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NAN COVID-19 Bulletin- July 23, 2020

NAN COVID-19 Bulletin- July 23, 2020

Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) COVID-19 Update                                                                                                                                           

Thunder Bay District Health UnitConfirmed Positive (July 23): 93
Active Cases: 0
Resolved Cases: 92
Deceased: 1
Porcupine Health UnitNumber of cases (July 23): 70
Resolved Cases: 61
Active Cases:1
Deceased: 8
Northwestern Health UnitPositive tests (July 23): 42
Resolved Cases: 42
Active Cases: 0
  • The NAN Executive Council sends their condolences to the family of Elder Jim Beardy and Kingfisher Lake First Nation.
  • NAN Chiefs calls will be moving to 2x per month, the next call will be on August 6, 2020 at 1 pm EST/12 pm CST.
  • As we move to the potential of virtual assemblies, we will be looking at online platforms to hold our meetings – please keep an eye on your emails for invitations to this call because we will be looking to try out MICROSOFT TEAMS platform.
  • We need to ensure that messaging and recommendations around public health measures and physical distancing are still being followed in our communities. Each community must be as vigilant as ever and we still cannot afford to relax the measures that are in place.

Long-Term Care Homes

  • Ministry of Long-Term Care released a document outlining guidance to support long-term care resident in gradual resumption of visits to long term care homes.
  • Indoor and outdoor visits allow 2 visitors at a time.
  • Guidance  includes  requirements  for   the  home,   updates  to   staff definition/on-site contractors/visitors and essential caregivers and updated visitor requirements.
  • When visiting, we encourage you to ensure that you have reviewed the updated guidelines which can be found on our website:

NAN COVID-19 Task Team 

  • The Task Team has reviewed the infographics to support the Framework for Easing Restrictions and hope to release these soon.
  • The Task Team is looking at what public health guidance it should provide to communities that wish to bring in external service providers to the communities.
  • The Task Team will continue to look at prevention and control of infectious disease, education, and mental health in the communities as preparation for possible future waves of COVID-19 over the next 18-24 months.
  • TBRHSC has taken down their COVID-19 specialized unit as there are no active cases.


  • The Task Team continues to monitor and review different kinds of rapid testing technology that could be used in communities.
  • Representatives from the National Microbiology Laboratory and the Public Health Agency of Canada joined us at the July 23 Task Team meeting to discuss their work on bringing rapid testing into communities.
  • We will provide updated information on the potential utility of these tests in communities as more information becomes available.

Masking Guidelines:

  • The Task Team finalized the language used in its recommendations on masking.
  • It is the Task Team’s recommendation, based on the available information and evidence at this time, that masking has reduced the spread of COVID-19 in countries where that practice is followed.
  • Specific Task Team recommendations on masking are currently under review by the Grand Chief and will be formally released shortly. The recommendations include:
    • Recommending that NAN communities require the wearing of non-medical masks in indoor areas and outdoor areas where physical distancing is difficult or impossible, such as community stores, band offices, churches, community/youth centres, or by day care staff.
    • Recommending that NAN communities consider how to make exceptions for and support members who may not be able to wear masks, including children less than 2 years of age and people with certain medical or mental health conditions. Alternatives such as face shields may be considered in some cases.
    • Recommending that NAN communities consider how masks will be supplied to community members.
    • Requiring that a minimum of 4 disposable masks (surgical or non-medical) be provided per day to every NAN community member who must evacuate from their community due to forest fires, floods, or other emergencies. Cloth masks (3 minimum) are also encouraged and acceptable if they are available and the evacuees are able to launder the masks themselves.
    • Knowing that many urban areas have implemented mandatory masking policies, especially in hospitals, recommend that community leadership ensure that:
      • These requirements are clearly communicated to NAN community members who must travel to these areas.
      • NAN community members travelling to areas with mandatory masking policies are provided with the necessary masks to follow these requirements.
  • That the implementation of masking measures emphasize education about the benefits of masking and other public health measures.
  • Masks are only one public health measure community members should take to restrict the spread of COVID-19; physical distancing, frequent hand washing or sanitization, and covering your cough are still very important.
  • Reminder that when following Porcupine District and Thunder Bay District Health Units instructions for masking: individuals who cannot wear a mask are NOT required to show proof of reason for exemption.

Timmins Update 

  • NAN is considering a two-prong approach that involves engaging various levels of government at a table that already exists within NAN with further engagement from external partners.
  • Along with this, NAN is engaging various sector partners including Canadian Centre of Substance Abuse and will connect with other regulatory bodies if needed for both consultation, support, and possibly funding.
  • NAN continues to work on developing strategy, scanning resources that are available to use, and critically evaluating any relationships before committing to ensure that these programs actually serve our people and do so in a culturally safe manner.

NAN Child Welfare 

  • NAN has established a bilateral discussion with Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) on Bill C- 92, maintaining that NAN deserves our own discussion in regards to this Bill.
  • ISC and NAN have established a pathway for NAN specifically through the Chiefs Committee on Children, Youth and Families to establish jurisdiction over child welfare and how properly to resource these efforts.

A NAN specific process is being worked on for Bill C-92, and NAN will give an update on the next call.

NAN Choose Life 

  • Choose Life provides immediate funding relief for youth at risk of suicide by fast-tracking proposals for group child and youth mental health prevention programs/services.
  • In March 2019, NAN received a three-year extension. The project is now is its fourth year.
  • Since 2017, close to $202 million has been invested through Choose Life, supporting more than 22,000 NAN children and youth.
  • In an effort to secure ongoing funding beyond March 2022, an evaluation on the program is essential to highlight the success of Choose Life.
  • NAN in collaboration with Dr. Christopher Mushquash and the Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research (CRaNHR), submitted a proposal to ISC, which had been approved for CRaNHR to conduct this evaluation.
  • Through this initiative, we have seen significant positive impacts on the lives of youth across NAN territory. This is a lifesaving, life-changing program that empowers our children and youth to thrive in all aspects of their lives and we are requesting your full commitment to this evaluation to ensure that it reflects that reality.

NAN Education 

  • NAN continues to work with the education leaders, communities, and Tribal Councils to develop a plan for the return of school in September.
  • The province of Ontario will make an announcement on August 4th regarding their plan for school in September.
  • NAN will bring the education leaders together after that date to discuss planning for NAN students and we will continue to keep you updated.

Nishnawbe Aski Police Services (NAPS) 

  • There has been a 70-call increase in service calls in comparing the months of June 2019 and June 2020.
  • 13 major calls for services took place over the last week.
    • Domestic violence is still on the rise and NAPS has raised this over and over. We are working together to ensure that funding is made available for victims of violence.
  • Civilian staff will return to work after Civic long weekend in August, starting with 3 days per week, and progressing to 5 days in September.
  • NAPS is looking into options for annual police training in the Fall – how to conduct the annual training safely.
  • NAPS received commitments from the federal and provincial governments to begin negotiations in September – preparatory work will take place in August.
  • Cyber bullying is taking place by targeting youth in the NAN territory, NAPS is working with the OPP to address this issue.


  • 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, August 6, 2020

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