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NAN COVID-19 Bulletin- September 17, 2020

NAN COVID-19 Bulletin- September 17, 2020

Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) COVID-19 Update                                                                                                                                           

Thunder Bay District Health UnitConfirmed Positive (August 24): 103 (Current as of 10am September 17. This count does not include the 5 new cases in Kasabonika Lake FN which Dr. Gullioyle has informed us will eventually be reported as part of TBDHU)
Active Cases: 0
Recovered: 102
Deceased: 1
Porcupine Health UnitNumber of cases: 79 (Last case reported Sept 16)
Active Cases: 5
Recovered: 74
Deceased: 9
Northwestern Health UnitTotal Number: 46
Active: 0
Recovered: 46
Deaths: 0
Public Health Sudbury & DistrictsTotal Number: 101 (Last case reported Sept 14)
Active: 1
Recovered: 95
Deaths: 2
Timiskaming Health UnitTotal Number: 19
Active: 0 (last case reported on August 5)
Recovered: 19
Deaths: 0
  • The NAN Executive Council sends condolences to Bearskin Lake First Nation after the loss of a young community member in a tragic boating accident.
  • There are new COVID-19 cases in our territory. It is unclear if this is the start of a second wave, or the result of increased travel and loosening of travel restrictions.
  • There is 1 positive case in Moose Cree First Nation. Grand Chief Fiddler has been in touch with the leadership. A collaborative effort with WAHA is underway.
  • There has been a new development with the case in Kasabonika Lake First Nation as members of individual’s family have now tested positive.
    • There are now 5 positive cases. They came to the community from Saskatchewan.
      • It is unlikely that it has spread outside of the family. Community members are being reassured that everything is being done to ensure their safety.
  • Grand Chief commended the leaders of these communities for taking the necessary preventative measures to protect their citizens, and to the health authorities for their support.
  • These new cases are a reminder that we must remain vigilant and can’t let our guard down.
  • NAN has learned that the Indigenous Community Support Fund from ISC will be allocated to communities through a combination of formula, and proposal driven processes. No guidelines have been released so far.
  • Public health funding (285 million dollars) has a deadline of September 30 for any proposals.
  • NAN encouraged Chiefs to join the ISC Ontario Region call this afternoon and we encourage you to work with Ontario region to develop and submit proposals as soon as possible.
  • REMINDER: NAN Chiefs Virtual Fall Assembly – October 20/21. The agenda is being developed and Chiefs are invited to provide feedback on items they would like included.

NAN COVID-19 Task Team                                                              

  • The Task Team reviewed COVID-19 cases in Kasabonika and Moose Factory Island.
    • Several communities along the James Bay Coast have enacted additional emergency preventative measures.
    • It is important to follow all measures and bylaws that communities put in place to restrict the spread of COVID-19
  • The Task Team continues to meet weekly to discuss issues and concerns in NAN territory.
  • The Task Team met with SLFNHA to receive updates on the delivery and rollout of oxygen therapy equipment.
  • The NAN COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Working Group meets regularly and is making progress on its objectives of mapping funding and ordering processes for PPE and the identification of useful quality control processes.
  • The Ontario Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of Health has announced 625 new public health nurse positions.
    • NAN submitted a letter of interested on September 15 and requested that 50 of these nurses be allocated to First Nation health authorities, transfer communities and any First Nations and organizations who have the infrastructure and capacity to employ them.

NAN Hope Program Update

  • The Mental Health and Addictions Pandemic Response Program is live at 1-844- NAN-HOPE (1-844-626-4673) and
    • During the first 11 days of September, NAN Hope received as many inquiries as it did during the entire month of August.
    • This service is available to all NAN First Nation members, whether they are living on or off reserve and services are available in the language.
    • NAN Hope can be accessed through phone, text, or live chat. It offers the following services:
      • 24/7 toll-free rapid access to confidential crisis services.
      • Rapid access to clinical and mental health counselling.
      • Navigators who provide connection to existing mental health and addictions support services in home communities and the region.
  • A marketing plan has been implemented including promotion by radio and social media, posters, brochures, contests and giveaways.

Seasonal Influenza Vaccination

  • Flu shots are an important way to protect yourself and your community, especially during COVID-19.
    • The Task Team is anticipating a higher demand for the flu vaccine this year and are looking into how the vaccine will be distributed to NAN communities.
      • The vaccine will be likely available through the province mid-October.
      • The Task Team is researching the effect that the pandemic has had on childhood vaccinations, and will advocate for NAN communities to be included in the development of a vaccine.
  • A high-dose flu vaccine will also be available for people aged 65 or older.
    • It provides better protection against three strains of the flu than the standard influenza vaccine.
  • NAN Elders (and Task Team members) Helen Cromarty and Teri Fiddler will join SLFNHA’s flu campaign committee to ensure information is culturally relevant to our communities.
  • The NAN Task Team will also follow up and ensure that all communities are made aware and have access.

NAN Social Services                                                              

  • NAN has continued bilateral discussions with ISC regarding matters before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
    • Remoteness Quotient has enhanced funding allocations for NAN First Nations, as noted in the 2020/2021 funding for Community Based Prevention and Community Wellness and Jurisdiction Initiatives.
    • Resumption of this Table will continue advocacy for funding that represents remoteness needs across the territory.
  • The C-92 Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Metis children, youth and families came into force on January 1, 2020. To date, no regulations have been made under the Act.
    • Comprehensive reform of child and family services affirming the inherent right to self- government under Section 35 includes jurisdiction in relation to child and family services. This includes legislative authority and the right to administer and enforce these laws. The purpose of the Act is to affirm the rights of Indigenous governments and organizations to exercise jurisdiction over First Nation child and family services.
    • NAN is in the process of organizing regional discussions with First Nations and stakeholders (Child and Family Service agencies).
  • Comprehensive reports will be presented at the upcoming NAN Chiefs Virtual Assembly.

Nishnawbe Aski Police Services (NAPS)                                                              

  • NAPS Detective Constable Alana Morrison announced that funding finally has been approved to launch the NAPS Survivor Support Services. Grand Chief expressed congratulations and offered NAN’s support to continue the advocacy to make this permanent.
  • NAPS will hire three social workers to work in the following jurisdictions: Sioux Lookout, Cochrane and Thunder Bay.
  • The emphasis will be responding to domestic and sexual violence and trying to connect women to referrals they will need going forward.
  • NAPS Chief Roland Morrison expressed condolences following the boating accident in Bearskin Lake and reminded leaders to get the message out that life jackets can help save lives, and to encourage people going out on the land during the fall harvest to be safe.
  • On Wednesday, NAPS seized a significant quantity of drugs destined for Fort Albany and Kashechewan. Chief Morrison commended the work of the NAPS officers and drug team.
  • A badge ceremony for 5 officers graduating from Ontario Police College will be held Friday.
    • Police college has resumed with 6 NAPS officers enrolled.


  • 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 visit It is updated daily with the most current information.

** Reminder that NAN will be hosting a special meeting with DGC Smallboy to discuss issues as related to lands and environment, with a focus on Bill 197 on Thursday, September 24, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. We will send a formal invitation and materials soon, and we hope that you will attend to discuss these very important issues.

NEXT REGULAR BRIEFING CALL: Thursday, October 1, 2020 | 1p.m. EST | 12p.m. CST

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