Government of Canada COVID-19 Update for Indigenous Peoples and communities


Canada NewsWire

OTTAWA, TRADITIONAL UNCEDED ALGONQUIN TERRITORY, ON,Feb. 10, 2021/CNW/ – Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is closely monitoring the number of COVID-19 cases reported in First Nations communities across the country. Case numbers continue to decline, with 1,761 active cases reported as ofFebruary 9, 2021.Although cases are decreasing and vaccines are arriving, Canadians must not let their guard down, and must continue to follow public health measures to protect themselves, their friends, and neighbours. It is essential that everyone continue with physical distancing, wearing masks, avoiding gatherings and non-essential travel, staying home when sick, and keeping up with frequent hand, cough and surface hygiene. The combination ofallthese public health measures are required to stop the spread of the virus.In First Nations communities, as ofFebruary 9, ISC is aware of:

  • 18,356  confirmed positive COVID-19
  • 1,761  active cases
  • 16,401 recovered cases
  • 194 deaths

There are a total of 47 confirmed positive cases in Nunavik,Quebec, and all but 7 have recovered. As ofFebruary 9, the Government ofNunavutis reporting 5 active cases in the Kivalliq Region, and a total of 299 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. Of the 299 reported cases, 293 people have recovered from the virus.As ofFebruary 4, 2021, nearly 1.2 million Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have been distributed across the country. As ofFebruary 9, 2021, ISC was aware of 344 Indigenous communities with vaccinations underway in the provinces and territories. Over 72,000 doses have been administered to Indigenous populations (for either priority groups or all adults) in communities. We expect that the number of communities with vaccinations underway will continue to increase in the coming weeks, as vaccine supply ramps up.  Despite some temporary delays in the vaccine roll-out,Canadais on track to receive six million doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines by the end of March.This past weekend, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) arrived at the Pauingassi First Nation inManitobato support the community and provide wellness checks as they face an outbreak of COVID-19 cases. The CAF is also continuing to provide assistance inHatchet Lake,Saskatchewan;Garden Hill, Manitoba; and Fort Nelson First Nation,British Columbia.  Elsewhere across the country, Indigenous Services Canada and other federal partners, including the RCMP and the Public Health Agency ofCanada, are meeting regularly with First Nations and provincial representatives to assess on-going community needs and determine supports.Planning for urban Indigenous vaccination continues to be a priority. To this end, Indigenous Services Canada is working closely with provinces and territories, First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners, the National Association of Friendship Centres, and other urban community service organizations to support current planning efforts. This includes working to identify barriers, challenges and opportunities for increasing vaccine uptake for Indigenous Peoples, and making the vaccine more available in locations that are welcoming and accessible to Indigenous Peoples.ISC continues to support Indigenous communities impacted by COVID-19 through partnerships and other innovative solutions. As ofDecember 18, over$4.2 billionhas been announced in COVID-19 support to Indigenous and northern communities and organizations, including$926.7 millionfor the ongoing public health response to COVID-19 in Indigenous communities. ISC also continues to support communities by actively sending personal protective equipment and working with community health services to provide surge capacity and testing.To further bolster support at the community level, the Government ofCanadaalso announced$332.8 millionin 2021-22 to support First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities that experienced declines in own source revenues, such as business income, revenue-sharing, or taxes. These investments will ensure that communities that use this revenue to supplement their community programming can continue to provide important programs and services to their members. The Department is working to finalize details on the rollout of these funds, and anticipates that a call for applications will be launched this Spring.Associated links

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