Skip to content

NAN COVD-19 Bulletin- April 17, 2020

NAN COVD-19 Bulletin- April 17, 2020

April 17, 2020

Nishnawbe Aski Nation COVID-19 Update 

  • The NAN Chiefs Calls will now be twice weekly (Monday and Thursday at 1pm EST), with a bulletin to follow after each call.
  • Minister Rickford will be joining the NAN Chiefs Call on Monday April 20.
  • A NAPS call with NAN Chiefs will directly follow the NAN Chiefs Call on Monday April 20, using the NAN Chiefs Call conference line.
  • Confirmed COVID-19 cases: 46 in Thunder Bay Region (3 from First Nation communities), 49 in Timmins Region, 4 in Dryden, 2 in Red Lake, 1 in Sioux Lookout, and 1 in Greenstone.
  • We need to ensure that messaging around public health measures and physical distancing are being taken seriously in our communities. Each community must be as vigilant as ever and cannot relax the measures that are in place.
  • If someone suspects they have symptoms of COVID-19, it is very important that they not to go to the nursing station without getting instructions first from the nurse over the phone or through telehealth.
    • NAN is developing an infographic on this to help remind members – please check the website regularly for updated infographics.
  • Everyone must act like they have COVID-19 – this is not an extraordinary measure, but a measure that every person is being asked to practice.
  • NAN has been in contact with Northern Stores to ensure they have social distancing measures in place.
  • When out on the land, please remember and respect the cultural teachings we have been taught when harvesting traditional foods.

NAN Critical Preparedness, Readiness & Response Actions for COVID-19 Transmission Scenarios

  • The document was sent as an attachment with the Wednesday bulletin.
    • Reminder that this is a DRAFT and needs further work and input.
  • Communities are encouraged to review this document, which has comprehensive actions in various scenarios of COVID-19 (for example, one case, multiple cases).
    • It is designed to fit in with each communities’ pandemic plan and encourages communities to think about response actions. It requires input from the community to address these scenarios at the community level.
  • This document has also been presented at the NAN Trilateral Table and received really good feedback from Minister Miller and Minister Rickford.
  • Both the federal and provincial governments committed to outlining their roles and responsibilities in this document.

Pandemic Planning

  • Pandemic Planning is very important at the community level because it creates a structure that guides progress. Along with a government response, each First Nation needs to be prepared.
  • NAN is asking all communities who need assistance with Pandemic Planning to email so that we can connect you with Team Rubicon.

  • If your community already has a Pandemic Plan developed, we ask that you send your plan to This so that NAN knows what your plan is and how to best assist your community in its operation and implementation.

Chiefs of Ontario (COO) Leadership Call – Education & Policing

  • On the April 16 COO leadership call, Minister Lecce acknowledged Deputy Grand Chief Fox’s letter; it was well received.
  • There was commitment to implementing certain requests such as sharing access to the provincial Virtual Learning Network – NAN will continue to work with the government on the education plan.
  • Grand Chief Fiddler followed up directly with Minister Jones regarding NAPS’ exceptional circumstances funding request. As part of the funding is federal, a trilateral call will be taking place in the coming days.

Remote Airport & Airline Funding

  • The federal government recently announced new funding to support remote airport operations in Yukon, Nunavut, and Northwest Territories.
  • First Nation remote airports have not been deemed an essential service.
  • Northern air carriers are essential to our First Nations as they deliver medical supplies, test swabs, food, fuel, equipment, etc.
  • NAN will raise this urgently with Ontario and Canada, as our communities rely on regional airlines and airports and they require support to ensure they can remain operational.
  • This will include advocacy to ensure our airports are resourced appropriately.
  • Leadership will be updated on these important issues as they progress.

NAN COVID-19 Task Team 

  • The NAN COVID-19 Task Team includes: Elders, Physicians, Nurse Practitioners and Emergency Management Experts.
  • A Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) sub-committee has been developed to give technical guidelines for communities, regarding proper use and storage and operational.
  • WAHA and SLFNHA will be collaborating on the purchasing of oxygen therapy equipment.
  • The NAN COVID-19 Task Team will be developing recommendations around funerals and end of life care during COVID-19. Document will be put on the NAN website when complete.
  • Mental Health & Substance Use Working Group – met this week.
    • Guidance Document for health care providers on Alcohol and Opioid Withdrawal Management has been drafted for approval.
    • Guidance   Document  for health care providers on Stimulant Drug Withdrawal management has started to be drafted to be ready early next week.
  • Evacuations During COVID-19 – floods and wildfires – all urban centers that usually host evacuees will not be hosting this year due to COVID-19. The NAN COVID-19 Task Team is in discussion with Tribal Councils to develop different evacuation options:
    • Putting in trailers near Gogama with assistance from Mattagami First Nation, on the Land Activities; and/or, a location near Atikokan with support from surrounding First Nations.
    • This draft plan will be circulated to the NAN Chiefs.

Nishnawbe Aski Police Services – NAPS 

  • NAPS was able to source PPE from suppliers and from the OPP.
    • This will be shipped out to the detachments when received.
  • Chiefs have requested information on OPP policing and the enforcement of community measures.
    • NAN has raised this with legal counsel and will provide further information when an opinion is received.
  • There are still issues of gatherings taking place in the communities with alcohol involved.
  • A NAPS call with NAN Chiefs will directly follow the NAN Chiefs Call on Monday April 20, using the NAN Chiefs Call conference line.


  • Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is working directly with communities to assess surge infrastructure needs and the temporary repurposing of existing infrastructure.
  • ISC is offering support for the repurposing of infrastructure in community as well as support for the purchasing of necessary supplies, such as cots.
  • To access this support, please contact Mandy Wirta Community Wellness        
  • NAN is coordinating the purchase and distribution of some non-perishable, essential items (canned goods, dry goods, baby supplies, cleaning supplies, etc.) to ship to the NAN communities.
    • The items are being stored in a warehouse and will be sorted and organized this weekend.
    • NAN will be coordinating with the communities to begin shipping the items. Communities without stores and Eabametoong First Nation will receive the shipments first. It is up to the communities to distribute the items to their members as they see fit.
  • NAN was able to provide NAN urban community members with grocery gift cards.

o   This funding has now been exhausted.


  • A member of the NAN Executive will be on Wawatay Radio on Tuesdays at 12 pm EST and Thursdays at 1:05 pm EST.
  • COVID-19 Tools and Resources are being translated into Oji-Cree, Ojibway, and Cree to assist the communities in spreading awareness and public health messaging on COVID-19. They are posted on the NAN website under COVID-19 Tools and Resources as they become available.

Urban Community Members

  • NAN has posted specific information on the NAN website for members living off-reserve in urban centres across northwestern and northeastern Ontario.
    • This includes how to find shelters, food banks, social and mental health services, as well as Indigenous organizations that can assist.
  • Please continue to access our website as we are constantly updating it with the most up to date information:

NEXT CALL: Monday, April 20, 2020 | 1p.m. EST/ 12p.m. CST

NAN COVID-19 Bulletin- April 17, 2020

Stay updated.

Subscribe to be notified when new updates are available.