Operation Remote Immunity continues in Ontario’s Far North

February 18, 2021

“Residents of fly-in First Nations communities are at disproportionate risk during the pandemic,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs in a media release. “Operation Remote Immunity is a critical part of Ontario’s phased vaccination rollout plan to protect the most vulnerable populations in the province and I commend all of the partners involved in delivering on this vital work.”



Disaster relief NGO to support Wabaseemoong during COVID-19 outbreak, spokesperson says

February 18, 2021

A Canadian disaster relief charity says it’s on its way to Wabaseemoong Independent First Nations to help exhausted community members deal with a COVID-19 outbreak.

Team Rubicon Canada says the province’s Emergency Operations Centre dispatched the organization.


Today’s coronavirus news: Ford suggests province will grant Toronto, Peel request for delay easing restrictions; Pfizer, BioNTech ask for approval for easier vaccine storage

February 19, 2021

If vaccines were the light at the end of a long pandemic tunnel, the rise of the COVID-19 variants has dimmed it slightly. There are hundreds of confirmed cases of the more spreadable and harder-to-fight variants here in Canada, and officials have warned that B.1.1.7, the variant originating in the United Kingdom, could be dominant in Ontario within weeks.



Public health officials say early data show ‘high’ protection from first shot

February 18, 2021

Canada’s public health officials are in “live” discussions but not offering a position on doling out single doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, rather than planning for the two shots at the recommended interval, amid vaccine scarcity and new evidence suggesting strong protection from the single shot.


Ontario logs 1,038 new COVID-19 cases, 44 more deaths linked to illness

February 18, 2021

Ontario reported another 1,038 cases of COVID-19 and the deaths of 44 more people with the illness on Thursday. The new cases include 376 in Toronto, 142 in Peel Region and 122 in York Region.


Vaccines and the fight against COVID-19

February 18, 2021

Vaccines have finally arrived and inoculations began world – wide in early December 2020 as the death toll from COVID-19 nears 2.4 million people. Some say it couldn’t come soon enough.


Chiefs call out Ford government for using pandemic restrictions as cover to push through legislation

February 18, 2021

Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Glen Hare has accused the Ford government of using coronavirus pandemic restrictions as one more excuse for not consulting with First Nations.


Thunder Bay police officers who investigated Indigenous man’s 2015 death to face disciplinary proceedings

February 18, 2021

An adjudicator has ruled that three Thunder Bay Police Service officers who were involved in what was found to be a deficient sudden death investigation of an Indigenous man will face disciplinary proceedings.


Anishinaabe Governance is a First Nation driven process

February 19, 2021

Day Two of the Anishinabek Nation Governance Summit Series II “Anishinaabe Miikan:  Our Journey” on Feb. 17 saw some 100 participants listen to a First Nations panel on transition, change management and implementation, a discussion with Anishinabek Nation commissioners and Nation Councils, respectively.


Yes, the pandemic will end — but COVID-19 isn’t going away any time soon

February 18, 2021

As the months passed in 2020, and a mysterious new virus spread around the world, prompting lockdowns and whirlwind scientific research, it was hard to shake one burning question: Was COVID-19 ever going away?


Jury prepares to deliberate verdict in Bradley Barton manslaughter case

February 18, 2021

A jury was sequestered Thursday night and will soon begin deliberations in the manslaughter trial of Bradley Barton, the man accused of killing Cindy Gladue. Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Stephen Hillier sequestered the jury around 8:30 p.m but told the jurors not to begin deliberations until Friday morning, citing the fact it had been a long day.



Forestry funding boosts job opportunities for Indigenous youth

February 18, 2021

In an effort to expand its forestry operations, Daki Menan Lands and Resources Corporation is receiving FedNor funding of $209,500. The investment will allow the social enterprise, which is controlled by Temagami First Nation (TFN) on Bear Island, to enhance forestry management, increase firewood production and construct a small, portable sawmill.


Government of Canada announces measures to keep communities safe, fight systemic racism and make our criminal justice system more effective for all

February 18, 2021

The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring the criminal justice system keeps all Canadians, their families, and communities safe. Recent events have further highlighted the systemic discrimination and disproportionate representation of Indigenous peoples, as well as Black Canadians and members of marginalized communities as offenders and victims in the criminal justice system.


Mental health and addiction services for students receives funding

February 18, 2021

Nipissing University and Canadore College will get $647,700 to help increase access to mental health and addiction services for students.


Anishinaabe Governance is the journey and evolution of Anishinabek

February 18, 2021

“We have to go to the language,” said Anishinabek Nation Head Getzit Nmishomis Gordon Waindubence to start the “Anishinaabe Miikan:  Our Journey” virtual conference.  “The language will not come to us. We need to teach our kids identity and be proud of it – if we want to step forward in this Anishinabek Nation.”


It’s not just a fashion statement… it’s an ear saver for those who wear masks often

February 18, 2021

Tara Kiwenzie’s beaded barrettes aren’t just beautiful; they’re also functional, keeping ears comfortable from the pains of wearing a mask. Kiwenzie, who is from Wikwemikong Unceded Territory on Manitoulin Island, Ont., usually spends her days on the powwow trail throughout the summer.


Land acknowledgements are about better relations, not just checking a box

February 18, 2021

Decolonial facilitator Ta7talíya Michelle Nahanee says land acknowledgements are more than just copying, pasting and reciting, to check the box and get it done — they’re about good intention and working towards better relations.


Ontario Takes Action to Combat Racism and Hate Crimes

February 19, 2021

The Ontario government is investing up to $2.6 million over two years through the Safer and Vital Communities (SVC) grant to help communities combat hate-motivated crime. The funding will help 26 community-based, not-for-profit organizations and First Nations Chiefs and Band Councils, in collaboration with their police partners, implement local projects that tackle discrimination, foster greater inclusiveness and address the increase of police-reported hate crime.


Military will assess how to help in Pimicikamak as COVID-19 cases climb to 174, chief says

February 18, 2021

Military help may be on the horizon for the northern Manitoba community of Pimicikamak as the First Nation works to contain a growing COVID-19 outbreak. Chief David Monias says the federal government has agreed to send military personnel to Pimicikamak, also known as Cross Lake First Nation, this Friday to assess how it may be able to provide support.


CAP national chief vows to put forgotten organization ‘back on track’

February 18, 2021

This year the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) turns 50 and it couldn’t be more forgotten. Forgotten by the media. And the people. Some will comment on this story having never heard of the organization, or at least question what CAP does for them.


Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights as a Minimum Standard for Corporate Practice

February 18, 2021

When the United Nations adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007, it was the first time Indigenous Peoples’ rights were widely affirmed on a global scale. The Declaration contemplated not only the inextricable connection between Indigenous Peoples’ livelihoods, culture, and land, but also their collective rights to decision-making and self-determination.


NationTalk & Chief Rick Allen of Constance Lake First Nation

February 19, 2021

NationTalk sits down with Chief Rick Allen of Constance Lake First Nation in Ontario. Within the first 4 weeks of 2021 – Constance Lake First Nation declared a second COVID-19 state of emergency after 11 cases have appeared in the small community in less than a week.


Ottawa moves to repeal mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug crimes

February 18, 2021

The federal government has moved to repeal mandatory minimum penalties for certain non-violent drug offences. It says the change could help reduce the disproportionate impacts on Black and Indigenous Canadians, while also increasing public safety.


Ontario lost 355,000 jobs in 2020, marking single largest decline on record: FAO

February 18, 2021

Ontario’s fiscal watchdog says the province lost more than 355,000 jobs last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Financial Accountability Officer says in a new report Thursday that the job losses represent the single largest annual decline on record.


Second-dose delays raise anxiety level on some First Nations

February 18, 201

The Manitoba government says it’s up to First Nations leaders to decide when Moderna doses are loaded onto planes, as chiefs question a 10-day lag in getting COVID-19 vaccines out of Winnipeg freezers.


Federal talks progressing with Indigenous groups toward eventual Trans Mountain pipeline sale

February 18, 2021

Federal Department of Finance officials are taking the next step to prepare for a potential sale of the Trans Mountain pipeline to Indigenous groups, including bringing in consultants to advance talks and provide financial analysis of the project.


Urban reserves ‘key to Indigenous prosperity’: Kapyong project exec

February 18, 2021

The Kapyong Barracks site, Canada’s largest urban Indigenous reserve located in west Winnipeg, is positioned to become a national leader in Indigenous-led commerce. One project executive is taking time to educate the public and dispel some of the myths around urban reserve development.


30,000 First Nations children to receive specially designed masks

February 18, 2021

Thirty-thousand Manitoba First Nations children and teens can expect to receive their specially designed four-layer masks to help fight against COVID-19 in the coming weeks.


Meet the people behind the Mi’gmaq fishery in eastern Quebec

February 18, 2021

A new documentary series tells the story of an Indigenous commercial fishery in eastern Quebec and how it has become an important source of self determination, as well as a connection to culture and language for the Mi’gmaq people of Listuguj, Que.



Time Will Tell How Effective Moderna Vaccine is Against COVID-19 in Indigenous NL Communities

February 18, 2021

Lela Evans says testing of Makkovik residents for COVID-19 has been running smoothly, despite concerns about a presumed positive case of the UK variant in the coastal Labrador Inuit community.


No books, visits, or showers: Pandemic prison conditions in Quebec spark human rights debate 

February 18, 2021

There are now over 5,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 tied to federal prisons and provincial jails across the country according to recent data collected by the Criminalization Punishment and Education Project based out of the University of Ottawa.


‘Pawn it’ comment prompts Indigenous artist to call out discrimination in Sask. country music industry

February 18, 2021

A comment about Indigenous artists pawning trophies prompted a Saskatoon musician to speak out about what he sees as ongoing discrimination in the country music industry.


A bit of the Nakota language died with Armand McArthur

February 18, 2021

Language is taken for granted by most, a form of communication many learn at a young age and develop through their years of living. Canadians are known for their use of English and French, but there are far more languages native to this land that are kept alive by the people who were here first.


Corrections minister says review coming in release of Kimberly Squirrel, found frozen in Saskatoon

February 19, 2021

Further investigations are coming into the death of Kimberly Squirrel. The frozen body of the 34-year-old mother of six from Yellow Quill First Nation was found in a residential area of Saskatoon late last month. She had been released from Pine Grove Correctional Centre in Prince Albert three days before.



Jury to begin deliberating in trial of man accused of killing woman in Edmonton hotel

February 18, 2021

A judge has sequestered a jury but has instructed them to begin their deliberations Friday morning in the trial of a man accused of killing a woman whose bloody body was found in the bathtub of his Edmonton hotel room.


Students and advocates want ‘traumatizing’ name of CBE’s Langevin school changed

February 19, 2021

The call to rename Calgary’s Langevin School, named after one of the men behind Canada’s residential school system, is growing louder — bolstered by current and former students who say the name is offensive to Indigenous peoples and reinforces racism.


Haisla woman recounts painful experience of losing baby, blames hospitals for neglect, racism

February 18, 2021

In her first interview since giving birth to her stillborn daughter last month, Sarah Morrison said she’s struggling to keep it together. “It comes and goes my stability. I do my best,” she told APTN News in the dining room of her mother’s Kitimat, B.C., home.


‘Is it enough? No’: Cowichan Tribes calls for help after 2 new COVID-19 deaths

February 18, 2021

COVID-19 may have arrived late in B.C.’s largest First Nation, but the pandemic’s deadly presence is now there and leadership worry it’s not going anywhere fast.


Court orders new hearing over Williams Lake First Nation’s century-old land dispute

February 18, 2021

The Federal Court of Appeal has ordered a tribunal to reconsider its ruling upholding a century-old sale of land from a British Columbia First Nation to a now-defunct railway. A three-judge panel unanimously set aside a 2018 finding by the Specific Claims Tribunal that determined the Williams Lake First Nation did not prove the lands were wrongfully transferred.


Head of new Indigenous committee aims for systemic change at Canada Energy Regulator

February 18, 2021

The chairman of a new Indigenous advisory committee at the Canada Energy Regulator says he wants to fix a system that has treated First Nations, Inuit and Metis people as an “afterthought.”


Human rights groups renew call to abolish ‘street checks’ in Vancouver

February 18, 2021

A coalition of human rights organizations have renewed their call for the Vancouver Police Department to abolish “street checks” because they say the practice continues to unfairly and disproportionately target Indigenous and Black people.


Six new cases of COVID-19 in Arviat

February 18, 2021

Today, Nunavut has six new cases of COVID-19. There are 27 active cases in the territory, all in Arviat. “I understand how hard the last few months have been for Arviarmiut and I know the rise in cases recently has been disheartening,” said Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s Chief Public Health Officer.


New virtual initiative aims to improve Indigenous students’ access to post-secondary education

February 18, 2021

“I wanted to educate people about the importance of Inuit names and cultures,” said Partridge, speaking about the film. “My name is Pasha, named after my grandmother, and that, in turn, gives me her spirit because I hold her name. So I call my mum my daughter because I had her mother’s name. So that’s the importance of the Inuit name, and I wanted to highlight that importance in the film.”



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: https://www.chiefsmeeting.com/coo-health-forum

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 https://www.chiefsmeeting.com/aocc-2021.

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: https://www.chiefsmeeting.com/water-engagement-sessions

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 Chris.Hoyos@coo.org.

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: https://bit.ly/3sjaa10

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: https://bit.ly/3nI8gUh

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: https://www.mediaedgemagazines.com/the-chiefs-of-ontario-coo/oo20/