COVID-19 in Indigenous communities: What you need to know this week

April 7, 2021

As vaccine distribution continues in First Nations and Inuit communities across Canada, the number of active COVID-19 cases continues on a downward trend.  There were 707 active cases in First Nations communities as of April 4, a decrease of 224 from a week prior according to the latest data from Indigenous Services Canada. As of March 31, there were no active cases in the Nunavik region of Quebec and zero active cases reported in Nunavut.

Ontario to impose stay-at-home order, closing non-essential retail, sources say

April 7, 2021

Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s cabinet has approved a province wide stay-at-home order and will close non-essential retail stores for all but curbside pickup, multiple sources told CBC News Tuesday night.

Ontario reports more than 3,200 new COVID-19 cases for first time in months

April 7, 2021

Ontario health officials reported more than 3,200 new cases COVID-19 for the first time in several months. The province confirmed 3,215 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday. The last time officials logged that many cases was on Jan 17, at the height of the second wave, when 3,422 new infections were reported.

COVID-19 shots for school? What needs to happen to get kids in Canada immunized

April 6, 2021

Parents and children wanting to know when COVID-19 vaccines could roll out to Canada’s youngest people recently got a glimpse at the answers. Dr. Supriya Sharma, Health Canada’s chief medical adviser, said it is “likely that Pfizer, if all the data is fine, may be the first” vaccine that children and teens could receive.


Ontario Moving to Phase Two of COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan

April 6, 2021

The Ontario government is moving into Phase Two of its COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, with a focus on reaching individuals in “hot spot” communities where COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted certain neighbourhoods. In addition, this phase will prioritize individuals with the highest-risk health conditions in April 2021.

Federal promises to expand the protection of land and water are empty without budget commitments

April 7, 2021

The federal government is hard at work finalizing a budget that will underwrite our path forward out of the pandemic as a country. That’s why 50 women leaders from diverse regions and sectors, and across Indigenous, Black, racialized and LGBTQ2IS+ communities, are writing to Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland this week to remind her that nature’s recovery is essential to our own.

Canadian government investing $1M into Nipissing-Timiskaming area businesses

April 7, 2021

The Government of Canada is spending more than $1 million in the Nipissing-Timiskaming region to help fund three initiatives in the area. The money is coming from FedNor’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation Funding to help businesses thrive by optimizing their technology and processes.

First Nations open to twinning Trans-Canada

April 7, 2021

Four First Nations near the Manitoba-Ontario border say they are prepared to give “conditional consent” for the first phase of the twinning of the Trans-Canada Highway between Kenora and the border. “We can get so much done when we agree to work together,” Niisaachewan Chief Lorraine Cobiness said at a news conference Tuesday.

Canada First Nation group opposes De Beers waste dump on traditional land

April 7, 2021

A First Nation community in Canada on Tuesday urged De Beers Group to cancel plans for a landfill on its traditional territory, citing threats to millennia-old cultural sites, which the mining company however said studies had not flagged.


Three First Nation communities say they will go to court over the Ring of Fire

April 6, 2021

Three First Nations in Ontario’s remote north are declaring a moratorium on development in the Ring of Fire, and are threatening legal action to preserve their lands and rights.

Canada Nickel signs mine fleet MOU with First Nation

April 7, 2021

Under the terms of the MOU, the Taykwa Tagamou Nation will seek favourable financing terms to participate in the financing of all or a portion of the heavy mining equipment fleet required for Crawford.

North’s only law school launches Indigenous law and justice institute

April 7, 2021

Thanks to the Justice Partnership and Innovation Program offered by Canada’s Department of Justice, Lakehead University’s Bora Laskin Faculty of Law will receive up to $437,139 to launch an Indigenous Law and Justice Institute, Maamawi Bimosewag – They Walk Together, and expand the law program.

Jesse Wente discusses diversity on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

April 7, 2021

Serpent River’s Jesse Wente highlighted an Anishinaabe teaching about the diversity of a forest during his March 24 virtual presentation at Diversity Thunder Bay’s 15th Annual Celebration of the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Anishinaabe artist crafts giant bead sculpture to honour SickKids patients

April 7, 2021

Monument to the Brave will be displayed in a new building at the Hospital for Sick Children which opens in 2023. “I’m really excited about this project and hope that it inspires more Indigenous folks to make more artwork,” said artist Nico Williams, who is from Aamjiwnaang First Nation in southwestern Ontario and now lives in Montreal.

Graphic novel artist teaches Sheguiandah his craft

April 7, 2021

A lot of things are happening in the digital universe of the internet these days as the world adjusts to the realities of fighting the global pandemic and communities strive to find ways to make isolation more bearable for their members.

Indigenous artists face unique challenges, opportunities in the COVID-19 pandemic

April 6, 2021

Indigenous local artists are encountering unique changes and challenges as the entertainment industry continues to be devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to force restrictions on mass gatherings, those employed in the arts and entertainment industry face an unprecedented threat to their livelihood with cancelled tours and shows.

Wellness Conference features Juno winner Susan Aglukark

April 7, 2021

Every year Mnaamodzawin Health Services hosts a Wellness Conference, and this year was no different, albeit in a different way. The conference was opened by the talented master of ceremonies Bob Goulais, of Nipissing First Nation, with opening remarks from Mnaamodzawin’s executive director, Craig Abotossaway, and opening prayer and drum song offered by elder Ken Kakeeway.

NativeTikTok-er Theland Kicknosway runs for MMIWG2S

April 6, 2021

Theland Kicknosway is a member of Walpole Island First Nation, Bkwejwanong Territory, but he calls the unceded Algonquin Territory of Ottawa home. Theland has made a name for himself as a staple in the Indigenous community on TikTok under the moniker @the_land.  With nearly 400,000 followers and 9.3 million accumulated “likes”, Theland is an important contributor to #NativeTikTok.


Opinion: When economists come for Indigenous education

April 7, 2021

As an alumnus of Laurentian University and current Ph.D. candidate in Indigenous education at Queen’s University, I have been dismayed over the treatment of Laurentian University as it filed for protection from creditors under the CCAA process.

Mamakwa Critical Of Youth Justice Closures

April 4, 2021

The MPP for the Kiiwetinoong riding is questioning the priorities of the provincial government. A number of youth justice centers in the region are being closed.

Walking from Peawanuck to Moose Factory ‘a great adventure’

April 6, 2021

The 17-day trek from Peawanuck to Moose Factory brought a “rollercoaster of emotions” to Sam Hunter. Hunter, 55, started walking from his home community Peawanuck to Moose Factory to raise awareness about issues he feels passionate about such as diabetes, the Ring of Fire development and climate change.

Fourteen nominated to fill one vacant M’Chigeeng council seat

April 7, 2021

There were 14 candidates nominated to fill the M’Chigeeng First Nation council seat left vacant by the resignation of council member (and long time band council chief) Joe Hare.

Chippewas of the Thames teen remembered as ‘warm, caring’ person who touched lives

April 6, 2021

Members of Chippewas of the Thames First Nation and staff and students at a high school in Strathroy-Caradoc, Ont., are in mourning following the death of a 17-year-old girl late last week in Southwest Middlesex. Megan Fisher, 17, of Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, was pronounced dead at the scene of injuries sustained after three dogs on the property attacked her, police said.

First Nations face an uphill battle getting revenues from Hydro-Québec

April 6, 2021

A coalition of First Nations from Quebec, Labrador, and Maine is opposing a proposed transmission line to carry Hydro-Québec electricity to New England, on the grounds that 36 per cent of Hydro-Québec’s energy is “stolen” from the First Nations on whose territory the electricity is produced, and that the transmission line will have an adverse environmental impact in Maine.

Nunavik housing agency hopes to build on home ownership subsidy

April 6, 2021

A Quebec subsidy program that helps Nunavik residents build their own home is soon set to expire, but the region’s housing agency hopes to see a new and improved program replace it.

Group home serving Innu youth in Quebec investigated for human rights abuses

April 6, 2021

Quebec’s human rights commission is investigating allegations of neglect and racism at a group home in the province’s Cote-Nord region. The Pavillion Richelieu in Baie Comeau, 400 kilometers northeast of Quebec City, houses a substantial population of Innu youth between the ages of 5 and 17.

Second dose vaccination underway in Northern Quebec

April 6, 2021

Residents of Northern Quebec Cree communities began receiving their second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, making them among the first in the province to receive shipments of a second dose.

New COVID-19 rapid testing site opening in Winnipeg to make testing more accessible to Indigenous people

April 6, 2021

A new rapid COVID-19 testing facility has opened in Winnipeg’s North End to help make it easier for urban Indigenous people, as well as those travelling to First Nations, to be tested for the illness.

Chantel Moore’s birthday celebrated by family

April 6, 2021

On the evening of what would have been Chantel Moore’s 27th birthday, close family members in Tofino gathered on the First Street dock to celebrate her life.

Alberta police watchdog investigates after Mountie shoots man on First Nation

April 6, 2021

Alberta’s police watchdog is investigating the death of a man who was shot by a Mountie on a First Nation reserve.

Blood Tribe members say outside sources are taking their jobs

April 6, 2021

Contractors and truckers on the Blood Reserve south of Calgary, Alta. say they’re tired of seeing on-reserve contracts go to outside businesses. “Enough is enough,” said Beth Day Chief, spokesperson for the Blood contractors and truckers. “We want our work back. We’re qualified and they should be using the contractors from the reserve.”

Qalipu First Nation ‘in shock’ as feds suspend talks to include more members

April 6, 2021

The federal government has pressed pause on talks to potentially include more members in the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation, a move drawing condemnation from the band’s chief.

‘A long time coming’: UBC professor joins UN group for Indigenous issues

April 7, 2021

As an Anishinaabe kid growing up in urban Minneapolis, Sheryl Lightfoot had at least two memorable influences in her life. The first was her mother, a single parent without a university degree who insisted that her children get a postsecondary education.

B.C. fish farming company awarded injection against federal decision

April 6, 2021

A federal court judge has awarded a B.C. fish farming company an injunction against the federal governments decision to remove all fish farms from the Discovery Islands.

Scientists, First Nations team up in fresh attempt to revive struggling B.C. herring stocks

April 5, 2021

Vancouver’s Coal Harbour hardly looks like a setting for a potential wildlife refuge. Noisy float planes skitter to and from a nearby dock, storm sewers empty into the saltwater, and high rise towers loom over the water.

A voice speaking in colour

April 6, 2021

It took Lee Claremont 40 years; 40 years to solidify her voice on canvas. She worked for many years growing and experimenting, but when she started to speak artistically, it was with a voice bursting with colour.

Yukon leaders talk COVID-19, housing and climate change at all-candidates election forum

April 6, 2021

An all-candidates election forum was held in Whitehorse, Yukon as a way for First Nations voters to learn more about the territory’s three running parties’ platforms. Leaders answered predetermined questions from First Nations leaders and Yukoners on issues like COVID-19, housing and climate change, as well as how they would support First Nations governments if elected.


Call for Proposals: Capacity-building funding for An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families for fiscal year 2021-2022

A call for proposals is now open to support capacity-building in relation to An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families for fiscal year 2021-2022. Funding is available to Indigenous Peoples, communities, and groups as they begin work to develop their own legislation and explore Indigenous-led models for child and family services.

Learn more:

Call for artist interpretations/artwork for the Assembly of First Nations 2021 Annual General Assembly

The Chiefs of Ontario Host Committee will be hosting the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) 42nd Annual General Assembly in Toronto in July 2021 and is currently accepting original Indigenous artwork to be submitted. Artwork will be used for materials by the Chiefs of Ontario Host Committee and the AFN in promoting the Assembly. We are seeking artwork that supports and promotes First Nations culture in Ontario.

Save the Date: Chiefs of Ontario 47th All Ontario Chiefs Conference 2021

The Chiefs of Ontario and Grand Council Treaty #3 will be hosting the 47th All Ontario Chiefs Conference 2021 on June 15-17, 2021. For the Chiefs of Ontario All Ontario Chiefs Conference (AOCC), please find the 1st Call for Resolutions attached. Deadline for Resolutions is Wednesday, May 26, 2021. For more information, please visit

Issue 9 of The Official Chiefs of Ontario Magazine, The Advocate is now online! 

To view, please click here:

International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) Annual Meeting, May 17-21, 2021

Hosted by Michigan Technological University, the virtual conference will feature four days of scientific sessions and speakers focusing on our theme Bridging: Knowledge, Seven Generations, Land-to-Lake.

For more information and registration, click here:

Chiefs of Ontario Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Find Our Latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates Here. This website provides information on emergency planning and preparedness, as well as on the unique programs and services that are available to First Nations in Ontario during times of emergency.