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NAN COVID-19 Bulletin- August 6, 2020

NAN COVID-19 Bulletin- August 6, 2020

Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) COVID-19 Update                                                                                                                                           

Thunder Bay District Health UnitConfirmed Positive (August 6): 99
Active Cases: 3 (last reported on August 5)
Resolved Cases: 95
Deceased: 1
Porcupine Health UnitNumber of cases (August 6): 72
Resolved Cases: 63
Active Cases:1 (last reported case on August 5)
Deceased: 8
Northwestern Health UnitPositive tests (August 6): 44
Resolved Cases: 43
Active Cases: 1 (last cases were reported July 24 and 25; the case associated
with the Northern Clinic is not included in their count, as this person’s primary residence is outside of the health unit
Deceased: 0
  • NAN Chiefs calls is now 2x per month, the next call will be on August 20, 2020 at 1 pm EST/12 pm CST vis Microsoft Teams.
  • 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.
  • It is also important to note that the cohort of people that are currently most affected by the virus is now 20-39 years old – young people are not immune from this virus, and we have to continue to be careful.
  • Grand Chief Fiddler has formally accepted the Task Team’s series of recommendations regarding masks – these are attached to this bulletin.
  • Flu season will be starting soon and we need to be extra careful, as having co-infections (both Covid-19 and the flu) could have very negative outcomes.
  • We are looking at hosting a virtual Chief’s Assembly on October 20/21.
  • NAN staff will be reaching out individually to leadership to discuss connection issues etc. and support that might be required during the assembly to ensure that this will go smoothly

Update Memo: Re-investigation into 9 deaths of First Nation people in Thunder Bay:

  • As part of the ongoing reinvestigations of the deaths of 9 First Nation people in Thunder Bay (as recommended by the OIPRD), a memo has been prepared to update on this work.
    • Grand Chief Fiddler is a member of the Executive Governance committee and the reinvestigation team has been hard at work.
    • The final report on the reinvestigations will likely be completed by the end of 2020.

This memo is attached to this bulletin.

Tele-mental Health Initiative

  • The telehealth mental health line will go live August 10, 2020: 1-800-NAN-HOPE (1-800-626-4673) and is available for all NAN members, on and off reserve.


  • The province announced the reopening plan for schools, which has caused a lot of anxiety on the issues of health and safety of students.
  • An education plan has been presented to Indigenous Services Canada at the last trilateral table.
  • Both Ontario and ISC have advised that they are reviewing the proposal, but we have no concrete commitments yet.

Prescription Drug Use

  • NAN recognizes the troubling rates of prescription drug use and addictions issues.
  • NAN, with the support of the Task Team, will continue to treat these concerns as a priority.

Child Welfare

  • NAN understands the importance of child welfare issues and the need for a collaborative discussion.

o  NAN will inquire about the postponement of Tikinagan’s AGM and, suggest they consider hosting a virtual AGM.

NAN COVID-19 Task Team 

  • The Task Team has reviewed and revised the Framework for Decision Making on Easing Restrictions in NAN Territory.

o  The changes complement the infographics on easing restrictions that were sent to community leadership last week.

  • The revised Framework will be sent out today and will be posted on the website.

Public Health Updates in the Region

  • Positive test result associated with the Northern Clinic in Sioux Lookout:
  • On August 3, the Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority (SLFNHA) was notified that a symptomatic health care professional working out of the Northern Clinic in Sioux Lookout tested positive for COVID-19.
  • North Western Health Unit (NWHU) has assessed the situation as low-risk; as the individual wore appropriate PPE during all staff and patient encounters, NWHU does not believe that further contact tracing is necessary.
  • However, SLFNHA has taken a more proactive approach to protect the communities they serve:
    • Any patients who were at the clinic July 20 – July 31 and who are experiencing any symptoms should ask to be assessed as soon as possible.
    • The SLFNHA Preventing Infectious Diseases Team is contacting all patients who were seen by this individual to recommend testing and self- monitoring.
    • The Clinic received a deep cleaning on August 4, 2020.
    • Virtual appointments will continue wherever possible.
    • All staff who worked at the clinic within the last two weeks will be offered testing and will be required to self-monitor.
    • SLFNHA will review and reinforce protocols to protect patients with all Clinic staff.

NAN COVID-19 PPE Working Group

  • The Task Team has decided to form a COVID-19 PPE Working Group.

o  The objective of this group will be to identify solutions to ongoing PPE issues in NAN territory that involve access, communication, and quality control.

Mental Health and Addictions Pandemic Response Program

  • This program will launch August 10, 2020 and will be delivered by Dalton & Associates, KO eHealth and SLFNHA.
  • The program includes 24/7 toll-free rapid access to confidential crisis and mental health services at 1-844-NAN-HOPE (626-4673) and provides connection to ongoing mental health and addictions support services.
  • There will also be a website and Facebook page launched soon to support the service.
  • It will be available to all NAN citizens (both on and off reserve); no one will be denied access to this service once they reach out.

Evacuation Document: Home away from Home

  • The evacuation Home away from Home Host Site guidance document has been reviewed and finalized by the Task Team and involved partners.
  • This document is meant to help guide the selected host site in the event of an evacuation.
  • Should there be any questions or concerns regarding this document, please reach out to the email.

Bill 197 Update 

  • Ontario passed an omnibus Bill 197, which include changes to the Environmental Assessment Act.
  • NAN is continuing to do research and outreach to determine the potential response among other First Nation organizations.

o  This may include seeking a legal opinion and developing a planned response moving forward.

  • NAN is available to help support and, encourages communities to develop and assert their own environmental laws and planning.
  • For questions and communication on this issue, please contact Deputy Grand Chief Jason Smallboy at

Oshki Wenjack Update 

  • Oshki Wenjack has undergone executive level staffing changes with a new Executive Director, Lorrie Deschamps filling the position.
  • Welcome Lorrie, and congratulations!
  • NAN sends a warm thank you to Rosie Mosquito for her many years of service, and we all wish her well.

NAN Education 

  • NAN submitted a proposal for $ 33 Million dollars for education support for NAN First Nations during the pandemic.

o  NAN has yet to receive a response from Federal and Provincial governments on this proposal.

  • The province of Ontario announced that on September 8, 2020, schools will be reopening.

o  NAN understands that communities will have a varied response to schools reopening, and, encourages communities to be in contact if assistance or supports are required.

Nishnawbe Aski Police Services (NAPS) 

  • A gradual and staggered approach to return to work for civilian work will be launched in August and September.
  • The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the union is valid until August 31, 2020.
  • NAPS will be reassessing if they will continue to implement the 14/14 schedule currently underway with pandemic response, which has been working well.
  • NAPS will continue to follow public health protocols and all precautionary measures, including advising Officers of self-isolation protocols off-duty.
  • There have been approximately 4-5 calls of regular assaults, 4 sexual assault calls and several weapon charges over the past week.
  • Missing persons cases underway were resolved successfully.
  • There has also been an increase in drug seizures, with charges laid in most cases.


  • 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.

o  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 20, 2020 | 1p.m. EST | 12p.m. CST

Download PDF

Framework for Easing Restrictions

Memo- Masking Recommendations

NAN- Host Site Guidance Document

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