Volume 54 | April 30, 2021
FNHMA Health Bulletin: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Thanks for subscribing to our weekly health and wellness bulletin.

It's been another busy week for our team and we have a lot of info to share with you.

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 April 29, 2021"
  • "More Than 700 Active COVID-19 Cases In First Nations; 61 In Nunavut"
  • "New COVID-19 Deaths Include 2 First Nations People In 20s As Manitoba Announces 189 Cases"
  • "COVID-19 In Indigenous Communities: What You Need To Know"
  • "Montreal Organizations Offer COVID-19 Vaccine To Urban Indigenous Population"
  • "Government of Canada COVID-19 Update For Indigenous Peoples And Communities"
  • "Vaccinations Ramping Up In Sask. Indigenous Communities"
  • ''The Next Phase Of Pandemic Response Begins In Remote First Nations In Northern Ontario"
  • "Vancouver Island First Nations Face Disproportionate Burden During Pandemic: Report"

Scroll down for these stories and more.

Weekly Virtual Town Hall Update
Watch us this weekend on APTN!

We're so happy to be back doing what we do best - sharing information you can trust.

We would like to extend a big thank you once more to our guests for spending time with us and sharing such valuable information.

If you missed the show - don't worry! - you can now watch us this Saturday and every Saturday on APTN at 5pm EDT!

We are really excited to continue sharing important information on the pandemic, vaccines and other resources with you.
Will you watch the Town Hall on APTN tomorrow?
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National and First Nation COVID-19 News
Total Number Of Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19 ISC Is Aware Of As Of April 29, 2021
As of April 29, 2021, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) records indicate that there are 27,127 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on First Nations reserves, in 7 regions/provinces. There are 1,207 hospitalizations, 26,105 recovered cases, and 315 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.
"More Than 700 Active COVID-19 Cases In First Nations; 61 In Nunavut"
"Indigenous Services Canada says there are currently 723 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nations across the country.

In addition, an outbreak of the virus in Nunavut has resulted in 61 active cases in Iqaluit, Kinngait and Rankin Inlet.

There is also one active case in Nunavik, Que. As of April 27, more than 366,000 vaccine doses have been administered in 661 First Nations, Inuit and Northern communities.

That accounts for over 59 per cent of adults living in First Nations and over 72 per cent of adults living in the territories who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Members of the Canadian military also continue to assist vaccination teams in a number of on-reserve Indigenous communities."

Click here for the full article.
"New COVID-19 Deaths Include 2 First Nations People In 20s As Manitoba Announces 189 Cases"
"Two people in their 20s have died due to COVID-19 — one due to a coronavirus variant — as 189 new cases were reported in Manitoba today.

The three deaths announced by provincial officials Wednesday were a woman in her 20s from the Northern Health Region, a man in his 20s from Winnipeg who had an unspecified more contagious variant, and a woman in her 100s from Southern Health who had the B117 variant originally detected in the U.K.

So far, 971 Manitobans have died of COVID-19, including six deaths linked to variants.
A bulletin from the Manitoba First Nations COVID-19 pandemic response co-ordination team later Wednesday afternoon confirmed that two First Nations people in their 20s had died from COVID-19.

That bulletin also said 36 more First Nations people have tested positive for COVID-19 — 18 on-reserve and 18 off-reserve. More than one-third of Manitoba's known active cases — 798 — are First Nations people, the First Nations pandemic team says."

Click here for the full article.
"COVID-19 In Indigenous Communities: What You Need To Know"
"The curve of new COVID-19 infections in First Nations and Inuit communities continues to trend downward, as vaccination efforts continue to ramp up across the country.

To date, 346,108 vaccine doses, including 93,367 second doses, have been administered in 651 First Nations and Inuit communities. Clinics for Indigenous people living in urban areas to receive their shot have been organized in several cities across Canada. 

There were 800 active cases in First Nations as of April 26, an increase of 64 from a week prior according to the latest data from Indigenous Services Canada.

The majority of new infections were reported in Manitoba, with 279 cases reported in the last week. Chemawawin Cree Nation, a northern First Nation in the province, reported its first death linked to COVID-19 as the community grapples with an outbreak that has forced hundreds of its residents to self-isolate."

Click here for the full update.
"Montreal Organizations Offer COVID-19 Vaccine To Urban Indigenous Population"
"Carole Brazeau felt a sense of relief receiving her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

She was among the first Indigenous people to receive the shot at one of three new clinics in Montreal open to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis living in and around the city.

"We're a vulnerable population, it was important that we receive our vaccination as soon as possible," said Brazeau, who is a member of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg.

"We're the same person whether we're in our community or out of our community. It was about time we got vaccinated."

Although Indigenous people are prioritized in the national vaccine rollout, off-reserve and urban populations had been left out of Quebec's plan. It's why Philippe Meilleur, executive director of Native Montreal, has spent the last few months advocating and working to make the clinics a reality."

For the full story, click here.
"Government of Canada COVID-19 Update For Indigenous Peoples And Communities"
"OTTAWA, TRADITIONAL UNCEDED ALGONQUIN TERRITORY, ON, April 29, 2021 /CNW/ - Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is closely monitoring the number of COVID-19 cases reported in First Nations communities across the country. 

As we mark National Immunization Awareness Week (NIAW) 2021, it is a reminder of the importance of vaccines to protect people against disease. This year during NIAW, talk to your family and friends about the importance of getting the COVID-19 vaccine and of keeping up to date with other routine vaccinations. Vaccines protect you—and others—from serious vaccine-preventable diseases, as well as help reduce the burden on Canada's health care system.

While COVID-19 vaccines roll out across the country, we must also continue to follow public health measures to keep our loved ones, our communities and ourselves safe. This includes minimizing in-person interactions with people outside your immediate household, avoiding crowded places, wearing a mask and washing your hands frequently."

For the full update, click here.
"Vaccinations Ramping Up In Sask. Indigenous Communities"
"Indigenous communities are slated to receive 37,440 doses in May

New data provided by the federal government provides a better picture of efforts to vaccinate First Nations communities in Saskatchewan. 

The latest data indicates that as of April 21, 2021, 20,797 vaccines have been administered at on-reserve clinics: 13,645 in First Nations in south and central Saskatchewan and 7,152 in Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority (NITHA) communities.

In 2016, the Indigenous population in the province was 175,020.

Twenty-three thousand vaccine doses have been allocated to First Nations for the month of April, and more than 37,000 are expected in May. The northern authority will receive 11,700 vaccinations and 25,740 will go to First Nations in south and central Saskatchewan. 

Communities only began receiving the specifically allocated doses on April 6."

"The Next Phase Of Pandemic Response Begins In Remote First Nations In Northern Ontario"
"Operation 'Remote Immunity' has ended, but needs for public health guidelines, vaccines continue

As the monumental task to vaccinate Canadians against COVID-19 creeps forward, the Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority (SLFNHA) is looking ahead to the next phase of pandemic response for isolated First Nations in northern Ontario.

That means ensuring vaccines are available for those who missed an earlier opportunity, continuing public education campaigns about the effectiveness and safety of the vaccines, and maintaining public health guidelines, according to the incident commander for SLFNHA's COVID-19 response team.

"We are not out of the woods until we see vaccine coverage rates around this region increase," Dr. Lloyd Douglas said.

The majority of the First Nations served by the health authority were part of the recently completed Operation Remote Immunity, a provincial effort to provide both doses of the Moderna vaccine to 31 isolated First Nations in northern Ontario."

"Vancouver Island First Nations Face Disproportionate Burden During Pandemic: Report"
"A new Community Situation Report released by the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) reveals the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on Indigenous people on Vancouver Island.

Despite representing only 7.6 per cent of Vancouver Island's population, Indigenous people account for 34.9 per cent of COVID-19 cases.

The rate of positive cases for the Indigenous population was 1,323 per 100,000 compared to 202 per 100,000 for the non-Indigenous population, according to the FNHA.

Additionally, those who self-identified as Indigenous experienced three times the rate of hospitalizations and four times the rate of deaths, compared to the non-Indigenous population.

“Those are really scary figures,” said Mariah Charleson, Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council vice-president. “It's shocking, but we all realize that's the reality.”

The imbalance is driven by various factors, including overcrowded homes, underlying health conditions, a lack of capacity to handle outbreaks - especially in more rural and remote First Nations communities - along with a lack of trust in the health care system, said Charleson.

“Systemic racism exists in every sector of the health care system in B.C.,” she said, citing the 2020 report, In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Health Care."

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 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
Health and Wellness Planning Guide - Video Modules
Did you know that the FNHMA has a series of videos that complement our Health and Wellness Planning Guide?

The Health and Wellness Planning Guide was written for those working in First Nations health and includes the voices and wisdom of hundreds of First Nations health managers. Their voices and experience were shared with us over the many years FNHMA has been working with and supporting First Nations health managers.

These videos complement our Health and Wellness Planning Guide and provide context on how to best utilize the information provided in the guide.

Learn more in "HWP Module 1: Intro"

Don't forget to subscribe to our channel too!

NIB Trust Fund Announces 2021-2022 Call For Applications
The NIB Trust Fund is now accepting applications for funding from individuals for the 2021-2022 year. Individuals may apply for funding in the form of a scholarship, bursary, or award from the NIB Trust Fund through the online application accessible at nibtrust.ca.

The NIB Trust Fund supports a wide range of activities for First Nations and Métis applicants to pursue, including but not limited to:

  • Programs which promote the preservation, reclamation, development or understanding of First Nations or Métis history, cultures, or languages
  • Cultural education (traditional teachings, workshops, ceremony, etc.)
  • Healing programming 
  • Post-Secondary Education
  • Training
  • Certification
  • Professional Development and Job Skill Training
  • Capacity Building Workshops
  • And more!

Deadline to apply: June 4, 2021 at 5:00pm EDT.

To learn more, 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.
Employment Opportunity - The Ottawa Hospital
The Ottawa Hospital is currently looking to hire an "Indigenous Cancer Program Coordinator" at the General Campus.

The Program Coordinator will support the work of the Champlain Regional Indigenous Cancer Program in the successful implementation of the First Nations, Inuit, Metis and Urban Indigenous (FNIMuI) Cancer Strategy 2019-2023 in the Champlain region.

First Nations, Inuit, and Metis candidates are encouraged to self-identify through the application process.

Submit your online application including a cover letter and resume (single document) by May 3, 2021.

To download the full job posting, click here.
IPAC Town Halls: "Anti-Indigenous Racism In Healthcare - A Canadian Perspective During COVID-19"
Date: Tuesday May 4, 2021 
Time: 3:00-5:00pm PDT

About:
Systemic Anti-Indigenous racism, The Opioid Crisis, and COVID-19 have Indigenous doctors in Canada working around the clock. We have seen both tragedy and promise. Join IPAC President, Dr. Nel Wieman; Chair of the National Consortium on Indigenous Medical Education, Dr. Marcia Anderson; and Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Public Health, Dr. Evan Adams, as they share an overview of what’s been happening in Canada, and how Indigenous physicians and organizations are making positive change. Q & A to follow the panel discussion.

Moderna Presents: Important Information For Healthcare Providers About COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna
Moderna Presents: Important Information for Healthcare Providers about COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna

Join Moderna for a webinar to learn about COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna, which has been authorized for use under an interim order in Canada.

There will be a live Q&A with the presenter following the presentation.

Please register at the link below.

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: How Vaccines Are Developed
Have you wondered how vaccines are developed?

Vaccines are the most effective way to prevent the spread of infectious disease, but developing one can be costly, long, and complex.

Watch a short video here to learn more: http://ow.ly/FSvx50Et9N2

To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines, click here.
 
For information on COVID-19 Fraud and Scams, click here.
COVID-19 Vaccines: Get The Facts
COVID-19 Vaccines - Get the facts
 
Have a question like:

"Why are Indigenous adults among the first to be offered the vaccine in Canada"

FACT: Indigenous adults and communities are being prioritized for access to vaccines for a few reasons: they have significantly higher chances of having serious illness from COVID-19 than other Canadians; and they face higher risks for infection and serious illness, rooted in the history of colonization and resulting systemic barriers, such as high rates of chronic disease, reduced access to health care, and a lack of infrastructure (such as housing, water infrastructure, and medical services).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click the link to subscribe today!

InfoPoint - We're Here To Support You!

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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