Volume 48 | March 19, 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, and COVID data.

Our last Town Hall for the month of March is next week. Don't worry, we'll get back to work in mid-April.

We're also approaching our deadlines for two exciting opportunities to join the FNHMA family!

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 18, 2021
  • "Indigenous-led Clinics Lead Ontario Plan To Immunize Off-Reserve Populations Against COVID-19"
  • "COVID-19 In Indigenous Communities: What You Need To Know This Week"
  • "'Let's Not Hesitate': Doctors, Chiefs Encourage Sask. Indigenous People To Get COVID-19 Vaccine"
  • "London's Agriplex Offers Culturally Aware Indigenous COVID-19 Vaccination Program"
  • "Military, Red Cross In Mathias Colomb Cree Nation As COVID-19 Cases Soar"
  • ''Sask. Pharmacist Understands Why Some Indigenous People Might Be Hesitant To Get COVID-19 Vaccine"
  • "'I Asked The Creator To Bless It': Indigenous Elders, Doctors Tackle COVID-19 Questions"

Scroll down for these stories and more.

Weekly Virtual Town Hall Update
The LAST FNHMA Virtual Town Hall For March Is Scheduled For March 25, 2021!

We're going to be taking a little break - not too long though!

We will be resuming once again in mid-April.

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 18, 2021
As of March 18, 2021, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) records indicate that there are 23,589 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on First Nations reserves, in 7 regions/provinces. There are 1,069 hospitalizations, 22,172 recovered cases, and 266 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.
"Indigenous-led Clinics Lead Ontario Plan To Immunize Off-Reserve Populations Against COVID-19"
"Crystal Bell of the Matawa Health Co-operative recalls seeing elders relax and chat with each other after receiving their first COVID-19 vaccines earlier this month.

“It was almost like their little social gathering,” the director of clinical and nursing services at MHC said in an interview. “They were really thankful.”

Bell and her team of about 20 people have run a handful of vaccinations clinics for members of nine Matawa First Nations who live in Thunder Bay, Ont., where a recent surge in COVID-19 cases has plunged the city back into lockdown.

The first clinic opened in March after the organization raised concerns with the local public health unit that many of the new cases were Matawa members.

Bell said interest has been strong, with almost 500 people vaccinated by Monday, though there's still a long way to go.

“According to statistics, we have well over 4,000 people living off reserve,” she said. “Doing the math, we need quite a bit.”

The Matawa clinics, which leverage community connections and offer translation and transportation services, are the kind of Indigenous-led vaccination effort that advocates and health-care workers are calling for more of to ensure First Nations, Metis and Inuit living in Ontario cities are vaccinated as swiftly as possible.

Some fear Indigenous people living in urban centres, who are prioritized under the first phase of Ontario's vaccination plan, have fallen through the cracks.

Click here for the full article.
"COVID-19 In Indigenous Communities: What You Need To Know This Week"
"166,084 vaccinations have administered in First Nations and Inuit communities

The number of active cases of COVID-19 in First Nations and Inuit communities rose slightly in the last week after two months on a downward trend, according to the latest data from Indigenous Services Canada.

There were 1,266 active cases in First Nations communities as of March 15, an increase of just over 40 cases from the week prior. As of March 11, there were six active cases in the Nunavik region of Quebec. As of March 16, there were two active cases in Arviat, Nunavut."

Click here for the full update.
"'Let's Not Hesitate': Doctors, Chiefs Encourage Sask. Indigenous People To Get COVID-19 Vaccine"
"Cal Arcand is encouraging Indigenous people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“There’s a lot of things that are a result of residential school trauma and things of our history, along with colonialism, that really put a skeptical notion on our people to take that vaccination,” he said.

His father, Eugene Arcand, spent 10 years in residential schools in Duck Lake and Lebret. Because of this, Arcand said he didn’t really learn about his Indigenous culture until he was 10 years old.

Jaris Swidrovich is a pharmacist and University of Saskatchewan professor. He and another professor at Ryerson University recently published a report on the roots of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among Canada’s Indigenous population.

Swidrovich said there’s “a lot of very good reasons” why Indigenous people may be more cautious to get the vaccine. This includes a history of tuberculosis experimentation, nutritional experimentation in residential schools and forced sterilization of Indigenous women.

The Canadian Medical Association Journal report includes another example from Manitoba in 2009 during the H1N1 pandemic, where the federal government sent body bags to four First Nations communities instead of antivirals, hand sanitizer and flu kits.

“At the end of the day, it’s still up to every individual. We do know that a certain proportion of the population at large would need to be vaccinated in order for something like herd immunity to take place,” explained Swidrovich, who’s from Yellow Quill First Nation."

For the full story, click here.
"London's Agriplex Offers Culturally Aware Indigenous COVID-19 Vaccination Program"
"More than 250 Indigenous individuals received COVID-19 vaccinations last week as part of a new culturally aware program at the Western Fair Agriplex clinic in London, Ont.

Culturally aware care, officials say, encourages “intentional and respectful awareness about differences between cultures” and also recognizes that because of systemic racism and prejudice, “there is a lack of trust by Indigenous people in the system.”

The program, which launched March 8, is the result of a collaboration between the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU), the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), and the Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Network (SOAHAC).

“We’re a primary care team for Indigenous and First Nations people throughout southwest Ontario,” Dave Remy, SOAHAC director of client care, told Global News."

For the full story, click here.
"Military, Red Cross In Mathias Colomb Cree Nation As COVID-19 Cases Soar"
"Dozens of people are working to contain a COVID-19 outbreak that has more than doubled since last week in a northwest Manitoba First Nation.

There are 281 active cases in Mathias Colomb Cree Nation, Pukatawagan, as of Monday. The week before, there were 101 cases in the community of about 3,000.

The numbers are concerning, but the community has stepped into action and people are taking public health directives more seriously, says Chief Lorna Bighetty.

"I'm starting to feel [more] confident and OK about it, because [of] the help and support that we're getting now," she said.

Last week, 41 members of the Canadian Armed Forces arrived in the First Nation, which is about 710 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg."

"'Sask. Pharmacist Understands Why Some Indigenous People Might Be Hesitant To Get COVID-19 Vaccine"
"Research shows years of neglect, lack of consultation led to vaccine fears

It's a big day for Jaris Swidrovich.

On Thursday, the pharmacist from the Yellow Quill First Nation in Saskatchewan received his first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

"I'm feeling really excited and actually quite emotional," he said.

"It's been a really challenging year.... This is a really tangible next step to see this pandemic through." 

However, Swidrovich knows not everyone in the Indigenous community is as excited to receive the vaccine.

Swidrovich, along with Ryerson University history professor Ian Mosby, wrote an article in the March edition of the Canadian Medical Association Journal about why some Indigenous people are hesitant to get the vaccine."

"'I Asked The Creator To Bless It': Indigenous Elders, Doctors Tackle COVID-19 Questions"
"Doreen Alexis wasn’t planning to get the COVID-19 vaccine; she saw too many concerns on social media. But then she looked at her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, she told a panel discussion on vaccines and vaccine safety Wednesday.

“(The young people) are telling us they need to take care of us,” the Indigenous elder said with a laugh. “But the reason why I took it, is to take care of myself so I can help the younger generation.”

“To survive; to help them on this,” she said. “Because it’s still not over yet.”
Indigenous Albertans are among the most likely to say they are leery about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Community leaders say this is a legacy of the residential school system, past unethical medical experiments and ongoing racism.

The panel was organized by Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation and included Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw, deputy chief medical officer of Indigenous Services Canada Dr. Evan Adams, Dr. Chris Sarin, deputy medical officer of health in Alberta for Indigenous Services Canada, and Indigenous elders Doreen and Rod Alexis.

The full discussion is available at edmontonjournal.com/groundwork."

For the full story, click here.
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. That's NEXT Thursday!***

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

Deadline: March 26/21 @5pm ET.

To learn more about the opportunity, click here.

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.
COVID-19 And Indigenous Health And Wellness: Our Strength Is In Our Stories
Established by the President of the Royal Society of Canada in April 2020, the RSC Task Force on COVID-19 was mandated to provide evidence-informed perspectives on major societal challenges in response to and recovery from COVID-19. 

The Task Force established a series of Working Groups to rapidly develop resources with the objective of supporting policy makers with evidence to inform their decisions. 

Overview of COVID-19 and Indigenous Health and Wellness: Our Strength is in our Stories 

This Report, “COVID-19 and Indigenous Health and Wellness: Our Strength is in our Stories” is written as a collection of stories. As Indigenous scholars, practitioners and learners, we offer this writing to support an improved understanding about how COVID-19 is impacting the health and wellness of Indigenous peoples. We do so in a way that emphasizes the relational and holistic nature of Indigenous health and wellness; Indigenous health and wellness reflects an interrelationship between humans and the natural world, and this inter-relatedness extends to mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual domains. Thus, our relationships are key to survival, strength, and ultimately, living well.

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

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)

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Of Canada
Up to $50,000 available | Encouraging Vaccine Confidence in Canada PromoScience Grants

Deadline: April 5, 2021 before 8pm ET.
Support for orgs with track records of science/health promo to deliver evidence-based, vaccine-promoting info or build capacity to promote vaccine confidence
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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