • Bulletins will be issued twice a week – Tuesday & Friday.
  • Any other urgent information will be shared/distributed as it arises.

How to Contact NAN & NAN COVID-19 Task Force

  • Please send all inquiries regarding COVID-19 to emergency@nan.ca
  • This e-mail will be constantly monitored. All inquiries will be directed to the appropriate resources who will respond as quickly as possible.

Updates

NAN COVID-19 Task Team

An update was provided by Dr. Natalie Bocking:

  • No confirmed cases in NAN territory. Thunder Bay has its first confirmed case.
  • Federal- Quarantine Act – applies at ports of entry into and exit out of Canada. Travelers must quarantine for 14 days when returning to Canada.
  • Key points about social distancing when going out on the land have been developed and will be posted on the NAN website.
  • NAN has been engaging Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) Minister’s office and Public Safety about the issue of enforcement of public safety measures – we are looking at options and will report back on this as soon as we have some clarity.
  • Based on community feedback and recommendation from the Task Team, an urgent letter has been sent to the federal and provincial government regarding PPE. We continue to advocate for this on a priority basis.

NAN COVID-19 Task Team Recommendation – First Nation States of Emergency

  • With COVID-19 in urban hubs and lack of movement on resources, we have now hit our triggers for declaring community emergencies.
  • All NAN First Nation Communities should declare a state of emergency at the community level. With urban centers having positive COVID-19 cases, community spread is likely and will quickly challenge current resources.
  • NAN is drafting a template BCR for communities to use if needed.

First Nations Community Elections

  • Some of our First Nations have elections coming up very soon.
  • The recommendation from ISC is that the First Nations do not go ahead with elections. The Minister’s office will work with communities that choose to postpone their election to ensure leadership continuity.
  • If your community has an election coming up soon, and you need assistance navigating this, please reach out to NAN directly at emergency@nan.ca.

Ontario Regional Chief

  • Monitoring the following: the impact on each region in NAN, overall health care system, seasonal evacuations, urban community members, the impact of COVID-19 in the United States, food security and supply chain demands right across the province.

Social Services

  • NAN has put together a Child & Family Services Emergency Preparedness Team:
    • Executive Directors – Tikinagan, Payukotayno, Kunuwanimano
    • NAPS
    • Crisis Management Expert
    • Disease Control Expert
    • An Elder
  • First call took place yesterday. A full update will be posted on the NAN website.
  • Access to PPE is a priority for all agency staff to ensure they are protected while they perform child safety measures.
  • Agencies will travel into the communities, with community approval, if there is child welfare issue that needs to be addressed.

NAN Legal Services

  • Continuing to work on discharge planning to get people home.
  • Will have updates from legal aid early next week.

Urban Planning

  • NAN Crisis Response department is working with Canadian Red Cross to gather and distribute essential items and food by establishing staging areas in municipal hubs. Items will be shipped from the staging areas to the First Nations.

Education

  • The province of Ontario is in direct discussion with school boards to determine next steps including graduations, graduation requirements and working towards solutions so that no student loses a school year.
  • Provincial funding will not be cut and will continue into the next year.
  • Ontario will work with Oshki-Wenjack regarding student placement hours.
  • NAN will continue to follow up and provide updates going forward.

NAPS

  • NAN sent a letter to Ontario and Canada yesterday in support of the exceptional circumstances funding NAPS requires.
  • NAPS spoke to all the officers via teleconference call yesterday. It was stressed that all officers are to be assisting with the enforcement of community safety measures around COVID-19.
  • Looking into the criminal code to be used as a last resort for implementing the community safety measures.
  • Schedules are being developed to include 14 days self-isolation prior to going into the communities. This is being share with the Union for approval.
  • Generic letter regarding actions of the officers during the time of COVID-19 and measures that have been put in place will be sent out to all NAPS serviced First Nations communities next week.

Food Security

  • Deputy Grand Chief Jason Smallboy will provide an update on Monday around food security and Northern Store prices.

Next call: Monday March 30, 2020 (1:00 pm EST/ 12:00 pm CST)

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