Volume 12 | June 15, 2020
FNHMA Health Bulletin: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
This weekly health and wellness bulletin is intended to provide facts, resources for supports and outline potential actions to organizations, communities and their members. Each week the bulletin will include updated information surrounding the COVID-19 Pandemic.

In this bulletin you will find news and information regarding:

  • Protecting Communities, Elders Paramount for First Nations During COVID-19
  • 'Birthing a nation' during a pandemic: Indigenous doulas try to maintain practices and protocols from afar
  • How First Nations Are Finding Ways To Keep COVID-19—And Outsiders—At Bay
  • COVID-19 Testing Underway In Wabaseemoong
  • Rapid-Response COVID-19 Testing Coming To Northern Manitoba
  • Total Number of First Nations Confirmed Cases In Canada As Of June 12
  • Ottawa Commits $133M In Further Aid For Indigenous Businesses

See below for more information on these topics.
Please Note That Service Hours For InfoPoint Have Been Updated.

InfoPoint will now be available from 9am until 5pm EDT, Monday to Friday.

InfoPoint is still your trusted resource to find credible and reliable information on COVID-19.
FNHMA Weekly Virtual Town Hall
FNHMA is committed to providing Virtual Town Halls on a weekly basis. Each week will feature different guest organizations, representatives, and focus on different topics related to COVID-19.

The latest Town Hall Session aired Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 1pm EDT. To view click Here

The speakers were:
  • Keith Marshall, President, First Nations Health Directors Association, Hailika'as Heiltsuk Health Society
  • Dr. Tom Wong, Executive Director and CMO of Public Health, Indigenous Services Canada

To view past Virtual Town Halls Click Here.
National and First Nation COVID-19 News
Protecting Communities, Elders Paramount For First Nations During COVID-19
First Nations across B.C. have developed their own strategies to keep their members safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, an approach that will continue as the province moves toward the next phase of its reopening plan.

While the techniques have varied, one trait they have in common is caution.

B.C. Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief Terry Teegee said all Indigenous communities have experienced pandemics and illnesses that decimated their populations.

Click Here to see the full article
Rapid-Response COVID-19 Testing Coming To Northern Manitoba
The province announced on Thursday that rapid-response COVID-19 testing will be coming to Manitoba through a partnership between the federal and provincial governments.

The Public Health Agency of Canada, the Manitoba First Nation Pandemic Response Co-ordination Team and the First Nations Inuit Health Branch have all joined forces to bring four GeneXpert machines to health care providers in northern Manitoba.

The machines, which can provide test results in as little as an hour, will go to Thompson, The Pas, Norway House Cree Nation and the Percy E. Moore Hospital at Peguis First Nation.

Click Here to see the full article
'Birthing A Nation' During A Pandemic: Indigenous Doulas Try To Maintain Practices And Protocols From Afar
Birth is a sacred ceremony in Indigenous cultures, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made following some protocols challenging.

"As an Indigenous doula, I really turned a lot to prayer. I really, really focus my mind and my spirit to being prayerful, especially when the mother is labouring, really recognizing and acknowledging that birth is a ceremony and to be in that space," said Jolene Creely, a Cree/Dakota doula based out of Regina.

But with physical distancing restrictions in place, Indigenous doulas like Creely are finding their prenatal classes nixed, their clients' doctor appointments cancelled, and their other methods of connecting in person severed.

Click Here to see the full article
How First Nations Are Finding Ways To Keep COVID-19—And Outsiders—At Bay
On April 27, the Nuxalk First Nation, nestled in British Columbia’s Bella Coola Valley, simply stopped asking. Five weeks earlier, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the chief and council had declared a local state of emergency and set up a checkpoint on the only highway into the valley to restrict non-essential traffic. Like many remote and coastal communities in the province, and as one known for its salmon fishing, the Nuxalk are wary of the risk of infection that comes with tourists visiting their territory.

Click Here to see the full article
The Northwestern Health Unit is working with the Wabaseemoong Independent Nation community to help control the spread of COVID-19, after a positive case was found on the First Nation over the weekend.

Acting Medical Officer of Health for the Northwestern Health Unit, Dr. Ian Gemmill, confirmed that the adult male is now in isolation and contact tracing is underway.

“The person was ill and developed symptoms last week, was tested, and has now tested positive for COVID-19. We are working with collaborating both with the community and the First Nations Inuit Health Branch on the follow-up on the case.”

Click Here to see the full article
Total Number of First Nations Confirmed Cases In Canada As Of June 12
As of June 7, 2020, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) records indicate that there are over 225 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on First Nations reserves, in five provinces. 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  Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update page.
Ottawa Commits $133M In Further Aid For Indigenous Businesses
Ottawa will spend a further $133 million on helping Indigenous businesses suffering the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government has heard from First Nations, Inuit and Metis business owners who have said the last few months have been extremely difficult.

Of the total amount announced today, $117 million is to help small and community-owned Indigenous businesses.

Click Here to see the full article
Accessing Additional Support Funds
Emergency COVID-19 Funding for Indigenous Early Learning & Child Care
BC Aboriginal Child Care Society (BCACCS), through the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) Framework, invites First Nations and Urban Indigenous ELCC Programs to apply for one-time funding to support children birth to six years of age and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recipients can receive up to $10,000 in funding for the period of June 1, 2020 – September 30, 2020.

Who can apply?
  • All First Nations communities in BC
  • Urban IELCC programs and Services (Aboriginal Friendship Centres, Head Start Programs, Aboriginal Infant Development, Aboriginal Supported Child Development, Aboriginal Child Care, etc.) 

Click here for more information.
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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Supports & Regularly Updated Resources
The following organizations have resources to combat COVID-19. These resources are regualrly updated and are available to view at any time.

Please click below to be directed to more information.
FNHMA Updates

FNHMA working hours have changed for the summer season.

Effective immediatley, FNHMA staff will be working summer hours on Fridays.

FNHMA staff members will finish the work day at 12pm EDT, but will be available by email.
Important Notice for Intensive Course Schedule

For the safety of all participants and FNHMA staff all intensive courses are postponed until further notice.

Notice for Online Courses

Online courses will continue to be offered.

To register please contact Eva Keeshig at eva.keeshig@fnhma.ca
FNHMA staff are working from home and are available by email during this time.

For access to the staff directory visit https://fnhma.ca/contact-us/ or call
(613) 599-6070.

We are committed to providing the most up to date information and supporting our membership during this difficult time.


FNHMA has a number of resources available online relating to COVID-19 awareness and prevention.

Click here to view the resource page on the FNHMA Website.

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