Ontario reports 2,578 new coronavirus cases, 24 more deaths

January 18, 2021

Ontario is reporting 2,578 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing the provincial total to 240,364. Monday’s case count is a significant dip from Sunday’s which saw 3,422 new infections. On Saturday, 3,056 new cases were recorded and 2,998 on Friday.


Some northern Ontario First Nations going back into lockdown, while others have kept borders closed

January 18, 2021

Going to Sudbury is considered a trip to a dangerous COVID-19 hotspot if you live in Sagamok. Chief Alan Ozawanimke says someone coming back from that trip would be stopped at the checkpoint on the only road into the First Nation and ordered to self-isolate for 14 days. “It’s not going to keep anything out. It’s not going to keep the threat out,” he says. “But what it does is it reminds us of our responsibilities.”


Ontario Extends Reopening Ontario Act Orders

January 16, 2021

The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is extending most orders currently in force under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (ROA) for another 30 days.


Roll out of COVID-19 vaccines greeted with enthusiasm by First Nations leadership

January 16, 2021

“I am very much encouraging my 92-year-old mom to get in line as soon as (a COVID-19 vaccine) is available in her community and she’s all ready and excited about it as well,” said Leila Gillis. She is acting chief nursing officer and director general primary health care with the First Nation and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) of Indigenous Services Canada (ISC).


Indigenous manufacturer answers the call for made-in-Canada PPE

January 15, 2021

On its surface, First Nations Procurement Inc. (FNPI) functions to acquire goods and services for clients around the North. But its real value, said president Matthew Owl, is its ability to capitalize on opportunity.


Magnetawan First Nation declared COVID-free but chief wants vaccine ASAP

January 15, 2021

The Magnetawan First Nation, north of Parry Sound, was recently declared COVID-free, but the territory’s chief said he really wants to see the vaccine given to his community members as soon as possible.


Hard questions about systemic racism, accountability asked of Thunder Bay police after pre-inquest hearing

January 16, 2021

Reaction has been swift after lawyers for Thunder Bay police argued to exclude video surveillance of an Indigenous man being dragged inside the police station from an upcoming inquest on Thursday. Indigenous leaders and academics are asking tough questions about the police services relationship with First Nations in the city and how to improve accountability.


Matawa chiefs demand province stop all activities affecting land, treaty rights during pandemic

January 15, 2021

The Matawa Chiefs Council has issued a public statement requesting that the Ontario government stop all activities that affect the rights and interests of First Nations members while the COVID-19 pandemic continues.


Ornge set to begin COVID-19 vaccinations in First Nation communities

January 14, 2021

The COVID-19 vaccine is slowly being administered to front-line health care workers and long-term care residence across the province and next month vulnerable segments of the population in the north will be rolling up a sleeve.


Seven youth continue battle of challenged provincial climate change policies

January 18, 2021

A group of seven young people, including three First Nations youth, have won a legal battle against efforts by Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government to stop them challenging Ontario’s climate change policies.


Indigenous woman’s zine series gets response that ‘makes her heart flutter’

January 17, 2021

When Jenna Rose Sands was feeling helpless watching and listening to the news about Indigenous tragedies, she decided she wanted to do something about it. That was three years ago and her efforts have had an impact in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.


The show must go on: world’s first Indigenous fringe festival comes to Peterborough this summer

January 17, 2021

This summer, beginning on National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21), Peterborough will host the world’s first and only Indigenous fringe festival on the treaty and traditional territory of the Michi Saagiig Anishinaabeg.


Thousands share Indigenous ribbon skirt photos in solidarity with Sask. girl

January 15, 2021

Thousands of Indigenous women around the world are sharing photos on social media in solidarity with a 10-year-old Canadian girl who was ridiculed for wearing a traditional ribbon skirt to school last month.


Ginoogaming First Nation reports second COVID-19 case

January 17, 2021

A second person has tested positive for COVID-19 in Ginoogaming First Nation. The community, which borders the town of Longlac about 300 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, received a first positive result on Jan. 13. That infection was a result of close contact with a previously identified case, said Ginoogaming health director Sheri Taylor.



Ontario man goes virtual with grandma’s teachings on traditional medicine

January 16, 2021

Joe Pitawanakwat knows a lot about traditional medicine. But it isn’t something that he grew up learning.  His interest in medicines began after a visit back home in Wiikwemkoong, on Manitoulin Island in Ontario, with his grandmother about 10 years ago.


New book tackles MMIWG from an Indigenous, community-based perspective

January 15, 2021

Canada’s treatment of missing and murdered Indigenous women amounts to genocide. That was the finding of a recent national inquiry and it has been accepted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. While our attention may have been diverted in recent months with things like American politics and COVID-19, the tragedy of MMIW hasn’t gone away.



Kahnawake Emergency Relief Fund receives $3 Million from Mohawk Online

January 15, 2021

The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke (MCK) and Mohawk Online Limited (MOL) are pleased to announce that the Kahnawà:ke Economic Relief Measures Fund (KERM) will be receiving a significant boost to help in the efforts to assist the community during this challenging time. MOL has declared an emergency dividend to MCK in the amount of $3 Million—all of which will be directed to the KERM.



Innu woman from Quebec named advisor to UN secretary general

January 16, 2021

Marjolaine Etienne, a woman from the Innu community of Mashteuiatsh has been appointed as an advisor to the UN secretary general. Etienne will represent all First Nations of Canada on the international stage. But in Quebec, some leaders say they’re not fond of the work of the UN on Indigenous rights.


Cornwall mayor, Akwesasne grand chief denounce angry notes left on car windshields

January 17, 2021

The mayor of Cornwall, Ont., and the grand chief of the nearby Mohawk community are both denouncing unfriendly notes recently left on the windshields of cars with out-of-province licence plates.



Kanesatake waits for COVID-19 vaccines

January 15, 2021

A month has passed since the first round of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in Canada, but Kanesatake’s turn has not yet come.


Kahnawa’kehró:non on leadership council

January 15, 2021

Belle Phillips is not your ordinary student. The young woman not only decided to make the most out of her education, but also to help other Onkwehón:we students achieve their full potential. She knew that being part of Concordia University’s Indigenous Directions Leadership Council (IDLC) would support her in doing just that.



We need to learn from Indigenous people how to be stewards of nature

January 17, 2021

The 2019 Human Development Report from the UN focused on inequalities in the Human Development Index, but did not look at an inequality that is particularly important in Canada: the HDI of Indigenous people.


Treatment of elderly patients at Prince Albert hospital alarming, FSIN says

January 17, 2021

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations says it has received a number of alarming calls about poor and unprofessional treatment of two elderly Indigenous patients at Victoria Hospital in Prince Albert.



Treaty 1 leadership holds contest to rename Kapyong Barracks site

January 16, 2021

The chiefs and elders of Treaty 1 are calling on their communities’ youth to help name their planned urban reserve in Winnipeg, known previously as the Kapyong Barracks.



First Nation leaders share vaccine experiences online to combat hesitation, misinformation

January 16, 2021

Grandmother’s Bay’s Gerald McKenzie didn’t expect to be vaccinated so early. However, on Jan. 8, 2021, the vaccination clinic had an extra dose and gave him a call.   The Lac La Ronge Indian Band councillor decided to videotape his experience so he could share it with others on social media. “It was nice. It didn’t hurt at all,” McKenzie said. “I needed to show our people that it’s safe to take the vaccine. And it’s for us it’s to keep our people safe, healthy and we don’t want to pass on any of the virus that’s going on.”


Test positivity rate for First Nations in Manitoba more than double provincial average

January 15, 2021

First Nations people make up an increasing proportion of COVID-19 cases in the province, one of the physicians leading Manitoba’s First Nations Pandemic Response Coordination team said Friday.


Province refusing to pay legal fees for HMP guards, dispute heading to arbitration

January 18, 2021

Ambiguous language and the alleged killing of an inmate have led to a dispute between the Newfoundland and Labrador government and the province’s largest public sector union.


Studio restrictions prompt outdoor dance performances by Saskatoon troupe

January 16, 2021

When COVID-19 restrictions were put in place in March 2020, the KSAMB Dance Company wanted to find a way to continually host performances. They’ve been able to do so with Wild Card Movement, a dance performance that’s held every Friday night at City Hall Square, beginning promptly when the clock bell tolls for 7 p.m.


Canadian indigenous group pushes back on pipeline study

January 17, 2021

Efforts by Canada’s government to hire a firm to do a financial analysis of its Trans Mountain pipeline and a facilitator to help indigenous communities have rankled at least one group in British Columbia. “It’s a joke,” Chief Mike LeBourdais, head of the B.C.-based Western Indigenous Pipeline Group, said in a phone interview about the contract. “They are going to advise the Indians on whether buying a pipeline is good or not.”



How the Gulf War brought this Blackfoot veteran back to his culture

January 17, 2021

Reflecting on the 30th anniversary of Operation Desert Storm, retired major Bob Crane doesn’t want Indigenous military contributions to the Gulf War to be forgotten. Crane, a member of the Siksika Nation in Alberta, was among over 4,000 Canadian Armed Forces members who served in the Persian Gulf region between 1990 and 1991 as part of the international coalition led by the United States to drive invading forces of Iraq out of Kuwait.



People stand in support of mother as new trial gets underway in death of Cindy Gladue

January 15, 2021

A small group gathered in ceremony for Cindy Gladue outside the courthouse in Edmonton on Jan. 13. Two days earlier, the retrial of the man accused of causing her death commenced.



Leaders condemn racism targeting First Nations dealing with COVID-19 cases

January 17, 2021

Leaders and politicians on Vancouver Island have penned an open letter demanding an end to racism targeting members of First Nations where cases of COVID-19 have been identified. Members of the Snuneymuxw First Nation and Cowichan Tribes have been subjected to anti-Indigenous racism — both online and off — since issuing shelter in place orders on reserve.


Capital region’s standing committees will now include First Nations’ elected officials

January 16, 2021

For the first time, B.C.’s Capital Regional District’s standing committees will include representation from elected members of First Nations on a rotating basis.


Policy changes announced for BC prosecutors dealing with Indigenous people

January 16, 2021

The BC Prosecution Service has announced changes to how Indigenous people are treated in the criminal justice system. The changes are aimed at increasing fairness and reducing the over-representation of First Nations people being incarcerated. First Nations people make up just over 4 per cent of the population in Canada but 30 per cent of adults incarcerated are Indigenous.


Indigenous leaders call on B.C. government to notify parents subjected to ‘illegal and unconstitutional’ birth alerts

January 15, 2021

Families who were subjected to birth alerts deserve to know their personal information was shared between social workers and health care workers without their consent, says Cheryl Casimer. “First and foremost, those families need to be notified. And I think that there needs to be an apology that needs to be made to those families — and that’s just the first step,” says Casimer, a citizen of the Ktunaxa Nation and a political executive with the First Nations Summit, an organization that makes space for First Nations in B.C. to address issues of common concern.


19-year-old Tla-o-qui-aht chef chosen to join prestigious culinary team

January 17, 2021

A Tla-o-qui-aht chef has been selected to join a prestigious Canadian culinary team that will compete internationally in the food world’s version of the Olympics. Now a part of Culinary Youth Team Canada, Ottis Crabbe, 19, discovered his love for cooking when he was just 13 — working at the Abbondanza pizza restaurant owned and operated by his parents in Ucluelet.


As COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Cowichan Tribes, vaccine brings sense of relief

January 17, 2021

The past week has been challenging for the Cowichan Tribes on Vancouver Island. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases within the community started off at 73 on Monday and continued to climb all week. Then, after a barrage of racist comments were posted online in reaction to the reported cases, the First Nation decided to stop publicly sharing its COVID-19 data.


Stz’uminus First Nation artist helps design new goalie mask for Canucks

January 16, 2021

An artist from the Stz’uminus First Nation is behind the design for this season’s Vancouver Canucks goalie mask, rectifying an earlier controversy around the mask’s design. Vancouver Canucks goalie Braden Holtby revealed a new custom goalie mask in December featuring Coast Salish-inspired artwork.


Duncan business association looks to include Hul’q’umi’num language on street signs

January 16, 2021

The City of Duncan will be voting Monday on whether to include a number of Indigenous-language translations to street signs in the downtown core.  Amanda Vance, executive director of the Downtown Duncan Business Improvement Area Society, said she’s been leading the signage project since late 2019, but it was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


A Year Later, Complaint about RCMP Actions During Wet’suwet’en Conflict in Limbo

January 15, 2021

A year after filing complaints with the RCMP’s civilian oversight body over RCMP actions during the Wet’suwet’en protests, Cody Merriman (Wedlidi) and Delee Nikal are frustrated by delays and what they call a broken system.


With humour and knowledge, Nicholas Kruger says it’s important to give back 

January 16, 2021

As a cool winter breeze blows across the water’s surface on the southernmost point of Lake Okanagan, Nicholas Kruger, a father, professional pool player, and entrepreneur sat down to talk about being nominated as an Okanagan community changemaker. Kruger says he feels, “flattered,” to be nominated as someone who made 2020 better. “I didn’t expect something like this,” he says.


Kahkewistahaw First Nation security worker’s dance at COVID-19 checkstop goes viral

January 15, 2021

One January night at the COVID-19 checkstop at Kahkewistahaw First Nation, about 150 km east of Regina, security worker Mike Bitternose put on his red basketball shorts, an orange tied-at-the-midriff safety vest and his granddaughter’s heart-shaped sunglasses. Then he started to dance for the camera.


Nunavut television network launches Inuit-language channel

January 15, 2021

Inuit Canadians will soon have 24/7 access to Inuktitut-language television programming.  The Nunavut Independent Television Network (NITV) is launching a new channel — Uvagut TV — starting first thing on Monday, at 12:01 a.m.


Yellowknives Dene First Nation to meet with federal minister about Giant Mine

January 15, 2021

After months of requesting to meet with Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett, the Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN) chiefs will be sitting down with her at the end of the month to discuss issues surrounding Giant Mine.


‘I’m going to do it for my community’: Vaccinations come to small South Slave communities

January 15, 2021

Some of the first recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine in the southern N.W.T. are reminding residents that it will help them stay safe.  The statements come as the government found an undetected COVID-19 result in Hay River’s wastewater earlier this week. Vaccine clinics popped up in three of the smaller South Slave communities this week: K’atl’odeeche First Nation, Enterprise and Kakisa.


N.W.T.’s Business Advisory Council loses co-chair, 2 other members replaced

January 18, 2021

The council set up to guide the Northwest Territories government in its economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic has lost a co-chair, and two other members have been replaced.


Over 75 Indigenous Women Urge Biden to Stop Climate-Wrecking Pipelines

January 17, 2021

Indigenous women leaders across the United States have called upon President-elect Joe Biden to put an immediate and permanent halt to three of the country’s pipeline projects, saying Indigenous rights and the threat of “climate chaos” demand an end to the reign of fossil fuels.



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. Click learn more for additional information.

For more information, please visit: https://www.chiefsmeeting.com/coo-health-forum

Save the Date: Chiefs of Ontario Special Chiefs Assembly

Please see the attached save the date notice for the next Special Chiefs Assembly held online on February 3-4th, 2020. More information will be shared at www.chiefsmeeting.com in the coming weeks.

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

State of Lake Ontario Conference, March 9-11, 2021

Hosted by the International Association for Great Lakes Research, the conference will feature concurrent sessions, plenaries, and discussions.

For more information, click here: https://bit.ly/35FP4jX.

Great Lakes Executive Committee Meeting, June 29, 2021

For more information, please click here: https://bit.ly/2KhikG8

Request for Proposals: Early Learning and Child Care Asset Mapping Report Consultant and Economist Team

You are invited to submit a proposal for a project by the Chiefs of Ontario (COO) to utilize your research expertise and economic expertise to create an Early Learning and Child Care Report that analyzes the existing landscape of early learning and child care programming and services in Ontario for First Nations children 0-6 years old.


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