COVID-19 cases dropping in First Nation communities, but new variant worrisome

February 10, 2021

According to federal officials, the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic are starting to subside, a good sign says Dr. Tom Wong. “We are continuing to see positive signs that the curve is beginning to bend,” says Wong, the public health doctor at Indigenous Services. “The rate of active cases in First Nations communities in Canada has decreased by more than fifty per cent over the past three weeks.”

Today’s coronavirus news: Ontario reporting 945 more cases, 18 deaths; Ontario meets deadline for first round of LTC vaccinations; March Break announcement in the afternoon

February 11, 2021

Ontario: 281,566 confirmed cases (13,270 active, 261,700 resolved, 6,596 deaths). Ontario is reporting 13,486 new vaccinations administered for a total of 412,119 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 28.056 per 1,000.

Reforming Canadian laws to protect Indigenous people tough task: Miller

February 10, 2021

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said a new law to implement the UN declaration sets forth a set of principles as a guiding light to guide the government behaviour with Indigenous Peoples.

Indigenous Services minister is asked about the progress of the MMIW report recommendations

February 10, 2021

Marc Miller spoke with the CBC’s Oliva Stefanovich during a regular pandemic briefing.

Chiefs of Shawanaga and Wasauksing First Nations say racism must end in Indigenous health care

February 10, 2021

The Chiefs of the Shawanaga and Wasauksing First Nations both agree that more has to be done to combat anti-Indigenous racism in the Canadian health-care system.

Whitedog imposes strict lockdown to curb COVID-19

February 10, 2021

Wabaseemoong First Nation Chief Waylon Scott was joined by former chiefs John Paishk, Ron R. McDonald and Eric Fisher, as he announced a strict lockdown in his community.

Effective 8 p.m. tonight, members will be expected to stay in their homes for a week, in an effort to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Infrastructure Bank directed to invest $1-billion in Indigenous projects

February 3, 2021

The federal government has directed the Canada Infrastructure Bank to invest at least $1-billion in revenue-generating projects that benefit Indigenous peoples as part of a new statement of priorities for the Crown corporation.

No decision yet if officers involved in Stacy DeBungee investigation will face disciplinary hearings

February 10, 2021

Legal counsel for the Office of the Independent Police Review Director argued on Wednesday there was a “reasonable delay” in their review of three Thunder Bay police officers for their investigation into the 2015 death of an Indigenous man.

Curve Lake First Nation to vote on new constitution

February 10, 2021

Members of Curve Lake First Nation are being asked to vote on whether to accept their own constitution with the voting process set for the spring. The new Gchi-Naaknigewin (constitution) for Curve Lake First Nation states that it confirms in a modern context the values under which the Michi Saagig of Curve Lake First Nation choose to be governed.

Anishinabek Nation to virtually host 5th Annual LRED Forum

February 11, 2021

For the fifth year, the Anishinabek Nation will host the Lands, Resources and Economic Development Forum. This time around it will be held virtually. Grand Council Chief Glen Hare says the 2021 theme is ‘Everything is Connected’ with the web forum set for February 16th to 18th.


Indigenous Workers Survey Finds 60% Feel Emotionally Unsafe At Work

February 10, 2021

As Krystal Abotossaway navigated corporate Canada over the last decade, the Toronto woman with Anishinaabe Kwe heritage always paid always took care to be on time, to watch her drinking at after-work events and to be agreeable in meetings.

Wasauksing First Nation Chief Warren Tabobondung re-elected to a fifth term

February 11, 2021

Chief Warren Tabobondung has won a fifth term as leader of the Wasauksing First Nation. Tabobondung, who has been chief of the territory since 2013, was returned to the position in a vote held Feb. 9.

Workers tasked with tackling anti-Indigenous racism say they faced scapegoating and ‘backlash’ at Island Health

February 10, 2021

Several current and former staff at Island Health are raising concerns after what they say has been a dismantling of the Indigenous Health department’s cultural safety facilitation team.

Indigenous Housing Strategy joins forces with local partners to combat homelessness in North Bay

February 10, 2021

North Bay’s Indigenous Housing Strategy has joined forces to battle homelessness. With 42% of the people who are homeless in North Bay being Indigenous, the executive director of the North Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre (NBIFC) needs proportional dollars to flow for NBIFC housing navigators to continue to be successful helping people find homes.

‘Teaching Wigwam’ The Reclaiming Shingwauk Hall Project continues to build Archive Collection

February 10, 2021

Reclaiming Shingwauk Hall is the first major, permanent Residential School Survivor driven exhibition in a former Residential School building. The space presents over 110 years of history of the Shingwauk Indian Industrial Residential Schools. The award winning exhibition space presents over 110 years of history of the Shingwauk Indian Industrial Residential Schools within the larger context of colonialism, truth telling, and reconciliation in Canada.

Lac Seul member to help OPP investigate human trafficking

February 11, 2021

The OPP is investigating reports of human trafficking in the northwest, and their research will be led by Dr. Anita Olsen Harper of Lac Seul First Nation. Harper has been hired with a specific focus on Indigenous persons.

Indigenous Screen Office and APTN partner to develop Indigenous identity vetting policies

February 10, 2021

The Indigenous Screen Office and Aboriginal People’s Television Network are partnering to develop policies and strategies for vetting Indigenous identity in the film and television industry.

Indigenous student in London, Ont. asked to write in the voice of imposter Grey Owl

February 10, 2021

The First Nations mother of a London, Ont. Grade 6 student says she’s angry her daughter was given a school assignment in which she was asked to write a diary entry in the voice of Grey Owl, a U.K.-born man who rose to fame in the 1930s while pretending to be of Indigenous descent.

Council greenlights Algonquins of Ontario land for future suburb

February 11, 2021

City council has voted to let Ottawa grow by way of a whole new suburb in the rural south-east, and shot down a motion to give city staff more time to analyze the proposal and consult with all Indigenous groups.

UN declaration to help First Nations achieve self-determination: Bellegarde

February 10, 2021

Passing a new law to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will get First Nations closer to self-determination, National Chief Perry Bellegarde of the Assembly of First Nations said Wednesday.

First Round of COVID-19 Vaccinations Completed in All Ontario Long-Term Care Homes

February 11, 2021

The first round of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in every long-term care home across Ontario to eligible residents who wanted one. This goal was achieved despite repeated delays and reductions of vaccine shipments. To date, more than 62,000 long-term care residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 34,000 residents have received their second dose.

Ontario gives sole-sourced contract to Deloitte to support COVID-19 vaccination campaign

February 10, 2021

Ontario’s government has awarded a sole-sourced contract to consulting firm Deloitte to support the province’s vaccine task force, CBC News has learned.  The Ministry of Health confirmed the contract but did not answer basic questions about it, including the cost and the specific nature of the work that Deloitte is hired to do.

What are the coronavirus variants and how should we respond to them? Your COVID-19 questions answered

February 11, 2021

Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, warned Wednesday that variant strains of the coronavirus had been found in eight provinces, and that they could quickly reverse the gains the country has made in recent weeks in the battle against COVID-19.

Military assisting with COVID-19 outbreak in First Nation in Manitoba

February 10, 2021

The military has been called in to help manage an outbreak of COVID-19 cases in Pauingassi First Nation in Northern Manitoba, a community lacking the critical infrastructure to deal with a major health crisis.


Remorse a factor in no hate speech charges after shooting of Colten Boushie

February 10, 2021

A newly released document shows prosecutors in Saskatchewan weighed backlash and remorse felt by people accused of posting hateful online messages after the high-profile shooting death of a young Cree man.

Fabricland issues apology to Elder after treatment in North Battleford store

February 10, 2021

When Simon Sapp, 89, went into the Fabricland store in North Battleford, Sask., like he has done many times before, he never imagined that he would be treated rudely. But his granddaughter Cheyenna Sapp, says that’s exactly what happened when he went into the store Jan. 26.


First of its kind video game highlights Anishinaabe culture

February 10, 2021

A first of its kind video game is connecting students around the world to traditional teachings and stories of the Anishinaabe community in Manitoba.

Indigenous volunteers create community camp

February 10, 2021

A coalition of Indigenous grassroots organizations and volunteers set up two teepees and a prospector tent in Winnipeg’s core on Tuesday to help keep the homeless population warm through bitterly cold temperatures.

Indigenous community sets up warming tents for homeless population during extreme cold

February 10, 2021

A coalition of Indigenous grassroots organizations and volunteers set up two teepees and a prospector tent in Winnipeg’s core on Tuesday to help keep the homeless population warm through bitterly cold temperatures.

New MMIWG art project focuses on untold stories of national inquiry

February 10, 2021

Margaret Bird clings to the last words her mom Happy Charles spoke to her before she disappeared. Those words — “I’ll try every day” — sent the 24-year-old from the Lac La Ronge Indian Band in northern Saskatchewan on a quest to find a way to honour her mother. She was last seen alive at the age of 42 on April 3, 2017, approximately 240 kilometres south of her home in Prince Albert, Sask.

Fort McKay First Nation, Alberta reach agreement on Moose Lake access management plan

February 10, 2021

After 20 years, there is finally an access management plan in place for Moose Lake, an area sacred to Fort McKay First Nation members in northern Alberta.

First Nations pledge “unity” after growing, widespread COVID-19 racism allegations

February 10, 2021

Two Indigenous leaders in British Columbia are just the latest to speak out against a growing litany of reports about discrimination against their members in nearby communities. And they’re drawing inspiration from their nations’ historic hardships to weather the challenge.

Federal government allots $2M to help Atikamekw Nation implement Joyce’s Principle

February 10, 2021

The federal government announced Wednesday morning that it is allotting $2 million dollars to help the Atikamekw Nation begin implementation of Joyce’s Principle. The document was written by Indigenous leaders calling for equitable access to health care following Joyce Echaquan’s tragic death.

RCMP missed opportunity to talk about why women turn to social media for abduction reports: B.C. Union of Indian Chiefs

February 10, 2021

The B.C. Union of Indian Chiefs is calling out the RCMP over its handling of abduction misinformation on social media that raised fears in the Tri-Cities area of Metro Vancouver.

Government of Canada and the A-Tlegay Member Nations Sign the Reconciliation Framework Agreement for Fisheries Resources

February 10, 2021

Today the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, and the Chiefs of the A-Tlegay Member Nations (We Wai Kai Nation, Wei Wai Kum First Nation, Kwiakah First Nation, Tlowitsis Nation, and K’ómoks First Nation), announced the signing of the “Reconciliation Framework Agreement for Fisheries Resources.”

Canada supports the nation rebuilding efforts of Indigenous groups in Atlantic Canada to advance self-determination and reconciliation 

February 11, 2021

The Government of Canada is rebuilding the nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown and government-to-government relationship with Indigenous peoples through supporting the right to self-determination. A key part of this work is through the Nation Rebuilding Program.

Here’s when N.W.T. communities can get 2nd dose of COVID-19 vaccine

February 10, 2021

Vaccination clinics in 11 N.W.T. communities have been scheduled, allowing residents to receive their second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. The clinics, set to begin on Feb. 11, are available for any residents scheduled to receive their second dose, as well as any residents 18 years or older who have not yet received their first dose.

‘Very disappointed’: Chief calls on N.W.T. gov’t to pause Fort Simpson lifting liquor limits

February 11, 2021

The chief of the Lı́ı́dlılı Kų́ę́ First Nation is calling on the N.W.T. government to pause the lifting of liquor restrictions in Fort Simpson that have been in place for nearly 50 years. These restrictions were lifted last week after residents voted overwhelmingly in favour of removing them in November.

Judge serves temporary injunction against Nuluujaat Land Guardians on Baffin Island

February 10, 2021

A Nunavut judge has granted the Baffinland Iron Ore mine a temporary injunction that will allow for their employees to leave the blockaded mine site. A group of protesters has been blocking the mine’s airstrip and access road –halting production since Feb. 4 – and today’s court documents reveal some more about just who they are.

Judge orders crew flights to go ahead this week at Nunavut mine blockade

February 10, 2021

Staff at the Mary River mine will be able to fly out this week, despite an ongoing blockade at the mine’s airstrip.  Nunavut Justice Susan Cooper made a temporary court order on Wednesday, for transportation to be accommodated.

Yukon women’s groups slam RCMP decision to halt sexual assault review process

February 11, 2021

Yukon women’s groups are criticizing the RCMP’s decision to shut down a committee reviewing sexual assault cases. The Yukon Advocate Case Review was set up in 2018 to examine sexual assault cases police labelled unfounded or where no one was charged.

Acho Dene Koe First Nation sets new election date

February 11, 2021

The Acho Dene Koe First Nation (ADKFN) in Fort Liard will now hold its chief and council election on April 26, almost two weeks after the original date of April 14.


Save the Date: Chiefs of Ontario 15th Annual Health Forum

The Chiefs of Ontario 15th Annual Health Forum will take place on February 23-25, 2021. This year’s theme is Sharing Stories: The True Test of Resilience Amidst Pandemic.

For more information, please visit:

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 more information, please visit

Save the Date: Chiefs of Ontario Engagement Sessions: First Nations Water Legislation

The Chiefs of Ontario Environment Department will be hosting a two-day engagement session on March 3-4, 2021. The focus of the 2-day fulsome engagement sessions includes creation of First Nations-led policies and solutions related to access to safe, clean and reliable drinking water.

For more information, please visit:

Annex 9 Climate Change Modelling Experts Workshop, March 22, 2021

As a follow up from the 2019 Climate Change Modelling Experts Workshop hosted in Ann Arbor, Annex 9 is working with GLISA to host another virtual workshop in March.

For more information, please contact Chris Hoyos at

2021 Great Lakes Day, March 1, 2021

The annual Great Lakes Day features dialogue on Great Lakes priorities by regional leaders and members of Congress who play a critical role in shaping Great Lakes policies.

For more information, 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:

Contract Opportunity: Research and Knowledge Translation Specialist

The Chiefs of Ontario (COO) is inviting applications for a contract position: Research and Knowledge Translation Specialist

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.

Issue 8 of The Official Chiefs of Ontario Magazine, The Advocate is now online! To view, please click here: