Government of Canada COVID-19 Update for Indigenous Peoples and Communities

April 7, 2021

Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is closely monitoring the number of COVID-19 cases reported in First Nations communities across the country. Overall, active case counts continue to decline, with 635 active cases reported as of April 6, 2021, which is the lowest number of active cases reported since last November.

Ontario introduces another stay-at-home order, declares third state of emergency

April 8, 2021

Ontario has declared its third state of emergency since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and will be implementing a provincewide stay-at-home order as of Thursday. Premier Doug Ford made the announcement Wednesday after hours of discussion with his cabinet.

What is considered essential activity under Ontario’s stay-at-home order?

April 7, 2021

The province has enacted another stay-at-home order as Ontario faces a third wave mainly driven by more transmissible and more deadly COVID-19 variants. The order comes into effect on Thursday, April 8 and will last for at least four weeks.

Coronavirus: What’s happening in Canada and around the world on Thursday

April 8, 2021

Health officials in Ontario reported 3,125 new cases of COVID-19 and 17 additional deaths on Wednesday. A provincial dashboard that provides an overview of case data put hospitalizations at 1,397, with 504 people in intensive care units “due to COVID-related illness.”

Canada is losing the race between vaccines and variants as the 3rd wave worsens

April 8, 2021

Much of Canada is in the grips of a worsening third wave as COVID-19 vaccinations slowly ramp up, and experts say the spread of more contagious coronavirus variants is throwing gasoline on an already-raging fire.

Leaders reap praise as COVID numbers decline in Canada’s Indigenous communities

April 8, 2021

Despite fears expressed by many in Canada and around the world about the heightened vulnerability Indigenous communities faced from COVID 19, members of those communities–at least the ones living in Canada, it appears–have managed to sidestep the worst of those predictions.

Indigenous leadership key to COVID-19 case decline, says minister Marc Miller

April 7, 2021

Canada is riding high atop the third wave of COVID-19 variants but officials with Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) say they’re relieved to announce continued declining cases for First Nations people on reserve.

Better data on urban Indigenous communities needed: Miller

April 7, 2021

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says the process of collecting data on COVID-19 cases in Indigenous communities has improved since last year but it’s still not perfect. He says that data is important to inform the allocation of resources at his department.

Canada Nickel signs mine fleet financing agreement with Taykwa Tagamou Nation

April 8, 2021

A Timmins-area nickel mine builder is leaning on a First Nation development partner to help finance its electric vehicle fleet. Canada Nickel Company announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Taykwa Tagamou Nation (TTN) on financing he company’s mine fleet for the Crawford Nickel-Cobalt Sulphide Mine Project.

Thunder Bay hospital offers voluntary Indigenous self-ID option

April 7, 2021

Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre now offers its patients the opportunity to voluntarily self-identify as Indigenous. As of March 16, the hospital asks patients at registration if they wish to identify themselves as First Nations, Metis or Inuit

Holding cells vs. carpools: what systemic racism looks like in investigation into Colten Boushie’s death

April 8, 2021

Earlier this year, the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP completed its report into the RCMP’s handling of evidence in the death of Colten Boushie, and how they had treated his mother Debbie Baptiste.

‘Beading is medicine’: Intricate map connects Indigenous artists across Canada, U.S.

April 7, 2021

This intricate map took months to put together, a project fuelled by pandemic boredom and a willingness from dozens of artists to come together and pour themselves into a millennia-old practice.

Ontario First Nation aims to stop De Beers landfill plan; Ring of Fire moratorium declared

April 7, 2021

The Attawapiskat First Nation is moving to stop diamond mining giant De Beers from developing a landfill site at the Victor Diamond mine site, which is located in the Ring of Fire mining area of Northern Ontario’s James Bay Lowlands.

CreeQuest and Aramark Canada renew partnership to serve Kirkland Lake Gold

April 7, 2021

CreeQuest Corporation and Aramark Canada today announced the renewal of their eight-year-long partnership agreement – that has fostered CreeQuest’s growth to a regional Indigenous business from sole proprietorship – to provide Detour Lake Mine with catering and janitorial services.

FedNor invests to boost tourism, immigration and economic growth in Thunder Bay-Superior North

April 7, 2021

As our economy recovers from the impact of COVID-19, the Government of Canada is stepping up efforts to help Northern Ontario municipalities, First Nation communities and not-for-profit organizations not only survive, but strengthen and build for a sustainable future.

Opinion: Vaccines: I’ll take mine with no screams, please!

April 8, 2021

Even though my elementary school days are a mere dot in the rear-view mirror, it’s impossible to forget Gloria Carey.

OPP investigate sudden death at Long Lake # 58 First Nation

April 7, 2021

Ontario Provincial Police are investigating a sudden death on Long Lake # 58 First Nation. OPP officers and Superior North EMS paramedics were sent to a residence on Good Friday after a report of an unresponsive person.

This teen was bullied. She turned her pain into award-winning art

April 7, 2021

Earlier this year, Memekew Apetawakeesic-Morriseau heard that a local organization was holding a contest. As part of their Red Alert! Bullying Hurts! campaign, Tikinagan Child and Family Services in Sioux Lookout in northwestern Ontario was looking for artwork that spoke to the impact that bullying can have on kids.

Liberal bills cover continuing care, green energy, spousal child support

April 7, 2021

The Liberal government introduced bills Wednesday relating to continuing care, renewable energy and parenting support. The new Continuing Care Assistants Registry Act is intended to improve workforce planning, recruitment and retention efforts, particularly in the long-term care and home-care sectors.

Senator says new Liberal sentencing bill needs to do more to help Indigenous women offenders

April 7, 2021

A new criminal justice reform bill introduced by the Trudeau government will not go far enough to reduce the number of Indigenous or Black inmates in the prison system, according to Senator Kim Pate.

Opinion: Canada should look in the mirror on genocide

April 7, 2021

I’m deeply concerned about what’s unfolding in the Canadian political landscape: baseless and malicious attacks on China. One glaring example was the recent House of Commons’ Motion 56, initiated by Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole. It called for Canadian government action (including moving the 2022 Beijing Winter Games) on the so-called “genocide against the Chinese Uyghurs.”

When the plague won: a history of vaccine hesitancy

April 7, 2021

In the spring of 1885 at Montreal’s Natural History Society, Dr. J.B. McConnell delivered a lecture on the history of epidemics and the cutting-edge science that was then posting rapid advances in understanding them. When McConnell finished speaking, he invited audience members to line up for a peek through his microscope at a cholera-causing bacterium, magnified 800 times, taken from an actual patient. It was only the previous year that a German researcher had pinpointed the microorganism that caused that fearsome disease.


Amber Alerts, settling down with baby after an apprehension and creating a child welfare act on InFocus

April 7, 2021

InFocus updates the story of a Brandon Manitoba family we told you about just before Christmas. They went to a hospital in November to have their first baby and after three days of labour, left empty-handed – escorted out by security.

New Faces New Places: The Patch Wine & Spirits is Sask.’s first urban reserve liquor store

April 8, 2021

New businesses and non-profit organizations regularly open and move in Saskatoon. Today, the StarPhoenix talks to Jason Allen and Cam Werezak, part of the team that operates The Patch Wine & Spirits, which opened in December south of Saskatoon in the Grasswood area.

Cowessess First Nation new child welfare legislation will keep children in care connected to community

April 7, 2021

Cowessess First Nation children in care have a better chance of staying connected to their community after Cowessess introduced its own child welfare legislation.

Mi’kmaw community where harvesters died asked for delay in season prior to boat sinking

April 7, 2021

The fisheries manager for Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick says the community asked the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to delay the opening of the crab season days before a boat capsized off Cape Breton killing two crew members.

First Nation offered vaccines to those outside community to avoid wasted doses

April 7, 2021

A southern Manitoba First Nation struggling to entice its members to be vaccinated allowed more than 100 people outside of the community to get the shot to prevent the doses from being wasted.


Qalipu First Nation Frustrated After Canada Halts Membership Discussions

April 7, 2021

The Qalipu First Nation is expressing what they’re calling “profound frustration and dissatisfaction” after Canada decided to pause efforts to address band membership for former members of the Federation of Newfoundland Indians.

Vaccine uptake low in some First Nations in Manitoba

April 7, 2021

Mass COVID-19 vaccinations are underway in First Nations across Manitoba but some leadership are still dealing with vaccine hesitancy resulting in concerns about wastage. Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (NCN), located about 850 km north of Winnipeg, received nearly 1,600 doses of the Moderna vaccine last month, and within a week the community was putting needle in arms.

City of Regina launches online survey to determine impact of Sir John A. Macdonald’s legacy

April 7, 2021

The City of Regina is inviting residents to have their say on the legacy of Sir John A. Macdonald.  Through the online space Be Heard Regina, people can take a survey about how they have been impacted by Macdonald’s legacy.

Why baby eels could be the next Indigenous moderate livelihood fishery in N.S.

April 6, 2021

The fishery for elvers is raising tensions once again in Nova Scotia over First Nation treaty rights and management of a multimillion-dollar fishery. In an incident last week by a river, federal fisheries officers stopped several Sipekne’katik fishermen from dipping for the baby eels, seizing gear in the process. The fishermen claimed a treaty right to fish for a moderate livelihood.


Alberta First Nations say provincially-regulated gambling website unauthorized

April 7, 2021

Two First Nations are taking the Alberta government and its gaming commission to court over its entry into the online gaming sector. Play Alberta, a provincially-regulated gaming site launched last fall, offers virtual slots and table games while casinos remain shut down due to COVID-19.

Treaty 8 First Nations will not sit idle

April 7, 2021

The Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta are calling on the Government of Alberta to suspend new forestry legislation until concerns about impacts on inherent and Treaty rights are addressed.
In December 2020, Alberta enacted Bill 40, which amends the provincial Forests Act. The new legislation includes provisions which reduce ministerial oversight, streamlines the licensing process, and increases the amount of timber that can be harvested annually.

Human Remains Identified As Missing Indigenous Woman

April 7, 2021

The human remains found in a wooded area in Thickwood are being identified as a missing 35-year-old Indigenous woman.

Improved cell service coming to B.C.’s Highway of Tears

April 7, 2021

Improved cellphone service is coming to two highways crossing British Columbia, including the section of remote road known as the Highway of Tears. Seventy per cent of Highway 16 already has some coverage, but the province said Wednesday the $11.7-million project will bring cell service to the remaining 252 kilometres between Smithers and Prince Rupert.

Wearing face masks not the same as residential school trauma: Critics

April 7, 2021

A First Nations woman is refusing to accept an apology from a non-Indigenous woman for comparing the trauma of residential schools to requests to wear a face mask. Savannah George, of  B.C.’s Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ First Nation, said Angie Roussin has no right to use the traumatic legacy of residential schools for her own purposes.

Science and Indigenous history team up to help spirit bears

April 7, 2021

Indigenous people in what is now the Great Bear Rainforest of western Canada tell a story about the bears there. When the Raven — or Wee’get — created the world, he also created the Ice Age. When the ice finally began to melt, Raven wanted to do something to remind himself of that time. As he flew over an island near the Great Bear Rainforest, Raven saw a black bear. He decided to turn every 10th black bear white. He set the white bears on what is now Princess Royal Island, where they would be protected, to remind Raven forever of when the world was cold.

‘Unethical and unnecessary’: Union of BC Indian Chiefs calls for moratorium on fur farming

April 7, 2021

The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) has announced that it is joining the BC SPCA and other advocates as they call for a moratorium on mink farming in B.C.


Indigenous youth suicide prevention initiative taken over by Stó:lō Nation

April 7, 2021

A suicide-prevention program that started out as an initiative led by experts turned into something quite different once it involved the Stó:lō Nation in the Fraser Valley. In fact, the approach was so effective, the Stó:lō have taken it over and are now running it themselves.

Indigenous priority for COVID-19 vaccine sparks racist comments to North Vancouver MLA

April 6, 2021

North Vancouver-Lonsdale MLA Bowinn Ma says she’s received toxic, dangerous, and racist messages from people angry that all Indigenous adults in B.C. are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine before some other age groups.


Construction of Nunavik’s new treatment centre to start this summer

April 7, 2021

Construction of Kuujjuaq’s Isuarsivik Regional Recovery Centre will go ahead this summer after COVID-19-related restrictions delayed that work in 2020, project backers announced this week. Work on the new treatment centre was set to begin last summer but was postponed due to a decision by the Northern Village of Kuujjuaq to limit the number of out-of-region workers coming into the community due to COVID-19.

Inuit Ataqatigiit’s wins Greenland election, future of major mining project in doubt

April 7, 2021

Greenland’s left-wing Inuit Ataqatigiit party pledged its opposition to a large rare earth mining project on Wednesday after winning a parliamentary election for only the second time in more than four decades.

Nunavik board game aims to showcase the importance of nature

April 8, 2021

Throughout his career as an artist, Thomassie Mangiok has aimed to promote Inuit traditional values and the Inuktitut language through the creation of comics and web apps. For his latest project though, he hopes to bring families and loved ones together over a board game.


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.