Volume 49 | March 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, taxes and benefit information for Indigenous people, funding opportunities (with deadlines nearing), relevant news stories, and COVID data.

Our last Town Hall for the month of March just wrapped up yesterday. We're taking a short break but don't worry, we'll be returning with our 4th broadcast phase in April.

AND, we're extending our deadline for the Director of Programs posting!

We have a lot to share - read below for all of the above and more!

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 25, 2021
  • "Pop-up Clinics Offer Indigenous People In Ontario Easier Access To Vaccinations"
  • "COVID-19 In Indigenous Communities: What You Need To Know This Week"
  • '"Prioritizing Indigenous Knowledge Keepers In Vaccination Effort Vital, Elders Say"
  • "Indigenous Communities Need More Mental Health Support In Wake Of COVID-19: Report"
  • "Canadian Indigenous Group Sees COVID-19 Cases After First Vaccine Dose, Shortens Gap Between Shots"
  • ''New Online Tool Allows Indigenous Patients To Anonymously Report Racism In Health-Care System"
  • "'Northern First Nations Flatten The COVID-19 Curve"

Scroll down for these stories and more.

Weekly Virtual Town Hall Update
The FNHMA Virtual Town Hall 4th Phase Broadcast Set To Return In April On APTN!

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

We will be resuming once again in April with our 4th phase broadcast on APTN!

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.

Did you miss a Town Hall?

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 25, 2021
As of March 25, 2021, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) records indicate that there are 24,380 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on First Nations reserves, in 7 regions/provinces. There are 1,090 hospitalizations, 23,073 recovered cases, and 279 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.
"Pop-up Clinics Offer Indigenous People In Ontario Easier Access To Vaccinations"
"Pop-up vaccination clinics in Toronto and across Ontario are offering COVID-19 vaccines to Indigenous people in larger cities, including those who are homeless and especially at risk. 

Anishnawbe Health Toronto, an Indigenous health-care group, has been travelling to Indigenous encampments across the city to deliver doses to some of the most vulnerable people in Toronto.

“It saves lives,” Harvey Manning, director of programs and services at Anishnawbe Health Toronto, told CTV News. “A lot of these people live inside of these encampments together and it would save each others’ lives.”

Since many people in these encampments do not have identification, the organization does what it can to keep track of those who’ve been vaccinated. Once someone receives a dose, they are handed a letter with a date for when they can receive the second vaccine.

Dominico has lived in a downtown Toronto encampment for more than a year. It’s not clear just how many people also live at the same site."

Click here for the full article.
"COVID-19 In Indigenous Communities: What You Need To Know This Week"
"The number of active COVID-19 cases continues to decline as vaccination efforts ramp up in First Nations and Inuit communities, according to the latest data from Indigenous Services Canada.

There were 1,136 active cases in First Nations communities as of March 22, a decrease of 130 cases from the week prior. As of March 18, there were six active cases in the Nunavik region of Quebec. As of March 23, there were zero active cases in Nunavut.

New infections were reported primarily in Manitoba with 270 new cases on-reserve in the last week. Pine Creek First Nation, nearly 325 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, declared a state of emergency and issued a lockdown order in response to a coronavirus outbreak.

In Ontario, Ohsweken Public Health in Six Nations of the Grand River announced it had identified two cases of variants of concern."

Click here for the full update.
"Prioritizing Indigenous Knowledge Keepers In Vaccination Effort Vital, Elders Say"
"Indigenous elders say it’s integral to prioritize traditional knowledge keepers during Canada’s vaccine rollout because they’re carrying centuries of oral traditions and their example can help encourage others to get vaccinated.

Kathy Bird from Peguis First Nation in Manitoba has been a registered nurse for nearly four decades and while she’s officially retired, still does work with traditional medicine practitioners at the Peguis Health Services in Manitoba. She said the pandemic has put centuries of their cultural wisdom at risk.

“It’s very important that all of our knowledge keepers be offered the vaccination because if we don’t preserve the traditional knowledge, it can be lost forever,” she told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview on Monday.

Bird, herself a knowledge keeper, explained how elders are living, breathing repositories of centuries-old ceremonies, medicine and songs, which traditionally are not written down. She stressed how prioritizing them in the national vaccine rollout is helping Indigenous communities “do everything we can to help them to survive as long as they can.”

Perry McLeod-Shabogesic, an Indigenous knowledge keeper from Nipissing First Nation in northern Ontario and manager of cultural services for Niijaansinaanik Child and Family Services, agrees."

For the full story, click here.
"Indigenous Communities Need More Mental Health Support In Wake Of COVID-19: Report"
"Many Indigenous communities are struggling to cope with dual states of emergency, thanks to the pandemic and its effects on those with mental illness and addictions.

That’s according to a new report from a committee of MPs who spent the last year studying the effects of COVID-19 on Indigenous populations in Canada.

Representatives from dozens of First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities and organizations painted a grim picture of the state of health and social infrastructure in their jurisdictions.

They noted many Indigenous communities were already dealing with mental health, addictions and suicide crises before the pandemic."

For the full story, click here.
"Canadian Indigenous Group Sees COVID-19 Cases After First Vaccine Dose, Shortens Gap Between Shots"
"Indigenous communities in the Canadian province of Manitoba are shortening intervals between doses of COVID-19 vaccine after confirming several dozen infections after the initial jabs.

Many provinces, eager to slow a possible third wave of infections, adopted the recommendation of an advisory committee to the Canadian government this month to delay second doses for as long as four months to stretch limited vaccine supplies, with data showing protection after one dose.

But a team of health officials responsible for pandemic response for Manitoba First Nations, a term for Canadian indigenous communities, said it is seeing more infections after administering one dose than expected, possibly related to crowded housing and underlying health issues.

The response team said in a weekly bulletin it had confirmed as of last week 44 infections in people two weeks or longer after their initial doses of Moderna Inc vaccine, out of 8,875 indigenous people immunized.

It will now provide second doses about 28 days after the first, as Moderna recommends. In its large clinical trial, the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine proved nearly 95% effective at preventing illness with doses administered with the 28-day gap."

''New Online Tool Allows Indigenous Patients To Anonymously Report Racism In Health-Care System"
"Indigenous patients are now able to anonymously report experiences of racism in B.C.'s health-care system, thanks to a new online tool.

Safespace allows people to share their own or their loved ones' experiences in a health-care facility and rate the facility on a five-point scale.

The B.C. Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC), whose website hosts the app, aims to use the information to figure out patterns of racist incidents in the health-care sector, and present solutions on how to address these issues with policymakers.

The project was inspired by the independent investigative report into racism in the B.C. health care released by former judge Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond last November, the association said in a news release.

Safespace was created by Canadian Medical Association president-elect Dr. Alika Lafontaine, an Alberta-based anesthesiologist of Anishinaabe, Cree, Metis and Pacific Islander descent."

"Northern First Nations Flatten The COVID-19 Curve"
"For the first time in months, Ronald Mitsuing is breathing a little easier. The chief of Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation watched his community go into lockdown in January after 64 cases of COVID-19 were identified in a single week.

Travel to and from the reserve of roughly 1,500 people was restricted by checkpoints. A curfew was enacted, and people were urged to stay home.

The sacrifices paid off. There are now zero known active cases in the community.

“It was stressing for me,” Mitsuing remembered. “People were not liking being locked in their houses, not being allowed to go around visiting. We had a lot of complaints, but it’s what we had to do to protect the community.”

Makwa Sahgaiehcan is one of many northern First Nations that has dramatically turned the tide on COVID-19.

In January, roughly 1,200 cases of COVID-19 were identified in communities served by the Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority — a staggering total given the estimated population of those communities stands around 37,000."

For the full story, click here.
FNHMA - I Got Vaccinated!
I Got Vaccinated!

Our CEO, Marion Crowe, is demonstrating health leadership.

We are happy to report that every team member who is eligible for the vaccine right now has made the choice to get vaccinated!

Thank you to the FNHMA family for leading by example.

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
We're Hiring! Director Of Programs
Director of Programs, FNHMA

***We are extending the deadline to April 9, 2021***

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.

To learn more about the opportunity, click here.
Tax Tips! Simplified Tax Forms And New Indigenous-Specific Tax Webpage From The CRA
Established Recently, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) launched a new webpage specifically about taxes and benefits for Indigenous peoples.

On the new webpage, you will find information about getting benefits and credits, getting help to complete your tax return, and COVID-19 related benefit information.
Additionally, if you are a First Nations individual, you may be able to file your taxes using a simplified paper tax and benefit return form. While these forms are not available digitally, the CRA has begun distributing simplified forms to First Nations across the country. 

You can see if this option is available to you by contacting your band council office. 

To learn more, click here.
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?

The deadline to apply is: April 8, 2021
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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