Volume 40 | January 22, 2021
FNHMA Health Bulletin: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Thanks for subscribing to our weekly health and wellness bulletin.

We appreciate it!

As you know, each issue, we do our best to provide relevant information, resources and supports to help you and your team navigate through COVID-19.

In this week's edition, we are sharing:

  • Weekly Virtual Town Hall Update
  • Total Number of Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 ISC is aware of as of January 20, 2021
  • Epidemiological Summary Of COVID-19 Cases In First Nations Communities (Data Current As Of January 15, 2021)
  • "FNHMA Virtual Town Hall Discusses Covid Fatigue And Other Mental Health Issues"
  • "Jurisdictional Issues Challenging COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution To Priority Indigenous Populations"
  • "Death Toll Rises As Pandemic Measures Lead To Unsafe Illegal Drug Supply"
  • "COVID-19 Is Hitting First Nations In Western Canada Especially Hard"
  • "Power Outage Destroys COVID-19 Vaccines In Remote B.C. First Nation Clinic"
  • "Ottawa Advocating To Prioritize Vaccines For Indigenous People: Miller"
  • "Consent At Heart Of Ontario’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan For Remote First Nations Communities"
  • "The Pulse Interview: Marion Crowe (First Nations Health Managers Association)"
  • "Indigenous Services Canada - 2021 Award Of Excellence In Nursing"

Scroll down for these stories and more.

Weekly Virtual Town Hall Update
The Next FNHMA Virtual Town Hall Is Scheduled For January 28, 2021!

We hope you'll continue to join us as we discuss and share important information on the pandemic, the vaccine and the issues and opportunities for front line health care workers.

Our guests for this coming week are:

  • Kimberley Daly, RN BN MN, Senior Nurse Manager, Communicable Disease Control Division, FNIHB, Indigenous Services Canada

  • Pamela Wolfe-Roberge, Director, Communicable Diseases, Communicable Disease Control Division, Indigenous Services Canada

 If you have questions for our guests, send them in by email to:

FNHMA@ihtoday.ca and we may just answer them during the broadcast.

To watch, go to: www.ihtoday.ca/townhall

If you missed a Town Hall, you can watch them all. Simply click the button below to view our archived list.
National and First Nation COVID-19 News
Total Number Of Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19 ISC Is Aware Of As Of January 20, 2021
As of January 20, 2021, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) records indicate that there are 14,200 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on First Nations reserves, in six provinces. There are 597 hospitalizations, 8667 recovered cases, and 124 deaths.

For more information on these numbers and for more information on how to keep your family safe, please click here.

Click Here to see the full ISC Coronavirus (COVID-19) an Indigenous communities page.
Epidemiological Summary Of COVID-19 Cases In First Nations Communities (Data Current As Of January 15, 2021)
Cumulative reported, recovered, active and newly reported cases in First Nations communities (Data is current as of January 15, 2021)

The charts with epidemic curves over time (epi curves) below show:

  • the cumulative totals of reported and recovered COVID-19 cases
  • active cases
  • Reported cases by First Nations communities by age group and sex

Epidemic curves of COVID-19 cases in First Nations communities on-reserve are available online, and updated weekly. While a recent rise in the number of cumulative, new and active COVID-19 cases suggests an increased transmission, the flattened epi curves observed over the summer months indicates many First Nations communities had been successful in their efforts to stop the spread of infections.

"FNHMA Virtual Town Hall Discusses Covid Fatigue And Other Mental Health Issues"
"The First Nations Health Managers Association (FNHMA) Weekly Virtual Town Hall is a podcast that features speakers from different organizations who provide credible and reliable information, resources, and updates about what their organizations are doing to combat COVID-19.

Dr. Brenda Restoule, Chief Executive Officer of the First Peoples’ Wellness Circle, appeared on the Jan. 14, podcast and began her talk by saying, “Today I thought I would spend some time talking about the fact that we have been in this pandemic for ten months.”"

For the full story, click here.
"Jurisdictional Issues Challenging COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution To Priority Indigenous Populations"
"Jurisdictional issues are causing concerns when it comes to the distribution of coronavirus vaccines to Indigenous people.

“There … (are) challenges to overcome when we try to work in partnership with multiple levels of governments and the prioritization province-by-province,” said Marion Crowe, CEO for the First Nations Health Managers Association (FNHMA)."

For the full story, click here.
"Death Toll Rises As Pandemic Measures Lead To Unsafe Illegal Drug Supply"
“First A question asked Jan. 14 during the weekly forum on COVID-19 hosted by the First Nation Health Managers Association underscored another deadly aspect of the coronavirus pandemic: an unsafe illegal drug supply.

One listener emailed the panel of four health professionals and asked how a person could keep safe in a “reality (that) leads me to want to escape even more.” The listener pointed out that with the closure of the United States border, the access to quality and safe illegal drugs was decreasing.

“All this said, I do want to live through this time and don’t want to die over an unsure and unsafe supply,” the person wrote.”"

Click here for the full story.
"COVID-19 Is Hitting First Nations In Western Canada Especially Hard"
"More than 90 per cent of on-reserve infections are in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.

While Ontario and Quebec are the epicentres of COVID-19 outbreaks in Canada, people in First Nations are being hit the hardest in Western Canada, where they make up half the number of hospitalizations in some provinces.

The rising curve is alarming federal officials, who urged the provinces during a press conference in Ottawa on Wednesday to continue prioritizing Indigenous populations as they roll out vaccines.

"So what we're saying to Canadians, to Indigenous Peoples, is now is not the time to let down your guard," Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said. "This is not the time to ease public health restrictions.""

Click here for the full story.
"Power Outage Destroys COVID-19 Vaccines In Remote B.C. First Nation Clinic"
"A batch of COVID-19 vaccines set to be given to members of a remote First Nation community has been spoiled after a power outage this week.

Anaham Sage Healh Clinic in Tl’etinqox, west of Williams Lake, posted a memo on its Facebook page saying the Moderna vaccines had been deemed unusable following the break in the “cold chain.”

“When the chain is broken, the vaccine may not work to provide protection and mRNA vaccines (such as Moderna) are especially sensitive to temperature,” according to the memo from the First Nations Health Authority.

The FNHA said the vaccine was returned to its proper temperature as soon as possible and nurses followed all protocols, but Moderna said the vaccine was no longer viable."

"Ottawa Advocating To Prioritize Vaccines For Indigenous People: Miller"
"Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says the federal government is working with the provinces to prioritize vaccinating Indigenous people against COVID-19, including those who live in urban centres and other places where the provinces provide health services.

"This is a particularly acute issue and challenge when we're talking about the deployment of the vaccine," Miller told a news conference Wednesday in Ottawa.

Miller said he has been concerned that Ottawa is not able to vaccinate First Nations people living off-reserve, as well as Metis and Inuit outside federal jurisdiction. He said the federal government is doing "quiet work" with the provinces to prioritize these groups."

"Consent At Heart Of Ontario’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan For Remote First Nations Communities"
"Ontario’s plan to vaccinate the populations of its most remote First Nations communities against COVID-19 faces many challenges, but Indigenous leaders say that earning the trust of the people must be a priority.

Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler of Nishnawbe Aski Nation, a political organization that represents 49 of Ontario’s 123 First Nations, said that the most obvious hurdle of Operation Remote Immunity is geography, as those remote communities may not have an airstrip and must have their winter roads built in time for the vaccine to be delivered. But he said that even more important than the physical logistics of delivering the vaccine is ensuring that Indigenous people are willing to accept it.

“Making sure that communities are aware of the vaccine, that they understand the vaccine and why it’s important so they can consent to getting the vaccine is part of the challenge,” said Fiddler."

"The Pulse Interview: Marion Crowe (First Nations Health Managers Association)"
FNHMA CEO Participates "On The Pulse on CFRO"

On January 21, 2021, our CEO, Marion Crowe, participated in an interview with The Pulse on CRFO, a current affairs and news program, to talk about the role of the FNHMA Town Halls in providing information on COVID-19 from a First Nations perspective.

"(The Town Halls) It touches upon a lot of different sectors, when we look at the social determinants of health, we've all been impacted by COVID-19, so people will tune in for the epi-stats (speaking to numbers)...addiction, drug use and we'll take a deep diver into mental health and why that's so important to be spiritually and mentally well (from an Indigenous perspective)..." - Marion Crowe, FNHMA CEO
"Indigenous Services Canada - 2021 Award Of Excellence In Nursing"
Nursing Award PNG
Do you know a nurse who deserves special recognition?

Nominate them for the 2021 Award of Excellence in Nursing!

All completed nomination packages with supporting materials must be received either by mail, fax or email by: Friday, February 26, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. EST


Indigenous Services Canada
200 Eglantine Driveway, Jeanne Mance Building - Tunney’s Pasture
Address locator 1916B, Room 1619B
Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9
Tel : (613) 797-4166
Fax: (613) 948-2642

Nomination packages can be obtained at your local nursing station, health centre or through your regional office.

COVID-19 #StopTheSpread
COVID-19 Communications Toolkit - Free Download

The pandemic has touched many Indigenous communities across the country and people need information to help them manage in this ever-changing environment. With the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines, people have renewed hope but understandably also have questions on how a vaccine will impact them and their families.
To help you answer some of these questions, Indigenous Services Canada has prepared a toolkit that contains a variety of communication resources and information for you to share with your community. Each community is unique in the way it shares information with its members. This toolkit can serve as a guide to create messages tailored to your community.
This is the first version of the communications toolkit, please look for updated versions in the coming weeks as the situation continues to evolve. 

What you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine for Canada

Working to bring Canadians a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread and reduce the impact of infectious diseases, whether it's seasonal flu or childhood infections. A safe and effective vaccine(s) for COVID-19 will protect us against the novel coronavirus and will be an important step to safely resume normal life in Canada and around the world. The Government of Canada is working on all possible fronts to secure access to safe and effective vaccines and related supplies for Canadians. Here is what Canadians need to know about a future COVID-19 vaccine.

Download the full PDF about what you need to know about the vaccine here.
FNHMA Pandemic Planning Tool Free Download
Did you know?

The FNHMA Pandemic Planning Tool provides the basics of developing a Community Pandemic Plan and can complement what you already have in place. It is based on the belief that:

“an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

That is why this tool focuses on identifying risks and planning to avoid or mitigate them.

To learn more, download your copy today.

Canada's COVID-19 App
COVID-19 App Update Available!

The Canada COVID-19 app has an update available. If you don’t have auto-updates enabled on your device, remember to update your app manually!

Get the app today.

Community Resources
FNPI - An Indigenous Manufacturer of PPE
FN N95 Mask
First Nations Procurement Inc. (FNPI) an indigenous manufacturer of Personal Protection Equipment has donated half a million masks to Manitoba during their outbreak in the northern communities. 

They are located on the Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation in Ontario, Canada. FNPI in partnership with Dent-X Canada has 3 Indigenous manufacturing facilities located on the Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory, Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation and First Nation Training Centre in Vaughan, Ontario.  
FNPI /Dent-X Canada manufactures medical grade 3 ply, level II and level III disposable facemasks for adults and children. Recently, they completed the signature series N95, “First Nations, FN- N95 2020H” respirator. It is anticipated that this mask will be highly sought after as it offers a maximum protection for essential workers. 

Accessing Additional Funding
Indigenous Services Canada - New Financial Support
Indigenous Services Canada has a list of financial supports for:

  • Indigenous individuals
  • Indigenous students
  • Indigenous organizations and communities
  • Indigenous businesses

First Nations Webinars
A number of Partner and National Indigenous Organizations are and have been producing webinars in order to continue supporting First Nations in a changing landscape.

To view more please follow the links below and be directed to that organization's webinar page.

Supports & Regularly Updated Resources
The following organizations have resources to combat COVID-19. These resources are regularly updated and are available to view at any time.

Please click below to be directed to more information.
Indigenous Health Today houses many different resources and provides recent news updates via email.

Please subscribe to their health brief as a valued FNHMA Partner.

Click the link to subscribe today!

Please note that service hours for InfoPoint have been updated.

InfoPoint will now be available from 9am until 5pm EDT, Monday to Friday.

Previous Health Bulletins
If you missed or would like to see any of our weekly health bulletins, we have included a link to all of our previous volumes.

Click Here to see all previous Health and Wellness Bulletins.

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