Skip to content

NAN COVID-19 Bulletin- May 4, 2020

NAN COVID-19 Bulletin- May 4, 2020

Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) COVID-19 Update

Thunder Bay District Health UnitConfirmed Positive (May 3): 74
Active Cases: 17
Resolved Cases: 56
Deceased: 1
Porcupine Health UnitNumber of cases (May 4): 61
Currently Under Investigation: 564
Resolved Cases: 46
Deceased: 4
Northwestern Health UnitPositive tests (May 4): 16
Pending tests: 784
Resolved: 16
  • If someone in a NAN First Nation community 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.
  • 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.
  • Please keep DGC Fox and the Fox Family in your thoughts and prayers today as they remember and celebrate the life Wava Fox in Sioux Lookout today.

Flooding & Fire Season

  • Presentation made by: Assistant Deputy Minister Michael Reid from Indigenous Affairs Ontario (IAO) and Randy Reid, Deputy Chief, Field Operations, Training & Education from the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC).
  • Ontario is annually affected by flood and forest fires. This year has been viewed through a COVID-19 context.   
  • PEOC – works closely with First Nations communities, federal government and different provincial Ministries during emergency situations. When a Chief declares an emergency, it is sent to PEOC and the federal government is notified. 
  • Shelter in Place Process – working with communities to enable them to remain in the community for as long as it is safe to do so.
    • Air purification units are a potential option to assist in shelter in place.
  • Pre-emptive Evacuation (precautionary evacuations) – determine how long would it take to get the community out of harms way, generally 3-4-day process.
  • New concept of operations during COVID-19 is to proceed with shelter in place as long as it is safe to do so, followed by a pre-emptive evacuation, if required. The evacuation will likely be to a stand-alone facility to avoid potential COVID-19 contact in municipalities.
  • NAN encourages leadership to start thinking about and planning for evacuations (flood, fires, etc.) as they may be different this year, given the pandemic.

Spartan Rapid Tests

  • We understand that Health Canada has suspended the approval for the Spartan Rapid Tests on the basis that the swabs are not as accurate as first projected.
  • This is unfortunate, but also why we needed to temper expectations with respect to these tests and why we have been cautious with our messaging.
  • NAN will find out more about this in the upcoming days and will ask Health Minister Patty Hajdu to speak to this when she joins us on our call.

Funding Update

  • A chart has been developed to outline the different funding streams available for NAN First Nations communities (attached), it can also be found on
  • $75M in funding to aid for First Nations students was announced by the federal government – information should be released from ISC later today.
  • NAN will be advocating at the NAN Trilateral Table that assistance for NAN communities in addressing the funding shortfalls due to COVID-19 response allocations is required.

Crisis Response Team

  • Coordinated with WAHA and Keewaytinook Okimakanak on dispersing hand sanitizers to communities.
  • Projected to have 22 communities covered for food shipments by the end of this week.

NAN COVID-19 Task Team

Ontario’s Plan to Reopen

  • Ontario’s daily number of new cases has dropped below 400 for only the second day since early April. The government wants to see a consistent 2-to-4 week decrease in new cases daily before starting step one of the three stages.
  • The NAN COVID-19 Task Team has started to receive inquiries regarding guidance on easing public health restrictions in the communities as Ontario has announced its framework for reopening.
  • A sub-group of the Task Team is working on providing advice and criteria for determining the ease of public health restrictions for the NAN communities. There has been general group discussion that indicated that the process in NAN should be different than the process for the rest of Ontario.
  • Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler will be participating in a call organized by Chiefs of Ontario with Premier Doug Ford tomorrow to discuss this in more detail and will communicate some of the considerations and concerns about reopening our communities.

NAN Legal Services

  • The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) – the Ministry of Solicitor General (SOLGEN) has sent back draft 6 for further review and discussion. SOLGEN did remove all the references of funding, however, in an email there was indication of financial support to NAN Legal Services to complete this additional work.
  • The Board of Directors will be meeting tomorrow to review the MOU line by line.
  • Seeking to have the MOU signed with an accompanied budget to be backdated to April 1, 2020.

Nishnawbe Aski Police Services (NAPS)

  • It was a very busy weekend for NAPS officers in some of the NAN First Nation communities.
  • Statistics were provided to the 34 NAPS serviced communities for the month of April 2020, in comparison to April 2019.
  • NAPS has received requests from officers to get tested for COVID-19 when they are out of the communities. NAPS has been in contact with local health units to see if testing can be done for officers in the North. With the current guidelines set forth by the public health officials they are not able to be tested without symptoms currently.
    • NAPS was hoping as they are first responders in First Nations communities that they would be able to have officers tested, but they are not.


  • Members of the NAN Executive Council will continue to appear on Wawatay Radio on Tuesday at 12 pm EST and on Thursday 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 Communities

  • 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:


Download Federal and Provincial Funding Table

Download PDF

Stay updated.

Subscribe to be notified when new updates are available.