Volume 45 | February 26, 2021
FNHMA Health Bulletin: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Thanks for subscribing to our weekly health and wellness bulletin.

In this issue we're sharing helpful resources, funding opportunities, relevant news stories, COVID data and our first "Not all Superheroes wear capes" photo! And we're hiring a Director of Programs!

In this week's edition, learn more about:

  • Weekly Virtual Town Hall Update
  • Total Number of Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 ISC is aware of as of February 25, 2021
  • Epidemiological Summary Of COVID-19 Cases In First Nations Communities (Data Current As Of February 19, 2021)
  • "COVID-19 In Indigenous Communities: What You Need To Know This Week"
  • "Health Canada Approves Use Of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 Vaccine"
  • "Military Arrives In Pimicikamak First Nation To Help With COVID-19 Outbreak"
  • "The First Nations People In Manitoba Who Are Now Eligible For The COVID Vaccine"
  • "Ontario Lays Out COVID-19 Vaccine Timeline For Seniors, Feds Urged To Plan Rollout To Indigenous People In Cities"
  • "COVID-19 Outbreak Prompts Neskantaga First Nation To Declare A State Of Emergency"
  • "Researchers Using Waste Water To Track COVID-19 In Saskatoon, Indigenous Communities"

Scroll down for these stories and more.

Weekly Virtual Town Hall Update
The Next FNHMA Virtual Town Hall Is Scheduled For March 4, 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.

We will share the names of our guests soon!

If you have questions for our guests around the Town Hall topic or anything else COVID-19 related, 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 February 25, 2021
As of February 25, 2021, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) records indicate that there are 20,624 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on First Nations reserves, in 7 regions/provinces. There are 938 hospitalizations, 18,932 recovered cases, and 222 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) and Indigenous communities page.
Epidemiological Summary Of COVID-19 Cases In First Nations Communities (Data Current As Of February 19, 2021)
Cumulative reported, recovered, active and newly reported cases in First Nations communities (Data is current as of February 19, 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.

"COVID-19 In Indigenous Communities: What You Need To Know This Week"
"The number of cases of COVID-19 in First Nations communities reached a grim new milestone over the weekend, surpassing 20,000 cases since the pandemic arrived in Canada over a year ago.

According to the latest data from Indigenous Services Canada, the number of active cases on-reserve has been on the decline. There were 1,481 active cases as of Feb. 22.

But new infections persist. Outbreaks have occurred primarily in the Prairies, the most reported in Alberta with 348 new cases on-reserve in the last week. Members of the Canadian Armed Forces will be deployed to Pimicikamak after visiting the First Nation in Manitoba last weekend to assess the COVID-19 outbreak there."

Click here for the full update.
"Health Canada Approves Use Of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 Vaccine"
"Health Canada has approved use of the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca, clearing the way for millions of more inoculations in Canada.

Canada's regulatory experts had been assessing the submission from AstraZeneca and Oxford University for safety and efficacy since October, and announced their approval Friday morning.

"AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine is indicated for active immunization of individuals 18 years of age and older for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019," reads their website.

"The efficacy of the vaccine was estimated to be 62.1 per cent. Overall, there are no important safety concerns and the vaccine was well tolerated by participants."

Canada has secured access to 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Some jurisdictions, notably France, have restricted the vaccine to people under the age of 65 despite the World Health Organization's insistence that the product is safe and effective for all age groups. Health Canada said it has no immediate safety concerns for those 65 and older."

For the full story, click here.
"Military Arrives In Pimicikamak First Nation To Help With COVID-19 Outbreak"
"The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has arrived in Pimicikamak First Nation to assist with a COVID-19 outbreak.

Twenty-five members — eight medical and 17 general duty staff from CFB Shilo and CFB Petawawa — are helping with a variety of tasks, including monitoring and treating patients as well as organizing places where people can isolate."

For the full story, click here.
"The First Nations People In Manitoba Who Are Now Eligible For The COVID Vaccine"
"The province has opened up vaccine eligibility to include any First Nations person in Manitoba born on or before Dec. 31, 1946.

On Wednesday, Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of Manitoba’s Vaccine Implementation Task Force, said those looking to book appointments can call 1-844-626-8222 to book an appointment. Anyone calling will need to provide the numbers on their health card.

The First Nations people eligibility includes both on and off-reserve residents.

The province also announced that Manitobans born on or before Dec. 31, 1926 are now included in the vaccine eligibility.

The 20-year difference in eligibility of the general population and First Nations people is due to the disproportionate effect COVID-19 is having on First Nations people, said Dr. Marcia Anderson, the public health lead of the Manitoba First Nation Pandemic Response Coordination Team.

She said First Nations people are experiencing more severe illness due to COVID-19, and at younger ages.

Manitobans are asked to only call if they are in these eligibility groups."

For the full story, click here.
"Ontario Lays Out COVID-19 Vaccine Timeline For Seniors, Feds Urged To Plan Rollout To Indigenous People In Cities"
"Ontario laid out a firmer timeline for administering COVID-19 vaccines to seniors Wednesday as advocates urged the federal government to come up with a national plan to inoculate Indigenous people in urban communities.

The plan laid out by the Ontario government would see residents aged 80 and older receive shots starting the third week of March, though officials stressed much depends on the province’s supply of vaccines...

...Meanwhile, the National Association of Friendship Centres called on Ottawa to co-ordinate a vaccine rollout for Indigenous people living in urban communities, as it is doing in collaboration with First Nations and Inuit governments for those on reserves.

The organization’s executive director, Jocelyn Formsma, called on the federal government to consider doling out doses to clinics serving Indigenous people in urban areas, rather than waiting for the provinces to do it. She said more than 50 clinics run by her organization could administer the shots.

But Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said the distribution of vaccines to Indigenous people outside of reserves will be faster and more efficient if done through the provinces.

At the same time, active cases of the virus in First Nations communities are going down across Canada, the minister said. He reported 1,443 active cases on reserves as of Tuesday, adding vaccinations have begun in 440 Indigenous communities."

"COVID-19 Outbreak Prompts Neskantaga First Nation To Declare A State Of Emergency"
"A remote First Nation in Northern Ontario has declared a state of emergency for its off-reserve members in Thunder Bay after an outbreak among them in the city, where COVID-19 infections continue to surge.

In a press release Wednesday, Chief Chris Moonias of Neskantaga First Nation said 12 off-reserve members in Thunder Bay have confirmed infections, affecting six per cent of the 217 members living in the city.

Chief Moonias is asking Indigenous Services Canada to provide emergency housing for at least 14 of its members who are among those without adequate housing in Thunder Bay and at higher risk of becoming infected. He says a lack of housing in Neskantaga forces members to leave the community.

Minister of Indigenous Services Marc Miller said his department is prepared to offer support to the community and has been in close contact with Thunder Bay authorities as the cases rise. COVID-19 outbreaks have affected the city’s homeless population and schools."

"Researchers Using Waste Water To Track COVID-19 In Saskatoon, Indigenous Communities"
"A project out of the University of Saskatchewan using waste water to track COVID-19 in Saskatoon has received federal funding.

Over the next six months it will expand to help some Indigenous communities as well.
The team has been awarded more than $137,000 by the Public Health Agency of Canada to take the project to five Indigenous communities in the province.

Currently, it’s being done in Saskatoon. Samples are taken from the water treatment plant, and researchers analyze it, and can see the spread of COVID-19 through human excrement.

One researcher says they can predict trends five to seven days sooner than testing can."

For the full story, click here.
COVID-19 #StopTheSpread
Tool Kit For Health Care Providers

**COVID-19 Vaccination Information Resources**

It's normal that Canadians may have questions about COVID-19 vaccines. Health care providers are uniquely positioned to answer questions and provide information.

Available for Download Now!

In EN and FR: 👉 http://ow.ly/Jbc550DBNdM
COVID-19 Communications Toolkit - Free Download - UPDATE 1

**The Communications Toolkit has been updated. Check below for the latest version.**

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
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
We're Hiring! Marketing And Communications Coordinator
***Our Job Posting is closing soon!***

Communication for any organization is important - and during a pandemic - the importance is amplified. We are looking for a passionate and committed communications specialist to join the FNHMA family!

Is it you? Are you looking for an amazing team and place to work? Or, do you know someone?

We're currently hiring for a "Marketing and Communications Coordinator"

Deadline to submit your application is: March 3/21 @ 4pm EST

We're hiring! Director of Programs
Director of Programs, FNHMA

Are you passionate about increasing health leadership capacity in First Nations communities?

Are you passionate about making a difference?

Then we'd love for you to join our family!

The Role:

Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Director of Programs, FNHMA has the overall responsibility for the design and delivery of the programs and services offered to FNHMA members.

Posting deadline is March 26, 2021 @ 5pm ET.

To learn more about the opportunity, click here.

Not All Superheroes Wear Capes - Share Your Pictures!
Not all superheroes wear capes indeed!

We'd like to extend a big FNHMA thank you to Barbara Strang, who is Poplar Hill's Health Director, for sharing your #COVID19 vaccination photo with us.

Now that's leadership in action!

To our frontline heroes, thank you for keeping us safe. We hold you up. Keep up the amazing work!

Do you have photos you'd like to share with us?

Feel free to send them to us, tag us or use the hashtag:


Not all superheroes wear capes. It's more clear than ever during these extraordinary times.

And we want to acknowledge our superhero health care workers who are on the frontline battling COVID-19 to keep our communities safe.

Here's how:

1) Tag us/share a photo of yourself or a teammate in action or getting vaccinated.

That's it!

And we'll share the photos on our social channels!
Safe Space - A Community Of Facts For A World Of Trust
1 in 10 health care encounters involve patient harm. Despite this high number, few patients or providers ever report these events to the health system (a study from the Netherlands, estimates that only 3.6% of these events actually get reported).

The risks that go along with reporting are real.

Patients know that retaliation, being labelled “difficult” and increased hostility when receiving health services can all occur as a result of raising concerns. Providers who report can be at risk of losing their employment, negatively impacting their relationships with colleagues and disciplinary action.

Safe Space originated in the health crises of Canadian Indigenous communities where patients and providers face this reality everyday.

Safe Space is not about shame and blame. We’re about patterns and solutions. Safe Space's mission is to support patients and providers to share safely, be heard and be supported navigating and impacting healthcare systems.

To learn more about Safe Space, check their website here: https://safespace.healthcare/
Public Service Announcements About COVID-19 Vaccines
Radio public service announcements about COVID-19 are available in various Indigenous languages.

There are a total of 17 languages available with 2 scripts to choose from.

Learn more and explore the languages here!
COVID-19 Vaccines And Indigenous Peoples
The Government of Canada is working to secure safe and effective vaccines to prevent COVID-19. This is key to stopping the spread of COVID-19 and resuming normal life.

This page has resources COVID-19 vaccines from various sources around the country.

To learn more and access the page, click here.
COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation And Fraud
It's understandable that some inaccurate information has been circulating to certain communities about the vaccine that includes false and distorted information about potential side effects. 

The spread of misinformation can have real consequences and can distort people's behaviours and decision-making. 
It is important that everyone obtain information from trusted sources. That includes federal, provincial and territorial health authorities, community health centres, nursing stations or local healthcare providers. The federal government encourages people to consider the source of information before spreading or sharing articles or facts.

Vaccination is a choice. Vaccines used in Canada must be approved by Health Canada and the COVID-19 vaccine is held to the same safety standards as other vaccines to make sure it is safe and effective.

To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines, click here.
For information on COVID-19 Fraud and Scams, click here.
Public Health Agency of Canada Is Looking For Designated Screening Officers, Health Assessment Officers-Paramedics/LPNs/RPNs And Registered Nurses
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and is urgently looking for additional support to help drive the response. 

PHAC is looking for Designated Screening Officers, Health Assessment Officers-Paramedics/LPNs/RPNs and Registered Nurses across the country.

The deadline for the postings below is March 31, 2021.

To learn more, click the links below:

Webinar: "Sken:nen, Mino-Bimaadziwin: Understanding Wellness In Indigenous Wisdom Traditions For Caregivers"
The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario, in partnership with Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), Chiefs of Ontario (COO), the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Shkaabe Makwa and the Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association (CINA) is pleased to be hosting a webinar for health care providers, including nurses who have been working to support people and communities during the COVID pandemic. 
The webinar entitled 
"Sken:nen, Mino-Bimaadziwin: Understanding Wellness In Indigenous Wisdom Traditions For Caregivers” will be held on March 2, 2021 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. (EDT)

To learn more, download the webinar PDF here.
Video: "Behind the Mask"
"A young Indigenous man, struggling to understand the mandate to wear a mask during Covid, begins to see the face of compassion behind it."

Video produced by the Indigenous Story Studio.

2021 Census Of Population Preparation
Census of Population:
Statistics Canada is preparing for the 2021 Census of Population. In this particular Census cycle there are some changes due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic. Some of the changes are that communities will be asked to complete the Census questionnaire online, rather than having someone go door to door. The Census will begin in May 2021.
Statistics Canada prioritizes recruiting locally in each community to assist with community collection efforts. It is essential to have local hires as there is no travel to communities due to the Pandemic. Starting in January 2021 an online tool will be made available for candidates to apply online or if they do not have access to internet or a computer, they will be able to call the call center and a recruitment agent will complete the application online for them.

Employment for Census collection is now open. To learn more and find out about the jobs and rates of pay, click here.
Maad’ookiing Mshkiki – #SharingMedicine - Virtual Hub
Maad’ookiing Mshkiki – #SharingMedicine is a virtual hub that provides culturally relevant and trauma-informed information about #COVID19 vaccinations for First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

Access the resources today: http://bit.ly/Sharing-Medicine

Rationale and Background:

Public Health authorities have begun a national roll-out of two COVID-19 vaccinations (Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19; Moderna COVID-19) to prioritized populations, including segments of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities. Despite the prioritization of Indigenous people, there may be barriers to the uptake of COVID -19 vaccinations across our communities for numerous complex and context-specific reasons. One of the barriers identified by our communities and by service providers, decision-makers, Elders and Knowledge Keepers is a lack of culturally safe and relevant educational materials about vaccination. It is critical to address this need urgently due to the rising rates of covid within some of our communities as well as the ongoing barriers related to a lack of cultural safety in the healthcare system.

To learn more, click here!
Accessing Additional Funding
Public Health Agency Of Canada - Call For Proposals
Funding Opportunity - Call for Proposals

***The deadline is approaching fast!***

"Immunization Partnership Fund: Increasing confidence, acceptance and uptake of Covid-19 vaccines"

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) invites eligible organizations to submit a letter of intent (LOI) for time-limited projects to increase Canadians' confidence, acceptance and uptake of COVID-19 vaccines.

This Call for Proposals is a two-step process. The first step is the submission of a LOI, which provides an overview of the proposed project. Applicants whose LOIs meet all eligibility criteria and best fit the objectives of this funding opportunity will be invited to move on to the second step by submitting a full proposal.

LOIs must be submitted by March 5, 2021.

Applications must be submitted using PHAC's Immunization Partnership Fund LOI Template.

To obtain a copy of the LOI Template, please contact: phac.cgc.solicitations-csc.aspc@canada.ca with the subject line "LOI Immunization Partnership Fund".

To learn more and/or apply, click here:
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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