Ontario reports more than 2,100 new COVID-19 cases for second day, ICU patients surpass 400

March 26, 2021

For the second day in a row, Ontario is reporting more than 2,100 new cases of COVID-19. On Thursday, health officials logged an additional 2,169 cases of the novel coronavirus, as well as 12 more deaths related to the disease.


Indigenous adults, select faith leaders now vaccine-eligible in Southwestern public health

March 25, 2021

More Indigenous adults and some religious leaders who have contact with COVD-19 patients are now eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccines in the Southwestern public health region. The health unit announced Thursday Indigenous adults over the age of 16 and some religious and faith leaders at a greater risk of COVID-19 are now eligible to receive their vaccine at Southwestern public health clinics in Woodstock and St. Thomas.


Public Health Sudbury & Districts moving to Phase 2 of vaccination plan

March 25, 2021

Public Health Sudbury & Districts says it’s moving into Phase 2 of its vaccination rollout plan which now includes people who are 75 and older. It also includes individuals with certain health conditions, and people in high risk congregate living settings, the health unit said in a release Thursday afternoon.


Ontario budget 2021: Deep deficits as province plots COVID-19 recovery

March 25, 2021

It will likely take Ontario until at least 2029 to balance its books, the province said Wednesday, as the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the government to spend record amounts of money. The long path back to black is part of the $186-billion 2021 Ontario budget tabled today by Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy. He is the third treasurer to present a fiscal outlook for the province in as many years.

Canadian indigenous group sees COVID-19 cases after first vaccine dose, shortens gap between shots

March 25, 2021

Indigenous communities in the Canadian province of Manitoba are shortening intervals between doses of COVID-19 vaccine after confirming several dozen infections after the initial jabs.


AstraZeneca says COVID-19 vaccine shows 76% efficacy in updated analysis of U.S. trial

March 25, 2021

AstraZeneca said its COVID-19 vaccine had a 76 per cent efficacy rate at preventing symptomatic illness in a new analysis of its major U.S. trial — slightly lower than the level announced earlier this week in a report that was criticized for using outdated information.


Health Canada changes AstraZeneca vaccine label to add information about blood clots

March 24, 2021

Health Canada is updating the label on the AstraZeneca-Oxford and Covishield COVID-19 vaccines to add information about “very rare reports of blood clots associated with low levels of blood platelets,” but says the shot remains safe and that the benefits of getting the vaccine outweigh the risks.



Mamakwa: Budget Doesn’t Help Northern Ontario Much

March 26, 2021

Not a lot of money specifically for the north contained in the provincial budget. So says Kiiwetinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa. “There was very limited information, limited things I heard specifically for the north,” says Mamakwa, “There’s some wording in there for tourism and we welcome that, but it was asked for last year.”


Did Ontario’s budget hit the mark?

March 26, 2021

Local politicians are reacting to Ontario’s latest $173-billion budget, which includes nearly $7 billion in spending directly-related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ontario’s Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy released the latest provincial budget, Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy, Wednesday afternoon. It includes a projected $33.1 billion deficit in 2021-22, with continued deficits expected for the province each year through 2029.


Feds set aside billions to support health care systems under pandemic strain

March 25, 2021

The federal Liberals have introduced legislation to provide $7.2 billion to cash-strapped provinces, territories and municipalities, with more than half going to immediate health-care needs.


Ontario reportedly considering making online school a permanent option

March 25, 2021

Ontario is reportedly mulling legislation that would make online education a permanent part of the public school system.  According to a ministry of education document obtained by the Globe and Mail, it would give parents the option of enrolling their children in remote learning even after the COVID-19 pandemic has ended, as well as require school boards to provide online school during snow days and other emergency school closures.


Canada Continues to Shred the Rights of St. Ann’s Survivors

March 26, 2021

Treaty No.9, Fort Albany First Nation, Ontario…The survivors of St. Anne’s Residential school are rejecting Ottawa’s independent review outright. The survivors are currently in a legal process and any interference from Canada with their legal fight in seeking justice is inappropriate. Survivor and Board member of Peetabeck Keway Keykaywin Association (PKKA), Greg Spence has maintained that St. Anne’s residential school survivors deserve justice and their stories to be validated and their truths to be told.


Anishinabek Nation stands up for First Nation rights in the fight against climate change

March 26, 2021

The Anishinabek Nation appeared at the Supreme Court of Canada to stand up for First Nation rights and jurisdiction in the fight against climate change


Canada votes to collect data to document ‘environmental racism’

March 26, 2021

The bill aims to tackle “environmental racism,” where Indigenous, Black and other racial minority communities are exposed to higher levels of dirty air, contaminated water or other toxins and pollutants.


Nipissing First Nation Chief says Indigenous languages revitalization is critical

March 25, 2021

The Chief of the Nipissing First Nation says that he is all for a federal government program, which aims to help Indigenous-led efforts to reclaim, revitalize, maintain and strengthen Indigenous languages.


Indigenous talk show hosts have national aspirations

March 26, 2021

An Indigenous-themed talk radio show continues to gain traction. But Karl Dockstader and Sean Vanderklis, the co-hosts of the One Dish, One Mic radio show, still have lofty aspirations. Their weekly two-hour show, held every Saturday from 10 am until noon, is currently being broadcast on three radio stations. They are NewsTalk 610 in St. Catharines, AM 800 CKLW in Windsor, and NewsTalk 1290 CJBK in London.


Murder charge in 2020 Eabametoong First Nation death withdrawn

March 26, 2021

A charge of second-degree murder against a youth, stemming from an incident in Eabametoong First Nation last year, has been withdrawn. The youth — who can’t be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act — was charged in July 2020, over the death of Arlene Wapoose.


Some pandemic encouragement from a northern Ontario lake dancer

March 25, 2021

A woman in North Bay, Ont., is now TikTok famous for her frozen lake dancing. But Carly Stasko never thought it would be for a video someone else took of her boogying down on Lake Nipissing.


Responding to Boushie report, RCMP chief says recruiting ‘the right people’ will help address systemic racism

March 25, 2021

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki says it will take “a lot of hard work” to address systemic racism in the force given the police union’s response to a report on the treatment of Colten Boushie’s family.


Canadians impatient for RCMP change: minister

March 24, 2021

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says a report that investigated the RCMP’s handling of Colten Boushie’s death reflects the importance of civilian review of the Mounties. He says change must come to the organization.


First Nations playing greater role in Canadian infrastructure development

March 26, 2021

Engagement with Canadian First Nations has been a long and winding road that takes time to navigate and the different ways in which that engagement manifests itself have been changing.


$1B infrastructure initiative could ‘close the gap’: Assembly of First Nations’ Bellegarde

March 26, 2021

The Canada Infrastructure Bank is launching a $1 billion dollar Indigenous Community Infrastructure Initiative to accelerate new investment and reduce the infrastructure gap. Perry Bellegarde, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, joins BNN Bloomberg with more details.


Supreme Court decision on carbon tax ‘helps mother earth’ says national chief

March 25, 2021

The Supreme Court of Canada says the federal carbon tax is entirely constitutional. The split decision upholds a pivotal part of the Liberal climate-change plan, accounting for at least one-third of the emissions Canada aims to cut over the next decade.


Ontario’s Action Plan Doubles Ontario Small Business Support Grant

March 25, 2021

The Ontario government is providing additional support to eligible small businesses to help with the ongoing costs of the COVID-19 pandemic. Confirmed eligible recipients of the Ontario Small Business Support Grant will automatically receive a second payment equal to the amount of their first payment, for minimum total support of $20,000 up to a maximum of $40,000. This support to help small business owners keep the doors open and workers employed is part of the 2021 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy.


Trudeau’s language requirement at Supreme Court discriminates against Indigenous judges: Justice Harry LaForme

March 25, 2021

Justice Harry LaForme was the first Indigenous judge to sit on an appellate court in Canada. When he retired from the Court of Appeal for Ontario in 2018, after more than a decade on the bench, he was the only one to have done so. So being appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada seemed like a logical step for LaForme, considering there’s never been one. But that never happened.


‘Daunting and disturbing’: Indigenous people five times more likely to die in fires, study finds

March 25, 2021

The research director for an initiative that promotes fire safety in Indigenous communities says a study that found Inuit are over 17 times more likely to die in a fire than non-Indigenous people is disturbing. The Statistics Canada study also found that, overall, Indigenous people are five times more likely to die in a fire and First Nations members living on reserves are 10 times more likely.


Consultation report pans proposed gas pipeline in Quebec

March 25, 2021

A long-awaited consultation report looking at one segment of a possible natural gas pipeline in Quebec was made public on Wednesday. The report, published by the Bureau des Audiences Publiques sur l’Environnement (BAPE), found the proposed GNL Quebec project presents more risks than benefits for the province.



Métis-Cree dancer keeps community connected with virtual powwows

March 25, 2021

Stephanie Antone has been dancing in powwows all over the world since she was 18 years old, travelling as far as New Zealand to participate in traditional and competitive powwows.


Miracle of plant medicines explored in new book

March 25, 2021

Mother Earth: Plants for Health and Beauty is the title of a new book by Carrie Armstrong, a Cree/Métis teacher turned wellness product maker, who uses traditional plant knowledge to craft her teas, soaps, and essential oils.


FSIN to receive COVID-19 vaccine doses directly after signing deal with Sask., Ottawa

March 25, 2021

First Nations throughout Saskatchewan will directly receive COVID-19 vaccinations after signing a memorandum of understanding with the provincial and federal governments.  The agreement will allow for an effective and “culturally supportive” vaccine campaign in First Nations communities and for members of First Nations living in urban areas, the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) announced in a news release Thursday.


Military using Thompson as a hub to support vaccination efforts in 23 remote Manitoba First Nations

March 24, 2021

The Hub of the North will be the hub of Canadian Armed Forces Operation Vector to support 23 remote and isolated First Nations in their COVID-19 vaccination campaigns over the next three months, the federal government announced at a March 24 press conference.


Poundmaker wants own police force after told RCMP doesn’t have jurisdiction to enforce band resolutions

March 25, 2021

Poundmaker Cree Nation wants to create its own police force to combat what they call a war on drugs. The band council passed a resolution to kick people off the Nation and declared a state of emergency on March 24. Chief Duane Antoine said Poundmaker council has tried working with the Cut Knife RCMP to enforce the band resolution but were told police don’t have authority to enforce band resolutions.


The beauty of the north on full display at Qaumajuq – the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Inuit Art Centre

March 25, 2021

Sounds and visions of the north fill the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s newest space called Qaumajuq or the Inuit Art Centre. Nearly two years after shovels first hit the ground the centre is ready to open its doors and its extensive collection of Inuit art to the world.


Inuit art, Listugij Fishery and Cree subs on the menu in this addition of InFocus

March 25, 2021

On this episode of InFocus, Host Melissa Ridgen brings you stories from across North America. First stop in Winnipeg for the new contemporary Inuit art gallery that is showcasing over 14,000 pieces of art, from carvings to tapestries to a seal skin space suit, two curators give as a sneak peak into the new space.


Iqaluit museum curator worries Winnipeg’s Inuit art gallery too far from home

March 25, 2021

A new branch of the Winnipeg Art Gallery dedicated to Inuit art is set to open to the public this weekend, but a museum curator in Iqaluit worries the Winnipeg location puts the art out of reach for many Inuit.


First Nations organizations calling on Manitoba government to fund addictions treatment centre

March 25, 2021

First Nations organizations are calling on the provincial government to help get an addictions and treatment centre back on track. The $20 million northern treatment lodge in northern Manitoba needs money to move beyond the first phase towards completion as it is currently at a standstill.


First Nation Chiefs say NB’s plan to address systemic racism going ahead with no consultation

March 25, 2021

Indigenous leaders in New Brunswick say the provincial government’s plan to address systemic racism was put together with no explanation and no consultation. The province announced this week it would appointment an independent commissioner to investigate the matter and report back to the Legislature with recommendations on how to address the issue.


Workshop is growing opportunities for First Nations to produce and sell popular mushrooms

March 25, 2021

An upcoming workshop will bring more mushrooms to Cape Breton – along with the growing and harvesting know-how – and a great business opportunity says a local food advocate.


Cree cover of Raffi’s Baby Beluga earns Winnipeg students top prize — and shout-out from children’s singer

March 26, 2021

A Grade 1 class at Isaac Brock School in Winnipeg is getting a lot more attention than they expected for their Cree rendition of a popular English children’s song. Teacher Colleen Omand said it all started with a unit on animals of the North. One of her students was fascinated by the baby beluga whale.


Piikani Nation members want more involvement in public coal consultations

March 25, 2021

As public consultations on Alberta’s coal plans draw nearer, members of the Piikani First Nation are asking for more government-to-community consultation. As Eloise Therien explains, one group feels the opinions of chief and council do not reflect how many members feel, especially when it comes to the Grassy Mountain Project.


Samson Cree Nation councillor sworn in after winning judicial review

March 25, 2021

After the July 28 votes were counted, Shay Yellowbird had enough to start his first term as the youngest councillor in the Samson Cree Nation election. But days after the election, the 32 year old says he was told by Samson Cree Nation Chief Vernon Saddleback that someone filed an appeal against his election win.


Documentary shines light on inspiring Samson Cree skateboarder

March 25, 2021

A short documentary is highlighting the life of a professional skateboarder originally from Samson Cree Nation in Maskwacis south of Edmonton. Joe Buffalo has gone through many trials and tribulations to get to where he is now. His journey chronicled in the new film Joe Buffalo.


New online tool allows Indigenous patients to anonymously report racism in health-care system

March 25, 2021

Indigenous patients are now able to anonymously report experiences of racism in B.C.’s health-care system, thanks to a new online tool. Safespace allows people to share their own or their loved ones’ experiences in a health-care facility and rate the facility on a five-point scale.


Tsleil-Waututh Nation inch closer to COVID-19 community immunity

March 25, 2021

Hope is on the horizon for one B.C. First Nation. The community is keeping COVID-19 case numbers low through hard work. And now hundreds of members of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation are stepping up, to protect their elders, by getting vaccinated.


Indigenous man says he can sell cannabis without B.C. licence because of UN declaration

March 25, 2021

An Okanagan Indian Band member says the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) adopted by the B.C. government means he doesn’t need a B.C.-issued licence to sell cannabis on his First Nation’s traditional territory.


First Nation’s negotiations with Enbridge collapse over 2018 northern B.C. gas pipeline explosion

March 25, 2021

Talks between the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation and Enbridge, over an October 2018 northern B.C. pipeline explosion, have collapsed.  Lheidli T’enneh Dayi (Chief) Clay Pountney says the First Nation’s civil lawsuit against Enbridge, filed in Prince George Supreme Court in February 2019, will now proceed.


B.C.’s Indigenous tourism operators betting on local markets

March 25, 2021

Many Indigenous tourism providers in B.C. are still in limbo waiting for more information from provincial health authorities before making any concrete decisions about whether they’ll open or operate this summer.


Woman’s request to register business in her Indigenous language denied by B.C. government

March 25, 2021

Cheyenne Cunningham speaks the down-river dialect of hən̓q̓əmín̓əm̓, a language she’s been piecing together since she was seven.  Not a single person in her Katzie community, east of Vancouver, is fluent, but she’s been picking it up since taking hən̓q̓əmín̓əm̓ classes at her community school when she was a child.


Northern BC Indigenous communities can now submit applications for First Nations Well Being Fund

March 25, 2021

First Nations across the province can apply for funding to promote well-being for community members on and off-reserve as well as finding solutions to poverty. “As part of TogetherBC, B.C.’s poverty reduction strategy, the First Nations Well Being Fund is aimed at promoting wellness and reducing poverty in First Nations communities,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “I would encourage all B.C. First Nations to apply.”


AFN awards presented for climate, language and culture leadership

March 25, 2021

Thirteen Yukoners were honoured on March 22 at the annual Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Yukon Leadership Awards. “This is a special moment today, for all of you, to be celebrated and acknowledged for all of the work that you’ve done and continue to do in the spirit of a Yukon that leads,” said Regional Chief Kluane Adamek in her opening statement.


Nunavut mining companies defend environmental management despite stiff criticism

March 25, 2021

The environmental impacts of Nunavut’s two biggest mining companies are not being properly managed, according to Inuit hunters and organizations, governments and non-profits.  That’s what documents on the Nunavut Impact Review Board’s (NIRB) website show about Agnico Eagle’s operations in the Kivalliq, and Baffinland’s Mary River mine in the Baffin region.


The next generation of Indigenous self-government in Yukon

March 25, 2021

These treaties are constitutionally recognized agreements that lay out the relationship between Indigenous Peoples and Canada, where Yukon is a leader in treaty-making. Out of the 14 Indigenous groups that live in the territory, 11 hold signed treaties with the government.


“The pilot won’t let you on the plane if you’re not dressed for survival”: This Toronto doctor travelled to Northern Ontario to vaccinate people in fly-in Indigenous reserves

March 25, 2021

Suzanne Shoush, a long-time family physician at St. Michael’s Hospital, was selected to take part in Ornge’s Operation Remote Immunity initiative, joining staff and physicians to vaccinate members of 31 First Nations communities in Northern Ontario. Here’s what the experience was like.



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 sarah-grace.ross@coo.org 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 https://www.chiefsmeeting.com/aocc-2021.

Issue 9 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/oo21c/.

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.