Six Nations public health reports 1st cases of concerning COVID-19 variants

March 23, 2021

Ohsweken Public Health has reported its first two cases of COVID-19 variants of concern at Six Nations. A variant of concern can spread within a day or two as opposed to two weeks, said a media release from public health, and can cause more severe illness. At Six Nations of the Grand River, the first variant of concern was reported on March 18 and the second came on March 22.

Walpole Island First Nation enters COVID-19 lockdown

March 22, 2021

Walpole Island First Nation has entered a lockdown due to COVID-19 as of Monday. According to a Facebook post from the council, elementary students are switching to online learning, Bkejwanong Children’s Centre is closed and monitored in-person gatherings are suspended.

Shawanaga and Nipissing First Nations to hold band elections despite COVID

March 22, 2021

The Chief of the Shawanaga First Nation, north of Parry Sound, said that band elections on his territory will take place as scheduled in May, despite the COVID-19 global pandemic. Chief Wayne Pamajewon also said that he intends to take another run for chief.

COVID-19 cases in Ontario drop below 1,600 as positivity rate climbs

March 23, 2021

Ontario is reporting a single-day drop in the number of new COVID-19 cases as its positivity rate for the disease climbs for the sixth consecutive day. Health officials reported 1,546 new infections Tuesday, a decrease following four straight days of case numbers above the 1,600 mark.

AstraZeneca says U.S. trial data shows 79% efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19

March 22, 2021

AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine provided strong protection against disease and complete protection against hospitalization and death across all age groups in a late-stage U.S. study, the company announced Monday.

Vaccine clinics open up for younger Indigenous residents

March 21, 2021

With appointment slots still available, the health unit is creating an opportunity for Indigenous residents younger than 55 to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. “Because there are still appointments available, the Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) is sharing that First Nation people, Métis and Inuit who are 18 years or older can now book at the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine clinics,” the health unit stated in a release issued Sunday.

Who have provinces pegged to receive COVID-19 vaccines in the coming weeks?

March 23, 2021

As COVID-19 vaccine supplies ramp up across the country, most provinces and territories have released details of who can expect to receive a shot in the coming weeks.

Is AstraZeneca vaccine safe for people who’ve had blood clots? Your COVID-19 questions answered

March 23, 2021

The AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine has been in the headlines recently over concerns that some people were developing blood clots after receiving the shot. Some European countries suspended use of the vaccine, but many have since resumed.

Closure of Kenora’s youth centres ‘heartbreaking, unacceptable’

March 23, 2021

The expected closure of two youth detention facilities in Kenora has caused the sudden relocation of ten youth between the ages of 12 and 17, a decision which local leaders are calling for an immediate review of.

‘He’d be proud’: Colten Boushie’s family speaks out against discrimination found in scathing report about RCMP

March 22, 2021

The family of Colten Boushie, the young Indigenous man from Saskatchewan whose shooting death was investigated by the RCMP in 2016, is speaking out following the release of an independent report that found Canada’s national police force racially discriminated against Boushie’s mother.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation, Federal and Provincial Governments Reaffirm Strategic Partnership in Support of First Nations Health Transformation

March 22, 2021

Marc Miller, the Minister of Indigenous Services, with Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler and Christine Elliott , Ontario’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, issued the following statement today: “Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), the Government of Canada , and the Government of Ontario remain committed to work together to address the need for a system-wide approach to health services for NAN territory by supporting First Nations-led health transformation initiatives.

How mercury poisoning has affected Grassy Narrows First Nation

March 22, 2021

‘I grew up not knowing that the land, the water was already poisoned,’ Grassy Narrows First Nation Chief Randy Fobister said.

Safe drinking water in Indigenous communities must be a higher priority

March 22, 2021

On the United Nations’ World Water Day Unifor is renewing its call to guarantee safe drinking water for Indigenous communities across the country. “Canadians must hold this government to account,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “Safe drinking water is a right.”

Aamjiwnaang First Nation and the fight for cleaner air (Video)

March 22, 2021

Janelle Nahmabin, the current chair of Aamjiwnaang’s Environment Committee, shares a story about life in the First Nation.

The movement to address environmental racism is growing. This bill could provide the data it needs

March 23, 2021

Ada Lockridge has been fighting for cleaner air in her community for 20 years. She recalls times when she and other residents of Aamjiwnaang First Nation “would smell that awful smell, the one that’s burning your nose, burning your eyes, your throat” and have to call police to report a suspected chemical leak.

Anishinabek Employment and Training Services set to deliver message on Indigenous workplace inclusion in unique way

March 23, 2021

Anishinabek Employment and Training Services (AETS) is planning to use improv comedy during a free virtual professional workshop to inspire organizations to improve their Indigenous workplace inclusion practices on March 25. Presented in partnership with Indigenous Works and Magnus Theatre Company Northwest, the workshop features Tonto’s Nephews, an all-Indigenous troupe of professional actors, writers and comedians.

Indigenous Community Sharing Meeting to discuss Housing Now site

March 22, 2021

The City of Toronto is hosting an Indigenous Community Sharing Meeting this week on its new development at Queen Street East between Coxwell Avenue and Kishigo Lane.

Mask manufacturer develops Canada’s first recycling program

March 22, 2021

Wearing a mask is now mandated by health authorities to help slow the spread of COVID-19.Some are made of cotton and can be washed but others like medical masks which are single use and made of plastic are winding up being thrown on the ground. In some cases, even ending up in our waterways and oceans.

Pikangikum First Nation expels provincial police from community

March 22, 2021

The Pikangikum First Nation in Northern Ontario has banned provincial police from their community because of misconduct they say has been going on for years. As a result Indigenous Services Canada has pulled out health professionals from the community of over 2,000 people, leaving them without permanent nurses.

Fort Frances town council set to make a decision about renaming Colonization Road

March 22, 2021

Fort Frances council is set to consider a recommendation from the municipality’s Planning and Development Executive Committee to rename Colonization Road at their Monday night meeting.

Ryerson’s rooftop farm to introduce Black and Indigenous food initiatives this spring

March 22, 2021

Staff at Ryerson’s Urban Farm say they are looking forward to introducing more Black and Indigenous food initiatives this growing season, as the Ontario government permitted farms to reopen in January.


Ontario Supporting Hospitals with Additional Funding During COVID-19

March 22, 2021

The Ontario government is providing over $1.2 billion to help Ontario’s public hospitals recover from financial pressures created and worsened by COVID-19. This investment will ensure hospitals can continue to provide the high-quality patient care Ontarians need and deserve.

Manitoba First Nations race to deliver 100,000 shots in 100 days

March 23, 2021

First Nations leaders in Manitoba are racing against an early spring melt and the onset of new COVID-19 variants to vaccinate all adults in all 63 First Nations communities. In a converted hockey rink in Pimicikamak Cree Nation, 21-year-old Garvin Mckay was one of the first to roll up his sleeve in a mass vaccination clinic.


Prioritizing Indigenous knowledge keepers in vaccination effort vital, elders say

March 22, 2021

Indigenous elders say it’s integral to prioritize traditional knowledge keepers during Canada’s vaccine rollout because they’re carrying centuries of oral traditions and their example can help encourage others to get vaccinated.

2 Manitoba grand chiefs highlight long-term boil water advisories on World Water Day

March 22, 2021

Indigenous people in Manitoba are highlighting the significant role clean water plays in society today — practically and culturally — in honour of World Water Day. The United Nations declared March 22 as World Water Day since 1993. It’s a day to focus on the importance of fresh water, and advocating for sustainable development and bringing clean drinking water to more people.

Opinion: Quebec Must Adopt Joyce’s Principle

March 22, 2021

It has been nearly five months since Atikamekw woman Joyce Echaquan was murdered at the hands of a racist healthcare system, and we have yet to see any meaningful change.

First Nations Law Report

March 21, 2021

This week’s edition includes Aboriginal title, Indigenous law, injunctions, UNDRIP, Treaty rights, human rights, Maori land rights and more.

The search for a new governor general is tough in a disparate nation like Canada

March 22, 2021

The federal government has kicked off its efforts to choose a new governor general to succeed Julie Payette, who resigned in the face of allegations she created a toxic workplace at Rideau Hall.

Qaumajuq opens space of healing, learning as Indigenous guests get sneak peek at Inuit art centre

March 22, 2021

There’s a heat that hits when you walk through the front doors of the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Qaumajuq Inuit art centre, as sunlight reflects off a four-storey glass vault that displays thousands of carvings.

First Nations therapist reflects on 20 years helping MMIWG families

March 23, 2021

Behind every headline of a missing or murdered Indigenous woman is a grieving family, and sometimes Kim McKay-McNabb is there too. McKay-McNabb has spent the last 20 years counselling family members of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls in Saskatchewan.

Indigenous women from across Mi’kma’ki fighting back against men sharing their images without consent

March 22, 2021

Indigenous women across Mi’kma’ki are demanding justice after intimate photos were found on a pornographic website.

Andrea Paul, chief of Pictou Landing First Nation, came across Facebook posts by a woman who had discovered nude photos of herself being shared without her consent. The Cape Breton Post is not naming the woman to protect her privacy.

Indigenous fishers charged during closure going to court

March 23, 2021

Several First Nations people will be in court asserting their Aboriginal right to fish after being charged with possessing illegally caught salmon during a closure approved by Indigenous leaders in B.C.’s Central Interior.

Court sides with First Nations in dispute with N.B. government over carbon-tax sharing

March 23, 2021

A decision by the New Brunswick government not to share millions of dollars in carbon tax revenues with First Nations that they collect at their own gasoline stations violates agreements signed in 2017, according to a new court ruling.

Happily hungry for caribou: Community freezer a hit in Labrador

March 22, 2021

Tote bins filled with bags of frozen caribou meat sat on the steps of the community freezer as idling cars filled the parking lot and spilled into the nearby streets. Nunatsiavut elders living in Upper Lake Melville waited in line, hungry for caribou, last week.

First Nation leaders appeal for immediate action to end racial discrimination

March 22, 2021

Sunday marked the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, with this year’s theme being “youth standing up against racism”. To commemorate this day, First Nation leaders are appealing to all governments, non-Indigenous organizations and health professionals to take immediate action to get rid of racial discrimination against First Nations.

There is a growing consciousness but racism still a humiliating reality in Winnipeg, says BIPOC panel

March 22, 2021

As the City of Winnipeg launched its first-ever anti-racism week, CBC’s Information Radio hosted a three-person panel to share their experiences and hopes for a better future. There have been leaps of progress in the six years since Maclean’s magazine dubbed Winnipeg the most racist city in Canada, but racism and its dehumanizing impact is still felt daily, said members of the panel.

Indigenous sawmilling students building caretaker home

March 23, 2021

The sky is the limit for Indigenous students, north of Williams Lake, where Brian Fuller is helping lead them through a 16-week program learning how to cut wood using a portable swing mill.

For BC’s Two Pipeline Fights, It’s Spring Forward

March 22, 2021

The years-long battle against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is pumped with new urgency as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden plan to hold a climate summit next month.


$60M housing fund for N.W.T. to be spent, 2 years after it was first announced

March 22, 2021

Over 100 new affordable housing units are set to be built or repaired in the Northwest Territories. According to a joint news conference Monday between the territorial government and the federal government, the contentious $60 million earmarked for the territory from the National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF) will be used to work on 126 affordable housing units.

‘It’s going to come down to one block’: Building a qaggiq for Nunavut arts festival

March 22, 2021

Solomon Awa thinks he’s probably built about 150 igloos, or igluit in Inuktitut, over his lifetime, starting when he was 15. Now in his 60s, Awa is considered a master igloo builder in Nunavut.

One year after 2020 Arctic Winter Games cancellation, athletes still eager to compete

March 23, 2021

At this time last year, Emma Tom Tom, a 19-year-old Selkirk First Nation athlete and archer, would have been hard at work training for the 2020 Arctic Winter Games (AWG) in Whitehorse.


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.

Chiefs of Ontario Discussion Session on Federal Policing Legislation

Chiefs of Ontario’s Justice Sector is hosting a discussion session on March 29th from 3:00 – 5:00 pm with Leadership and technicians to share preliminary thoughts about a federal policing legislation. Contact Sarah-Grace Ross at for more information.

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:

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

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.