Volume 47 | March 12, 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, NEW funding opportunities, relevant news stories, COVID data and an update on our staff who just got vaccinated!

Don't miss the article our CEO put together on "First Nations Healthcare: Discrimination, Progress and Resilience" which was posted in the First Nations Drum earlier this month.

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 March 11, 2021
  • "First Nations Healthcare: Discrimination, Progress And Resilience"
  • "COVID-19 In Indigenous Communities: What You Need To Know This Week"
  • "All 1st Doses Of COVID-19 Vaccine Administered In Remote Northern Ontario First Nations"
  • "Most B.C. First Nations Communities Offered At Least One Dose Of COVID-19 Vaccine"
  • "COVID-19: B.C. First Nations Leaders Battle Vaccine Misinformation"
  • "'There Is A Lot Of Mistrust': Researchers Look At Vaccine Hesitancy Among Indigenous Canadians"
  • "Elsipogtog First Nation Receives COVID-19 Vaccines"

Scroll down for these stories and more.

Weekly Virtual Town Hall Update
The Next FNHMA Virtual Town Hall Is Scheduled For March 18, 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 announce our guests early next week!

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 March 11, 2021
As of March 11, 2021, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) records indicate that there are 22,733 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on First Nations reserves, in 7 regions/provinces. There are 1,037 hospitalizations, 20,268 recovered cases, and 250 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.
"First Nations Healthcare: Discrimination, Progress And Resilience"
March 1, 2021 - First Nations Drum

Marion Crowe is a citizen of Piapot First Nation and the Chief Executive Officer of the First Nations Health Managers Association (FNHMA).  

Imagine if a pandemic had swept the earth, and the only people who could save you were also known for discriminating against you. 

When a system is strained, it often snaps at the point of existing fractures. As we move past the one-year anniversary of the pandemic, cracks in Canada’s healthcare system related to First Nations healthcare have become even more painfully evident. There is hope, but the failings of healthcare as it relates to First Nations have become increasingly concerning. 

Is there doubt our existing healthcare system harbours anti-Indigenous sentiment? Hard ‘no’!  Heartbreaking individual cases are well documented and alive.  Consider the now well-known death of Joyce Echaquan, who, last fall arrived at a hospital in Quebec requiring medical treatment. Instead of care, Echaquan was insulted by those from whom she needed help. She was called “stupid” and told she would be “better off dead”. Tragically, Echaquan did die. And, while media exploded with shock at the cruel acts caught on camera, others in the First Nations community were dismayed but not surprised. Unfortunately, her experience is not new, nor one of a kind. Her experience encountering racism in the healthcare system has been shared by many others in our community. 
Indigenous people continue to feel excluded from their own healthcare system. With no power to make decisions on how healthcare is delivered, with low representation in the field, with a lack of cultural competency from those who provide services, is it any surprise?  

We have: Joyce’s Principle; Jordan’s Principle; the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Calls to Action (specifically 18 to 24); Anti-Indigenous Racism movements; In Plain Sight, Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Health Care Addressing Racism Review December 2020 Data Report (Nearly 85% of Indigenous participants indicated they had faced discrimination in the healthcare system); and numerous other reports that show a failing system. Discrimination in healthcare seems to be a simple fact of life for many Indigenous people.  

But progress is being made, and we are working together with Canada to make things better. The lack of infrastructure, funding and capacity in First Nations communities is no secret; in that context, the government of Canada aimed to provide those communities some of the country’s first COVID vaccine doses. The federal government, in their fall budget, also put aside $15.6-million for new Indigenous health legislation related to fighting anti-Indigenous racism in the healthcare sector. If delivered and developed as hoped, the legislation will support bringing control back to First Nations people over the delivery and development of our own health services. How this approach rolls out will be an important metric in measuring just how serious Canada is about reconciliation.  

We have thousands of battles to fight. Infrastructure countrywide needs to be improved; systemic racism rooted out; cultural competency & humility spread to service providers; resources and power put back in the hands of First Nations. But just as hard times bring to light the weak spots in our healthcare system, they also underscore just how strong First Nations communities are. We do more with less. The First Nations state of healthcare is one of resilience against heavy odds. We fill in gaps by acting as a community. We draw strength and knowledge from our beliefs, traditions and inherent knowledge to lift those in our community who need help the most. At our best, we work together as a community, weaving western and traditional practices and medicine into treatment. Our blended approach is one of respect, stories, dance, and consistency in culture that provides a mental and spiritual backbone against anxiety in uncertain times.  

As we move to healthcare delivery by us and for us, there are heartwarming stories that are too precious not to share.  Nations are weaving western PPE care packs with cedar, sweetgrass and sage medicines to double the protection.  Nations have developed helplines for the biggest epidemic of our time in the fight against suicide, overdoses and racism. We have seen a huge resurgence of our practices, languages and ways of healing. There is hope. That is what we want our next seven generations to know.   

At FNHMA, we have numerous activities underway to support First Nations health.  We continue to grow new health leaders while supporting and strengthening existing health leaders who will take over our own health systems through the FNHMA certification and training programs that we offer. FNHMA also started a Virtual Town Hall to keep people connected and informed on Covid -19. Now, over 150 Indigenous radio stations, not to mention multiple websites and social media, brings credible, relevant and timely information from trusted sources and experts. These are encouraging first steps, but only first steps, to what is needed in developing an inclusive healthcare infrastructure for First Nations. There is much to be done, and the marathon to improve our healthcare system continues.   

We lift you all, especially those working tirelessly on the front lines, ensuring the safety and protection of our nations. We thank you and stand united in all the work that you do.

Click here for the article.
"COVID-19 In Indigenous Communities: What You Need To Know This Week"
"The number of active cases of COVID-19 in First Nations and Inuit communities is continuing on a downward trend, according to the latest data from Indigenous Services Canada.

There were 1,223 active cases in First Nations communities as of March 8. As of March 5, the federal department reported six active cases in the Nunavik region of Quebec and there were 23 active cases in Arviat, Nunavut, as of March 8.

New infections persist, with the most occurring in Ontario as 357 new cases on-reserve were reported in the last week."

Click here for the full update.
"All 1st Doses Of COVID-19 Vaccine Administered In Remote Northern Ontario First Nations"
"The Ontario government said it’s finished administering all first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to people living in 31 fly-in northern First Nations and Moosonee.

The 31 remote communities and Moosonee were selected as a part of a vaccine initiative dubbed Operation Remote Immunity, which was set up to offer coronavirus immunizations to Indigenous elder care home residents and First Nations that face a disproportionate risk of COVID-19 infection.

“A key part of our COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan is to ensure Ontario’s Indigenous communities and residents are protected,” Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a statement.

“This important milestone could not have been achieved without the tremendous efforts of Indigenous leadership, community members, Ornge and frontline health care workers coming together to stop the spread of COVID-19 in these at-risk communities.”"

For the full story, click here.
"Most B.C. First Nations Communities Offered At Least One Dose Of COVID-19 Vaccine"
"More than half of the residents of First Nations communities in B.C. have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, but many Indigenous people who live outside of those areas are still waiting.

Over 30,000 vaccinations have been administered in Indigenous communities, representing about 54 per cent of residents of reserves, said officials with the First Nations Health Authority at a news conference Thursday.

Acting chief medical officer Dr. Shannon McDonald said about 100,000 more people identify as Indigenous across the province and her health authority is working with regional partners to help serve those individuals as they become eligible.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends all Indigenous adults, including in urban areas, be vaccinated in Phase 2 of provinces’ vaccine rollout.

While B.C. prioritized First Nations communities in Phase 1, it limited eligibility for Indigenous people who live off-reserve during the second phase to those over 65."

For the full story, click here.
"COVID-19: B.C. First Nations Leaders Battle Vaccine Misinformation"
"“Getting the vaccine is safe.”

That is the message behind a public service announcement by the B.C. Assembly of First Nations that aims to quash misinformation circulating in the province and encourage people to get immunized.

The mostly animated PSA is voiced by Terry Teegee, the regional chief of the Assembly, who speaks while a hypodermic needle drawn in a Northwest Coast art style sweeps past a longhouse, through a forested, mountainous land and down into a coastal community. The needle, which begins and ends its journey in the video as a transmogrifying feather, immunizes people as it goes, bringing colour and smiles to their lives.

“To protect our communities, and especially our elders, it’s vital that as many people as possible get vaccinated,” Teegee says in the video.

Teegee, who was interviewed about an hour before he was scheduled to be immunized, said historical and contemporary experiences that First Nations people have had with racism in the health care system have led many to scoff at the idea of a COVID-19 vaccine."

"'There Is A Lot Of Mistrust': Researchers Look At Vaccine Hesitancy Among Indigenous Canadians"
"As Canada expands its vaccination program, a number of Indigenous people are still reluctant to get the COVID-19 shot — and for good reason.

A new paper published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal explores the root cause of vaccine hesitancy.

Jaris Swidrovich is an assistant professor at the University of Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy and Nutrition. He co-wrote the paper with Ian Mosby with the Ryerson University Department of History.

“Even some people have been cited with what is the sudden change in priority, with us being the first priority for this vaccine, but we still have communities in Canada without safe drinking water.”

Hesitancy doesn’t mean refusal, and Swidrovich said it implies taking a step back and having a few moments to think about it instead of just signing up."

"Elsipogtog First Nation Receives COVID-19 Vaccines"
"The health centre at Elsipogtog First Nation vaccinated more than 1,100 community members against COVID-19 this week.

“When I first heard the news [that the community would be receiving the vaccine], I actually cried,” said Band Coun. Jonathan Augustine, noting the health department told the band council a few weeks ago, and the news was shared with the community shortly after.

Augustine said community members were sent consent forms late last month, and received appointment times at the Elsipogtog Health & Wellness Centre beginning Monday and running until Thursday. The vaccine is also available to service providers to the community, he said.

Augustine received his first dose on Monday, and will receive a second dose in April.
The vaccinations will allow the community to move forward, he said.

In videos and posts to the health centre's Facebook page, community leaders announced 1,144 people were vaccinated in Elsipogtog this week. The community will hold a second vaccine clinic later in the month to vaccinate more people and are encouraging community members who have not yet done so to hand in consent forms."

For the full story, click here.
FNHMA Team Members - "I Got Vaccinated"
As of today, we have 3 FNHMA team members who have been vaccinated! Yay!

A big thank you to The Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health in Ottawa, ON for their work and for being the Centre “for Excellence” especially during these hard times.

Way to go, Connie, Ken and Paul!

Not All Superheroes Wear Capes - Request For Photos!

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!
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 2

**The Communications Toolkit has been updated as of March 2, 2021. 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. 

Download the Communications Toolkit here: English and French
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
Marketing And Communications Coordinator Posting Extended!
***We are extending the deadline to March 25, 2021***

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 25/21 @ 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.
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:

Job Opportunity - COVID-19 Immunizers
Job Opportunity – COVID-19 Immunizers
Are you interested in a meaningful job that makes a difference in the lives of Indigenous Peoples and northern residents?
Indigenous Services Canada (FNIHB) is looking for:

Nurses / Doctors / Nurse Practitioners / Registered Psychiatric Nurses / Registered Practical Nurses / Licensed Practical Nurses / Pharmacists / Paramedics / Dentists / Veterinarians / Medical Laboratory Technicians / other health professionals

who are licensed to practice, including to administer COVID-19 vaccinations, in the following areas:

• Alberta
• Saskatchewan
• Manitoba
• Ontario
• Nova Scotia
• New Brunswick
• Prince Edward Island
• Newfoundland and Labrador

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.
Accessing Additional Funding
Federal Funding Available For Vaccine Confidence Initiatives
A number of federal departments have recently launched funding opportunities for vaccine confidence-focused initiatives in Canada. These opportunities will support a broad range of research, communications and interventions initiatives, and may be of interest to you and your organization. These funding opportunities complement funding available through the Immunization Partnership Fund, which recently closed its call for letters of intent.

Vaccine Community Innovation Challenge (VCIC) – Public Health Agency of Canada

Emerging COVID-19 Research Gaps and Priorities Funding Opportunity (Operating grant) – Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

Encouraging Vaccine Confidence in Canada PromoScience Grants – Jointly administered by CIHR, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

  • Brief description: These grants (up to $50,000 over one year) will support organizations with strong track records of science and/or health promotion to deliver evidence-based, vaccine-promoting information to key communities and groups and/or to build capacity in the community to promote confidence in vaccines.
  • Application deadline: April 5, 2021
  • Additional details: https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Promoter-Promotion/VaccineConfidence_eng.asp
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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