Last updated: September 14, 2020
MKO has created this page to share updates about COVID-19 that may be of interest to Northern First Nations in Manitoba. The health information we share on this page is informed by the work of the new health entity called Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin. You can learn more about this new health entity here.
Click a heading to jump ahead or scroll through this webpage to find the following sections:
First Nations resources
- Anaana’s Tent Interactive website for children (May 18, 2020)
- BC Centre for Disease Control: Breastfeeding and COVID-19 (PDF infographic)
- BC Centre for Disease Control: COVID-19 guideline for lactation for women/individuals who are confirmed or suspect cases of COVID-19 (PDF file) (April 15, 2020)
- Canadian Red Cross update to First Nations in Manitoba (PDF file) (April 6-20, 2020)
- Canadian Red Cross COVID-19 Emergency Support for Community Organizations (June 18, 2020)
- Canadian Red Cross 21 Days of Hope guide for youth in self-isolation (June 24, 2020)
- Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse: Addressing the urgent needs of people who use substances during the pandemic (July 7, 2020)
- CBC Curio – Indigenous Youth, podcast collection
- CBC GEM –Through our Eyes, Indigenous Short Docs (May 18, 2020)
- CBC Podcast Tai Asks Why (May 18, 2020)
- Connect with Culture for Life (May 18, 2020)
- First Nations Health Authority: Alcohol Use: Risk Mitigation Strategies During a Pandemic (April 1, 2020)
- First Nations Health Authority: Staying Connected during the Pandemic: Drawing on Indigenous Strengths to Stay Connected and Well (May 18, 2020)
- First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB): NIHB Medical Transportation and Hygiene for Medical Drivers and Medical Van Operators during COVID-19 Pandemic (PDF file): April 2, 2020
- First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB): Important info for MKO First Nations re: COVID reimbursement (July 6, 2020)
- First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line can be called at 1-855-242-3310 or 1-310-855-HOPE (May 18, 2020)
- Foodrescue.ca Emergency Fund: Emergency Funding for Food Support (July 21, 2020)
- Government of Canada: Accessing financial benefits and supports during the COVID-19 outbreak (PDF file)
- Government of Canada: Online Resources for Indigenous Communities: Food and COVID-19 (June 8, 2020)
- Government of Canada: Guidance for health professionals considering travel to First Nations Communities to provide services (June 5, 2020)
- Government of Canada: Food Security Funding (June 18, 2020)
- Government of Canada: Information for MKO Nations about community-based proposals (June 18, 2020)
- Government of Canada: Protecting the health and safety of Indigenous Communities in close proximity to natural resource operations (July 2, 2020)
- Government of Manitoba: AbilitiCBT virtual therapy program (April 23, 2020)
- Government of Manitoba: Mental Health Supports (April 24, 2020)
- Guidance on Re-Opening Northern, Remote, Isolated, and Indigenous Communities (July 7, 2020)
- Indigenous Services Canada: COVID-19 Community Guide on Accessing Additional Supports
- Indigenous Services Canada: Support for Indigenous businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic (July 28, 2020)
- Indigenous Peoples Resilience Fund: Financial support available for projects serving Indigenous populations managing the impacts of COVID-19 (June 16, 2020)
- Kids Help Phone can be called at 1-800-668-6868 (May 18, 2020)
- Life Saving Society of Manitoba. Information for Northern First Nations from the Lifesaving Society of Manitoba (May 26, 2020)
- Manitoba First Nations COVID-19 Pandemic Response Coordination Team: Communique #1 for April 6 to 11, 2020 (PDF file) (April 6-11, 2020)
- Manitoba First Nations COVID-19 Pandemic Response and Coordination Team: COVID-19 Manitoba Restart Strategy: Understanding the Implications for First Nations Communities (May 13, 2020)
- Manitoba First Nations COVID-19 Pandemic Response and Coordination Team: Information for First Nations on funeral services during the COVID-19 pandemic (April 7, 2020)
- Manitoba Suicide Prevention and Support Line can be called at 1-877-435-7170, and TTY 204-784-4097 (May 18, 2020)
- Mental Wellness Resources for First Nations Youth (May 18, 2020)
- MKO and KIM community bulletin #1: Mental wellness supports during the COVID-19 pandemic (April 8, 2020)
- MKO Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Unit: Accessing domestic violence resources during the COVID-19 pandemic (April 15, 2020)
- National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health: COVID-19 online resources
- National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health: Fact sheet called Maintaining the health and well-being of First Nations, Inuit and Métis children and teens during COVID-19 (April 2020)
- National Film Board’s Collection of Indigenous Cinema (May 18, 2020)
- Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB): Program Update (April 29, 2020)
- Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) COVID-19 Update #4 (May 27, 2020)
- Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB): Program Updates for June 2020 (June 18, 2020)
- Northern Health Authority on the ongoing response to COVID-19 for incarcerated populations (April 16, 2020)
- The Pandemic Response and Coordination Team (PRCT): Public Health Considerations During COVID-19 for Sundance Leaders (July 10, 2020)
- Public Health Agency of Canada: Handwashing poster to encourage reducing the spread of COVID-19 (PDF file)
- Thunderbird Partnership Foundation: First Nations Alcohol Use & COVID-19 (May 18, 2020)
- 4 R’s Youth Movement and their list of podcast resources (May 18, 2020)
- The Breakfast Club of Canada is issuing special grants for community organizations to help ensure children and families have access to food during the crisis. Click here for more info.
- Please click here to access more information about the Indigenous Community Support Fund and the Emergency Management Assistance Program.
- For individuals, check out this resource called: Accessing financial benefits and supports during the COVID-19 outbreak (PDF file)
- Service Canada launched a dedicated toll-free phone line for First Nation members who need help with applications for both Employment Insurance and the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Service Canada’s Outreach Support Centre line is 1-877-631-2657.
- FNHIB: Extension for filing COVID-19 related expenses with the FNIHB (July 31, 2020)
- Government of Canada’s Fisher Harvester Benefit and Grant Program: Apply by September 21, 2020
- Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program: Apply by October 20, 2020
You will also find health resources in the section called “helpful links” and in “resources for First Nations.”
If you are concerned about your health:
Manitoba residents may contact Health Links-Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257 (toll-free) if you’re experiencing symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus.
Do not call 911 unless it is an emergency.
If you would like to screen yourself for COVID-19, the Province of Manitoba has created an online screening tool. You can access it here.
Testing locations for COVID-19:
You can find a list of all COVID-19 screening locations in Manitoba here.
The Northern testing sites are in Thompson (Thompson Clinic); Flin Flon (Channing Auditorium), and The Pas (Royal Canadian Legion). All testing sites are open from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 4 pm.
All nursing stations should have the ability to test for COVID-19. To help keep others in your community safe, please call Health Links at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257 (toll-free) and/or your nursing station in advance if you think you have COVID-19 to let them know you are wanting to have a test. They may have special instructions for you.
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19:
We will post more information here about what to do if you are diagnosed with COVID-19.
- The Public Health Agency of Canada webpage and fact sheet: How to isolate at home when you have COVID-19
- Click here to watch a video in which Robin Buckland, Chief Nursing Officer at Indigenous Services Canada, provides information about COVID-19 testing and care and what to do if you are in a First Nations community.
Media releases and updates:
- March 12 media release: MKO Update on COVID-19 Preparations for Northern First Nations
- March 12 health update: COVID-19 Health Update for March 12, 2020
- March 18 media release: MKO Encourages Northern First Nations to Take Four Steps to Protect the Most Vulnerable People from COVID-19
- March 30 media release: Knowledge Keepers Radio Show Aims to Lift Spirits During COVID-19 Pandemic
- March 31 media release: Protecting First Nations in the Time of COVID-19: MKO Continues to Advocate for Northern Manitoba
- April 2 media release: Lack of Housing in Northern First Nations Impacts Ability to Self-Isolate
- April 2 update: Important Information for Fishers in Northern Manitoba on April 2, 2020
- April 7 media release: COVID-19 Pandemic Amplifies Need for Reliable Internet and Phone Service in Northern Manitoba
- April 8 community bulletin: Mental wellness supports during the COVID-19 pandemic
- April 15: Accessing domestic violence resources during the COVID-19 pandemic
- April 15 media release: Updated Public Health Orders Restrict Travel in Northern Manitoba
- April 23 media release: MKO Concerned Funding for Urban Indigenous Response to COVID-19 Pandemic Insufficient
- April 28 media release: MKO Encourages Province of Manitoba to Continue Prohibiting Travel to Northern Manitoba to Reduce Spread of COVID-19
- April 30 update: Update from MKO’s Mobile Crisis Response Team
- April 30 memo to Chiefs: Misipawistik Cree Nation (MCN) check point on Highway 6
- April 30 memo to Chiefs: Pandemic plan for containing COVID-19 virus
- May 1 update: Update from MKO Grand Chief Garrison Settee
- May 6 media release: MKO Pleased Province of Manitoba is Collecting and Sharing First Nations-Specific Data during COVID-19 Pandemic
- May 15: Sixteen Off-Reserve First Nations Citizens Diagnosed with COVID-19 in Manitoba
- May 15: Protecting our People from COVID-19: Tataskweyak Cree Nation Implementing Lock Down in Response to Manitoba Hydro Operations
- May 19: Manitoba Hydro Bringing up to 1200 Staff to Northern Manitoba Today Amidst Travel Restrictions and Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic
- May 24: Agreement Reached for Keeyask Construction Site
- May 28: MKO Statement on the Province of Manitoba’s Phase Two Re-Opening Plan
- August 5: Supporting First Nations Citizens Experiencing Homelessness: MKO Pleased to Provide Funding to YWCA Thompson
- August 10: MKO Encourages Northern First Nations to Remain Vigilant Amongst Growing Rates of COVID-19 in Manitoba
- August 18: MKO Statement on the Return to Schools in Northern Manitoba
- August 22: Manitoba First Nations COVID-19 Pandemic Response Coordination Team (PRCT) Bulletin
- August 22: MKO and AMC Joint Media Release- Grand Chiefs Urge for Reintroduction of Northern Travel Order
- August 26: Updates on COVID-19 from the Manitoba First Nations Pandemic Response Coordination Team
- August 31: MKO Pleased Public Health Orders Restricting Travel to Northern Manitoba Coming into Effect on September 4, 2020
- September 2: Travel Restrictions to Northern Manitoba
- September 9: September 8 Bulletin from the Manitoba First Nations COVID-19 Pandemic Response Coordination Team
- September 11: If you plan to home school your child
- September 11: If you test positive for COVID-19
- September 11: Preparing your child for school during COVID-19
MKO in the news:
The following is a list of stories related to COVID-19 and MKO:
- APTN, March 18: ‘Our people are resilient’: Manitoba First Nations organization prepares for pandemic
- CBC, March 18: First Nations leaders urge additional measures to stop spread of COVID-19 in northern Manitoba
- City News, March 18: First Nations Leaders urge strict measures to stop COVID-19
- CTV News, March 18: MKO medical lead tells First Nations to stop all gatherings of 10 or more
- Global News, March 18: Northern Manitoba First Nations make plans to prevent spread of COVID-19
- The Thompson Citizen, March 18: MKO First Nations asked to ban gatherings of 10 or more people in response to COVID-19 pandemic
- Winnipeg Free Press, March 18: MKO recommends sweeping measures to control virus: Northern First Nations asked to limit gatherings to 10 people, close all schools and daycares
- Winnipeg Sun, March 18: First Nations face increased COVID-19 risk: MKO
- CBC, March 31: Manitoba First Nations call on RCMP, Armed Forces to monitor COVID-19 checkstops
- Thompson Citizen, April 2: First Nations concerned that crowded housing creates greater risk of coronavirus exposure
- CBC, April 16: Northern Manitoba chiefs voice support for new remote First Nation travel restrictions
- CTV News, April 17: MKO thanks the province for northern travel restrictions during pandemic
- Edmonton Sun, April 19: Northern Manitoba travel ban welcomed by community leaders
- APTN, April 22: First Nations near Manitoba’s Keeyask Hydro project want it shut down
- Winnipeg Free Press, April 23: Indigenous Winnipeggers deserve more money, chiefs say
- Thompson Citizen, April 28: Extend ban on travel to Northern Manitoba when it expires May 1, MKO urges
- CTV News, May 1: Travel restrictions remain in North
- Winnipeg Free Press, May 3: Chiefs concerned about mental health effects of COVID-19
Public service announcements:
If you listen to NCI FM radio, you may have heard the following public service announcement about the importance of washing your hands. If you haven’t heard it yet, give it a listen!
April 1: Public service announcement on social distancing
Video messages from MKO:
March 18: Watch Grand Chief Settee’s video message to MKO citizens about COVID-19.
March 18: Recommendations for MKO citizens on COVID-19
MKO Grand Chief Garrison Settee speaks about access to the land, social isolation, and the importance of continuing to consume traditional foods while First Nations leaders prepare to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Northern First Nations in this video. These recommendations have been passed onto the Grand Chief by medical advisor Dr. Barry Lavallee at Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin.
March 27: Grand Chief Garrison Settee shares an update on some of the advocacy issues connected to COVID-19 that MKO has been working on for the week of March 22 to 28:
March 29: Grand Chief Garrison Settee provides an update related to COVID-19 in Northern First Nations in Manitoba for Sunday, March 29.
“I want to commend everybody for all that you are doing. I want to thank everybody for doing their part… we’re all in this together.”
March 31: Grand Chief Settee speaks about the need to close the Keeyask construction site in Northern Manitoba
April 1: Grand Chief Settee speaks about the need for reliable Internet and phone service in Northern Manitoba
April 11: MKO Grand Chief shares a special musical message for frontline workers:
April 14: Flattening the curve in MKO territory, a message from Grand Chief Garrison Settee:
April 16: MKO Grand Chief Garrison Settee has created a message in the Cree language for seniors/Elders who are living in care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please share the following video with any Cree-speaking seniors that you know.
April 20: Tune into Knowledge Keepers (episode four) on NCI FM:
April 27: Tune into the final episode of Knowledge Keepers (episode five) on NCI FM:
April 30: MKO’s Client Navigator Bernice Thorassie provides a message in the Dene language on COVID-19:
Stay tuned! New video messages coming soon.