Nearly 600 members of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation receive vaccinations

February 25, 2021

The Mnjikaning Arena Sports Ki on the Chippewas of Rama First Nation has been a centre of hope this week. Over three days, 594 people, including community members, their spouses, and staff, rolled up their sleeves at the arena for their first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The community counts about 2,000 members.

Ontario records more than 1,200 new COVID-19 cases, marking fourth daily increase

February 26, 2021

Ontario is recording more than 1,200 new COVID-19 infections, marking the fourth straight day of case counts increasing. On Friday, provincial health officials logged 1,258 infections of the novel coronavirus, as well as 28 more deaths linked to the disease.


Health Canada approves AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

February 26, 2021

Health Canada has approved use of the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca, clearing the way for millions of more inoculations in Canada. Canada’s regulatory experts had been assessing the submission from AstraZeneca and Oxford University for safety and efficacy since October, and announced their approval Friday morning.

Why AstraZeneca vaccine approval in Canada may open more doors

February 26, 2021

Health Canada’s approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to prevent COVID-19 in adults follows similar green lights from regulators in the United Kingdom, Europe Union, Mexico and India.

Rickford: More doses than ever on their way

February 25, 2021

Kenora-Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford says he’s encouraged to see large shipments of COVID-19 vaccines make their way to Canada this week, and he’s expecting doses to reach the region soon. “When it comes to Ontario and the Northwestern Health Unit, we will continue to put the priority on the most-vulnerable frontline workers and Indigenous communities.”

Vaccines for Indigenous population in Windsor-Essex meeting demand as rollout continues

February 25, 2021

In Windsor-Essex, the lead nurse administering vaccines to the Indigenous population says supply is meeting demand as the rollout continues to move forward.

Sol Mamakwa Calling for Immediate Help for Neskantaga

February 25, 2021

A COVID-19 State of Emergency has been declared in Neskantaga First Nation. The remote northern community is reporting an infection rate of 6 per cent of off-reserve members.

Until major deficiencies fixed, First Nations communities won’t have reliable drinking water: AG

February 25, 2021

Until the federal government addresses several underlying deficiencies with the water systems and implements regulatory standards, First Nations communities in Canada will continue to not have reliable access to clean drinking water, according to the auditor general.

Too many First Nations lack clean drinking water and it’s Ottawa’s fault, says auditor general

February 25, 2021

In an audit report tabled in Parliament today, Auditor General Karen Hogan said many First Nations will continue to live without access to clean water without long-term solutions to address deficiencies in their water systems.

Digging deep: Inside the Clean Water, Broken Promises investigation

February 25, 2021

Two years of incredible research, data analysis and old fashioned leg work coordinated by the Institute for Investigative Journalism (IIJ) involving six media outlets including APTN News, as well as 10 universities and colleges rolled out this week under the banner Clean Water, Broken Promises.

To see the true picture of the First Nations housing crisis, look to Sioux Lookout

February 26, 2021

In a country like Canada, if you spend the night outside with temperatures dipping to -40C, you die. And in Sioux Lookout, Ont., 13 people without homes perished on the streets between the start of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018, according to the Kenora District Services Board (KDSB).

Outrage Continues Over COVID “Racism” Reports In Kenora

February 25, 2021

The Ontario Human Rights Commission says it’s aware of reports of businesses and organizations in Kenora refusing services to Indigenous people and of social media posts spreading racist comments and misinformation.

Environmental opposition to the Ring of Fire is growing

February 25, 2021

A Toronto-based legal group is throwing its support behind the opposition to development in the Ring of Fire mineral belt.  The Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA), whose clients are the Friends of the Attawapiskat River, is calling for an immediate moratorium on all mineral exploration and all mine-related development, including a halt to the environmental assessments underway for the proposed community, supply, and ore-haul access roads.

UNDRIP legislation could spell more certainty for resource development

February 25, 2021

The federal government tabled legislation in December that, if passed, would bring the principles of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) into law in Canada. That includes the right to free, prior and informed consent for Indigenous peoples in several areas, including resource development.

Thunder Bay District expected to move to lockdown, says medical officer of health

February 25, 2021

The medical officer of health for the Thunder Bay District says people should prepare to move back into lockdown. The district has exceeded 300 active COVID-19 cases this week, with 257 reported over the last seven days.

New First Nation campaign to promote skilled trades as first-choice careers underway

February 26, 2021

First Nations students will soon be seeing and hearing familiar faces and voices when they go looking for what they want to do or become after high school— but maybe not the faces and voices post-secondary opportunity-seekers have often seen before.

3 years ago you could only buy legal weed on First Nations, now some say the industry needs a ‘red market’

February 26, 2021

Three years ago, before the federal government legalized cannabis, you could buy it on many First Nations in Ontario. In some cases, these pot shops were totally legal, opened with the permission of their chief and council.

There needs to be 3 Indigenous judges sitting on Supreme Court of Canada: professor

February 25, 2021

The Supreme Court of Canada doesn’t have a single Indigenous judge among the nine members, but even appointing one wouldn’t go far enough. There needs to be three.


Indigenous leaders step up but no applause from environmentalists

February 25, 2021

Not enough has been said about the recent memorandum of understanding between the First Nations Climate Initiative table and the First Nations Major Projects Coalition, which represents 70 First Nations from across Canada.

Indigenous land acknowledgments now official Lake of Bays council process

February 25, 2021

Land acknowledgments will now be an official part of council proceedings in Lake of Bays. The township voted unanimously to read a verbal statement at the start of meetings taking place in council chambers on land “traditionally occupied by Indigenous peoples.”

Indigenous art online auction to help change lives through learning

February 26, 2021

In continuation of the recent virtual Community Partners’ Evening, which took place in January 2021, Confederation College is getting ready to launch part two of the at-home experience with an Indigenous Art Online Auction on Feb. 26 and 28.

Canada’s environment minister names expert group on net-zero emissions

February 26, 2021

The federal environment minister has named a group of outside experts who will advise him on the best way Canada can get its carbon pollution to net-zero by 2050. The group’s members represent a range of expertise. They include Assembly of First Nations Yukon Regional Chief Kluane Adamek, climate scientist and University of British Columbia professor Simon Donner, and Kim Thomassin, executive vice-president of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

Northern Quebec artists among nominees at 1st International Indigenous Hip Hop Awards

February 25, 2021

Three Cree hip hop acts out of Quebec are up for several awards at the first International Indigenous Hip Hop Awards, including Hip Hop Album of the Year and Songwriter of the Year.

Indigenous students call out ‘whitewashing,’ harassment at Bishop’s University in Quebec

February 25, 2021

Members of the Indigenous Cultural Alliance (ICA) at Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke, Que., went public Thursday with allegations of harassment, discrimination, and “whitewashing” by university staffers.


In most big companies, no Black or Indigenous women on track for top jobs: survey

February 25, 2021

No Black or Indigenous women are on track for executive roles in many of the country’s biggest companies, according to the first national survey of its kind in Canada.

Military arrives in Pimicikamak to help provide medical attention to COVID-19 cases

February 25, 2021

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces are now on the ground in Pimicikamak, helping the remote northern First Nation battle an outbreak of COVID-19.

Manitoba chiefs push Ottawa on use of ‘sub-standard’ contractors

February 25, 2021

Manitoba chiefs say it’s time the Trudeau government put less emphasis on cost when fixing drinking-water systems, or they’ll keep falling into disrepair.

First Nations workers in Saskatchewan sacrifice wages, vacation to run underfunded water systems

February 25, 2021

Whether it’s a power outage in the middle of the night or a broken part on a weekend, Nathan Martell or one of his two co-workers, who are often on call, will troubleshoot from home or the plant to make sure the 238 homes in their community have access to safe drinking water.

‘We keep getting gaslit’: FSIN decries long wait for child-welfare compensation

February 25, 2021

First Nations people in Saskatchewan who were ruled eligible for $40,000 payments because of negative experiences with Canada’s child welfare system just want the compensation process “dealt with,” says Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Vice Chief David Pratt.

Encouraging signs in northern Manitoba as First Nations vaccine eligibility expands, doctor says

February 25, 2021

Northern Manitoba may be starting to see the early benefits from the province’s vaccine rollout, as eligibility expands to include more First Nations people. Although COVID-19 case numbers in northern Manitoba remain higher than health officials would like to see, there have been some encouraging signs in recent weeks, says one doctor.

Southern Chiefs Organization calls for inquiry into federal process for awarding infrastructure contracts

February 25, 2021

An advocacy organization representing Anishinaabe and Dakota communities in Manitoba says it’s time for an inquiry into how construction contracts are awarded on First Nations – with a directed focus on key water infrastructure.

Mi’kmaw youth paint petroglyphs on boat with artist Alan Syliboy 

February 25, 2021

Grade 7 and 8 Students at Pictou Landing First Nations school are joining artist Alan Syliboy and are painting Mi’kmaw petroglyphs on a boat that will be on display at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.

Mayor of Terrace calls for ombudsperson’s probe into Indigenous councillor’s resignation

February 25, 2021

The mayor of Terrace, B.C., is calling for an ombudsperson’s investigation into the conduct of city council following the resignation of its first Indigenous member.

Indigenous inclusion in city halls still a long ways off

February 25, 2021

The two biggest stories in B.C. municipal politics this week showed there’s still lots of work to be done in making Indigenous people fully equal in city halls.


N.W.T. considers sending mental health teams to Nunakput

February 26, 2021

Weeks after Nunakput MLA Jackie Jacobson requested the government send grief counsellors to his electoral district, Health Minister Julie Green says she will look into sending a mental health team to the district’s four communities.

When Nunavut students are violent, suspending them isn’t so simple

February 25, 2021

Earlier this year, a Nunavut father received a call that his son had been beaten up at school. The aggressor —  who was three grades older —  had spit on the man’s son. The younger boy retaliated by splashing a slush drink on the older boy, and got punched in the face for it.


Issue 9 of The Official Chiefs of Ontario Magazine, The Advocate is now online! To view, please click here:

Important Notice: 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:

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.