COVID-19 in Indigenous communities: Active cases in First Nations continue to decline

March 31, 2021

For the first time since November, the number of active COVID-19 cases in First Nations and Inuit communities dipped under 1,000. There were 931 active cases in First Nations communities as of March 29, according to the latest data from Indigenous Services Canada. As of March 23, there were six active cases in the Nunavik region of Quebec and zero active cases in Nunavut.

Ontario reports more than 2,300 new COVID-19 cases as ICU numbers reach record high

March 31, 2021

Ontario health officials reported more than 2,300 new cases of COVID-19 as the province reached a record high number of people battling the disease in intensive care units.

Minister Miller and Indigenous Services Canada officials to hold a news conference on coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

March 31, 2021

Please be advised that the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, Valerie Gideon, Associate Deputy Minister of Indigenous Services Canada, and Dr. Tom Wong, Chief Medical Officer of Public Health, will hold a news conference to provide an update on coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Date: March 31, 2021 – Time: 2:00 PM (ET)

‘We are all warriors:’ Anishnawbe elder encouraging others to get vaccine

March 30, 2021

William Esquaga, an elder from Sand Point First Nation, is encouraging all Anishnawbe people to be warriors and roll up their sleeves to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“It’s very important to get the vaccine,” he said. “As Anishnawbe people, I have to think of one of the seven sacred teachings that we have, I would have to take bravery, because we are all at war with this Coronavirus. Taking the vaccine is like warrior. We are all warriors to tackle the Coronavirus.”

Federal officials address AstraZeneca vaccine hesitancy

March 30, 2021

Canadian officials say the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and, although rare, severe side effects are commonplace in all vaccines and medications. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed concerns over the new vaccine Tuesday after it was announced it caused blood clots in a few exceptional cases in Europe.

Pfizer study suggests COVID-19 vaccine is safe, protective in younger teens

March 31, 2021

Pfizer announced Wednesday that its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and strongly protective in kids as young as 12, a step toward possibly beginning shots in this age group before they head back to school in the fall.

Pfizer, Moderna COVID-19 vaccines highly effective after 1st shot in real-world, U.S. study suggests

March 29, 2021

COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer with BioNTech and Moderna reduced the risk of infection by 80 per cent two weeks or more after the first of two shots, according to data from a real-world study of vaccinated U.S. health-care personnel and first responders released on Monday.

‘Don’t make plans for Easter’: Ford hints at restrictions as Ontario sees 2,336 new COVID-19 cases

March 30, 2021

Ontario confirmed 2,336 more cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, as a government agency that tracks hospitalizations reported the biggest single-day jump in admissions of patients to intensive care since the pandemic began. It’s a situation that Premier Doug Ford addressed on Tuesday, speaking in one of the Toronto neighbourhoods hardest-hit by COVID-19.

Joint Statement by Ministers Guilbeault, Bennett, Miller and Vandal on National Indigenous Languages Day

March 31, 2021

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, and the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, issued the following statement in honour of National Indigenous Languages Day today.

Indigenous communities should dictate how $1 billion infrastructure investment is spent

March 30, 2021

We finally have a chance to get it right. For the first time in history, Canada has launched a $1 billion investment dedicated to First Nations, Métis and Inuit infrastructure. The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) is establishing the Indigenous Community Infrastructure Initiative (ICII), which will enable the building of new infrastructure projects in Indigenous communities and help generate investments in projects that are vital to economic growth and environmental protection.

NAN Commemorates Anniversary of Pikangikum House Fire with Progress Report on Fire Safety

March 29, 2021

Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler commemorates the fifth anniversary of a tragic house fire in Pikangikum First Nation with the launch today of a five-year progress report on NAN’s efforts to improve fire safety in all NAN First Nations communities.

“We are on our own”: Pikangikum could launch own police, health services

March 30, 2021

Pikangikum First Nation will consider launching its own standalone police service and community health care operation, saying it has lost faith in services run by provincial and federal governments.

Avalon and Fort William First Nation Sign Letter of Intent to Collaborate on Development of Thunder Bay Lithium Refinery

March 30, 2021

Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. is pleased to announce it has entered into a Letter of Intent (“LOI”) with Fort William First Nation (“FWFN”) to collaborate on the development of a lithium battery materials refinery located on industrial lands owned by FWFN in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Opinion: Witness the rising of an Indigenous generation, whether Canada takes steps to reconcile or not

March 30, 2021

We were asleep for what seemed like many lifetimes. In a coma of colonial deceit, burdened by the lies of violent assimilation and oppression. Walking — no, stumbling — in a hostile world forced upon our ancestors within their own homelands. Some never made it out alive. But many are survivors now awakening from their slumber. Canada says we are in an era of truth and reconciliation. But, with little to no action on actual reconciliation, instead Indigenous resistance is taking centre stage. And this generation is one of reckoning, spreading like a cleansing firestorm.

Thunder Bay youth make noise in the age of climate denial by promoting climate change and education

March 31, 2021

The Fridays for Future Thunder Bay group of youth recently held a virtual launch party on March 13 for their THUNDER! Making noise in the age of climate denial zine.

North Caribou Lake youth hopes her award-winning art will help others open up about bullying

March 30, 2021

Memekew Apetawakeesic-Morriseau has drawn from her own experiences being bullied to create award-winning artwork that the 14-year-old hopes will help others open up about their experiences.

First Nations group at Laurentian University calls on school to honour its commitments to Indigenous education

March 30, 2021

An advisory council at Laurentian University is concerned about the development of a French-only school at the University of Sudbury and how it could impact the future of the Indigenous Studies Program.

OPP spent more than $16M policing 1492 Land Back Lane: Records

March 30, 2021

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) spent $16.3 million in just half a year policing the Haudenosaunee-led occupation of the McKenzie Meadows housing development in Caledonia, Ont., according to provincial government records obtained by APTN News through freedom of information.

Government of Canada launches a call for proposals to support work of Indigenous communities towards exercising jurisdiction in relation to child and family services

March 30, 2021

The Government of Canada is continuing the important work in full partnership with Indigenous Peoples to reform child and family services so that every Indigenous child has the opportunity to grow up in their communities, immersed in their cultures, and surrounded by loved ones.

Federal funding to help connect 1,200 northern Ontario homes to high-speed internet

March 30, 2021

The federal government is investing more than $2 million to expand high-speed internet to remote, rural communities in northern Ontario. The municipalities of East Ferris and Redbridge near North Bay, Killarney south of Sudbury and Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation are expected to get stronger connections in the coming months.

Bilingualism requirement for SCC justices creates ‘needless barrier’ for Indigenous candidates, critics say

March 31, 2021

As the first Indigenous justice appointed to a Canadian Court of Appeal in 2004, Harry LaForme seemed like an excellent candidate for the Supreme Court of Canada years later.

Legal groups, such as The Indigenous Bar Association, and others representing people of colour in Canada campaigned for his appointment even though LaForme knew he couldn’t apply for the job.

Ottawa’s proposed Indigenous-rights bill threatens resource development: experts

March 30, 2021

If the government doesn’t clarify its proposed legislation to align Canada with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, it risks harming the economic development of Indigenous communities, experts say.

Feds say Indigenous leaders ‘eroded public trust’ by criticizing the government

March 30, 2021

The federal government is blaming Indigenous leaders, including the head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), for undermining support for the residential school compensation system, the CBC reports.

Power in numbers: Making visible the violence against racialized women

March 30, 2021

Violence and pain change the way we experience our surroundings and the way our bodies move: our eyes become wide in search of potential dangers, our bodies become tense.

The Conservative’s poor Indigenous policy needs actual conservative ideals

March 30, 2021

While the media was fuming over the Conservative party’s rejection of a climate change motion at their convention, no attention was paid to the reopening of the party’s Indigenous policy for discussion. Disappointingly, the Conservatives focused on cosmetic tweaks, swapping out “Indian” and “Aboriginal” for “Indigenous.” The changes shouldn’t have stopped there.

The politics of personal insult is passé

March 29, 2021

Earlier this month, in Manitoba, an Indigenous member of the provincial assembly was directed to leave the legislature after failing to apologize for comments she made regarding missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirited individuals, after the body of Jana Williams, a First Nations woman, was found murdered near the Red River.

Video surfaces showing incident involving Ottawa first responders and two women

March 30, 2021

A video has surfaced of an incident involving Ottawa first responders and two women. It was posted online last week by a group calling itself the Ottawa Street Medic Collective. They dialed 911 to have paramedics attend to an unconscious First Nations woman.

Sister of woman found dead in northern Quebec says she was killed by male partner

March 30, 2021

The sister of a Quebec woman found dead along with her partner in a remote village in Nunavik last week is calling on victims of domestic abuse to seek help. Maggie Naluiyuk said Tuesday she believes her younger sister, Kataluk Paningayak-Naluiyuk, 43, is the latest victim of domestic violence in the province.

Indigenous Groups in Canada, US Uniting Against Hydro-Quebec’s Transmission Line Plans

March 31, 2021

Indigenous groups on either side of the political border are uniting against Hydro-Quebec’s plans to build a transmission line to Massachusetts. The Labrador Innu and Innu in Quebec are among those supporting the Penobscot Nation of Maine in writing both the White House and Prime Minister of Canada to denounce Hydro-Quebec’s plan to building a transmission line through Maine to Massachusetts.

Indigenous patients using new online tool to anonymously report health-care racism

March 30, 2021

Hundreds of Indigenous patients in B.C. have been using a new online tool to anonymously report the racism they’ve experienced within the health-care system. The initial demand for the tool has been so high that creators are aiming to expand the platform across the country next year.

Mi’kmaq lawsuit alleges intimidation, harassment in Nova Scotia lobster fishery

March 31, 2021

A Mi’kmaq First Nation that encountered violence after launching a self-regulated lobster fishery last fall has filed a lawsuit against non-Indigenous fishers in Nova Scotia, the RCMP and the federal government.


Opinion: Colonizers Being Colonizers, Lobster Fishing & The Continued Oppression Of L’nu’k In Mi’kma’ki

March 30, 2021

Treaties across Turtle Island began to be broken by our settler relatives the same day they were signed.  From then, up to the present, the forces of colonization implemented through the policies of these foreign governments have upheld economic and social inequality across our homelands.

Manitoba chiefs see carbon price ruling as missed opportunity on reconciliation

March 31, 2021

The Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling on the federal carbon pricing law was a “missed opportunity to advance meaningful reconciliation,” says the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs.


Pipe ceremony, feast marks end of Indigenous culture, language program

March 31, 2021

A special pipe ceremony followed by a paper bag feast for the homeless marked the end of an online Indigenous cultural and language program Tuesday night.

Anishinaabe Gikinoo’amaagowinan — The People’s Teachings helped connect about 30 people weekly to language and culture. The program was run through the National Indian Brotherhood Trust Fund and in partnership with Selkirk Friendship Centre and Indigenous Languages of Manitoba.

New MKO office will target anti-Indigenous racism in northern Manitoba health care

March 30, 2021

The health and wellness agency for Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak is developing an office to address complaints of anti-Indigenous racism in the health-care system in the province’s north.

Death of Harlen Laboucan reveals ‘glaring disparities’ of Indigenous health care: doctors

March 31, 2021

The first time Harlen Laboucan died, his father was at his side. Six-year-old Harlen started vomiting during the early morning of Nov. 13, 2020. His father, Kenton Laboucan, doesn’t have a phone. So he took his son to his grandmother’s house down the street and called The Little Red River Cree Nation Fox Lake nursing station at around 6 a.m.

N.S. couple brings Mi’kmaq language to Emmy-award winning TV show

March 30, 2021

A Nova Scotia couple’s dedication to preserving their Mi’kmaq language has taken them across the ocean to help film the Emmy-award winning TV series Vikings, where they coached actors.

Family connections run deep at Qaumajuq exhibit in Winnipeg

March 30, 2021

Qaumajuq is unlike any space that Heather Igloliorte has even seen before and that’s saying a lot given she’s a curator and art historian.

The new, 17,186 square metre museum is home to the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world.

Lennox Island Ice Walk gives chance to ‘chart a new course together,’ chief says

March 30, 2021

The chief of Lennox Island First Nation says the Ice Walk that took place Monday is a way to honour and remember shared history.

Expressing the COVID-19 experience through storytelling

March 30, 2021

Students of David Varis’s Indigenous Health and Wellness course at UPEI are finding support and healing by sharing their COVID-19 stories

Huge Alberta grassfire originated at sweat lodge

March 30, 2021

A huge grassfire forced parts of the Blood Reserve in southern Alberta to evacuate over the weekend. According to the nation’s fire department, the grassfire originated at a sweat lodge and was spread by high winds.


Interests in Indigenous languages growing among local First Nations, Métis

March 30, 2021

As a child, Alice Rigney often listened to her grandmother speak Dene but could not always understand her grandmother’s stories and teachings. Rigney spent 10 years at the Holy Angels Residential School in Fort Chipewyan, where she would be punished for speaking Dene.

Sipekne’katik community members stand guard as Canada threatens to remove Treaty Truckhouse

March 29, 2021

About 30 Sipekne’katik  community members and supporters have surrounded a building on the Saulnierville wharf, the site where the fight for a moderate livelihood fishery started in the fall, to, again, defend their treaty rights.

Civil Resolution Tribunal Releases Reconcili(action) Plan for Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples

March 30, 2021

After months of work and public consultation, the Civil Resolution Tribunal  (CRT) is pleased to announce the release of its Reconcili(action) Plan 2021-2024. This plan  sets out the CRT’s commitment to implement specific, measurable, and timely actions toward  reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. The plan includes 42 short and long-term actions to  better serve Indigenous peoples through the CRT process.

Eskasoni First Nation announces date for postponed election

March 30, 2021

Eskasoni First Nation will hold its band council election in late May, over a year past its originally scheduled date. Eskasoni changed its election rules in 2016 to bring them in line with the federal First Nations Election Act. The new regulations increased chief and council terms from two years to four years, and prevent candidates from running for both chief and councillor in the same election.

‘Pure joy’: Tsleil-Waututh Nation steps toward COVID-19 community immunity

March 30, 2021

Tsleil-Waututh Nation can relax a little now knowing all its members have received their first COVID-19 vaccination, taking them a step closer to their goal of community immunity on their North Vancouver reserve.

Gladue services transition to BC First Nations Justice Council

March 31, 2021

Beginning April 1, 2021, management of B.C.’s Gladue report program will transition from Legal Aid BC (LABC) to the BC First Nations Justice Council (BCFNJC).

UBC’s Okanagan campus launches Canada’s 1st Indigenous language degree program

March 30, 2021

Students at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna, B.C., will soon be able to receive an Indigenous language fluency degree.

This September, students who have completed a two-year diploma program in the Nsyilxcn language with the En’owkin Centre in Penticton and the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in Merritt will be able to transfer their credits toward earning the UBCO’s new bachelor of Nsyilxcn language fluency.

Members of Kaska Nation raising alarm over proposed mine in the Yukon

March 30, 2021

Nestled within the northern flank of the Pelly Mountain Range 115 kilometers southeast of Ross River and 260 kilometers northwest of Watson Lake, Yukon, lies a stretch of land that’s been used by the Kaska people since time began.

Still referred to by some Kaska as nature’s “grocery store,” it’s a traditional area tied to the Finlayson caribou herd during their calving and rutting seasons, while also acting as their migration corridors.

Polytechnic plans push forward

March 30, 2021

This is a momentous year for Aurora College’s several-year transformation into a degree-granting polytechnic university as the single largest number of objectives – 44 – will be pursued in 2021.

Fire forces evacuation of correctional centre

March 30, 2021

On March 18, a small fire forced the evacuation of the Baffin Correctional Centre in Iqaluit. We’ve been able to find out how many inmates, and where they were sent, but very little else. APTN’s Kent Driscoll and Sara Connors explains.

N.W.T. MLA, Industry minister at odds over imposing $21M fee on oil company

March 30, 2021

An N.W.T. MLA says the territory will lose out on $21 million in potential payments for an oil interest in the Sahtu by converting an exploration licence into a significant discovery licence without imposing fees or conditions.


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.

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:

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.