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NAN COVID-19 Bulletin- July 16, 2020

NAN COVID-19 Bulletin- July 16, 2020

Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) COVID-19 Update                                                                                                                                           

Thunder Bay District Health UnitConfirmed Positive (July 16): 92
Active Cases: 1
Resolved Cases: 90
Deceased: 1
Porcupine Health UnitNumber of cases (July 16): 69
Resolved Cases: 59
Active Cases: 2
Deceased: 8
Northwestern Health UnitPositive tests (July 16): 42
3 pf + cases have primary residences outside NWHU
Resolved Cases: 41
Active Cases: 1
  • We would like to acknowledge the new Chief in Poplar Hill, Howard Comber
    • The council will be selected today.
  • Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler will be taking some time off starting July 20th until August 4th.
    • Deputy Grand Chief Fox will be acting Grand Chief for the first week (July 20th-26th)
    • Deputy Grand Chief Smallboy will be the acting Grand Chief the following week (July 27th – August 4th).
  • Last week we announced funding for mental health supports during the pandemic
    • We are working with KO ehealth and SLFNHA on the launch of coordinated mental health supports to be rolled out in the second week of August.

Trilateral Table

  • Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox introduced an education plan and proposal for funding consideration
    • NAN education will provide a further update on the proposal during next weeks call (July 23rd)
  • NAN Youth Council presented their two-year proposal
  • NAPS presented on their victim response proposal
  • We will keep everyone appraised as to the government response to funding requests, and we will continue to push these issues.
  • We will follow up regarding Urban organization off-reserve funding proposals that were submitted.

NAN Legal Services                                                                                                                                           

  • Courts know that more work and more time is required to look at satellite courts, and the work that needs to be done in the community to ensure the health and safety of community members.
    • They have just had their first meetings in the last two weeks. They are looking at the interim procedures for having limited audio via phone or video.
    • One First Nation is starting a pilot project with an audio/video case and the major question is reopening.
  • Court administrators from the NW and NE will be contacting communities about technology and capacity of the community broadband to see how this satellite program can be utilized.
    • Working on connecting communities with IT professionals and the logistics involved

NAN COVID-19 Task Team


  • Porcupine Health Unit, which includes Timmins, announced that as of Thursday, July 23, 2020 all members of the public and employees within the PHU area, who enter an indoor public space, will be required to wear a non-medical mask or face covering.
  • Timmins joins other cities where mandatory masking requirements are in place, including Thunder Bay (next Friday), Toronto, Ottawa, and Guelph.
  • The Task Team believes that, based on a growing body of evidence that masks reduce the spread of droplets and that countries where masking is common have been better able to control the spread of COVID-19, communities should encourage their members to wear masks in indoor public spaces.
    • The Task Team believes that the focus should be on education around the importance of wearing masks and why some people may not be able to, as well as ensuring that all community members have the supplies they need to follow this guidance.
  • o   Specific recommendations on this will be released next week.

Other Task Team updates

  • The Task Team discussed the need for protocols that prepare communities for when health services can resume travelling to communities.
    • SLFNHA and Meno Ya Win are working on developing protocols for this in their area.
  • The Task Team has received updates from other regions in NAN territory regarding dental procedures during COVID-19.
    • WAHA dental office re-opened in June
    • The dentists are following COVID-19 guidelines from The Royal College of Dental Surgeons. All patients are screened upon arrival.
    • Dental visits to communities will resume in August
    • Road Access communities:
      • During the pandemic, community members can also contact nursing stations for dental emergencies.
      • Communities can support members needing dental care with medical transportation, if required.
  • The Task Team is beginning to discuss preparations for a second wave of COVID-19 and issues and action items that require work.
    • Communities should ensure they have pandemic plans in place, that their pandemic response teams continue to meet regularly, and that all community members understand that the COVID-19 pandemic is a long-term issue that may require a response over 1-2 years.
  • If communities are encountering issues or challenges with their preparations, please reach out to
  • The Task Team continues to review developments in COVID-19 tests and assess if any rapid tests would be suitable for use in communities

Emergency Measures Response

  • Michelle Gervais spoke about plans for evacuation if needed.
    • Thunder Bay has agreed to be a host for communities
    • Hearst, Timmins, Kapuskasing and Sudbury have also agreed to host communities that need to evacuate
  • We are working with Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to share updates as quickly as possible.

Nishnawbe Aski Police Services (NAPS)                                                                                                                                           

  • From last week NAPS had 16 major occurrences (2 in NE, 14 in NW and central regions)
  • Half of these occurrences were domestic violence cases. Still seeing large number of cases related to domestic violence.
  • A proposal re: victim services for domestic violence was presented at the trilateral table last week and we will be following up on this to advocate for funding.

Update re: BCR Prosecutions

  • We have finally received a response from Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey in response to our advocacy, in partnership with NAPS, on the enforcement and prosecution of offenses under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) and the Trespass to Property Act.
  • You will recall that early in the pandemic, in collaboration with legal counsel and NAPS, we advised the leadership to consider implementing BCRs related to the Provincial emergency measures, as well as BCRs related to First Nation border closures – and many of you did.
  • The Attorney General has confirmed that charges laid under the EMCPA and the Trespass to Property Act will be prosecuted pursuant to the Provincial Offences Act.
  • Important first step for the province to recognize the work that communities have been doing for community health and safety.
  • Any tickets that were written since the BCR will be prosecuted and they will be added to the fly-in court list.
  • This is a step in honouring First Nations inherent right to self govern instead of relying on the Indian Act which does not have adjudicative processes.


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

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 updating it daily with the most up to date information:

NEXT CALL: Thursday, July 23, 2020 | 1p

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