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

News release

May 26, 2021 — Ottawa, Traditional unceded Algonquin Territory, Ontario — Indigenous Services Canada

Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is committed to supporting Indigenous communities in their response to COVID-19 and is working closely with Indigenous organizations and provincial and territorial governments.

With warmer weather approaching and more people spending time outside, it remains essential that everyone 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.

In First Nations communities, as of May 25, ISC is aware of

  • 29,195 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases
  • 741 active cases
  • 28,121 recovered cases
  • 333 deaths.

There are 9 active cases in the Northwest Territories. As of May 25, the Government of Nunavut is reporting 12 active cases of COVID-19 in Iqaluit and one in Kinngait.

As of May 25, 2021, more than 25.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been distributed across the country. As of May 25, 459,380 vaccine doses have been administered in 687 First Nations, Inuit and territorial communities. In Indigenous communities, 75% of the adult population have been vaccinated with one dose.

Across the country, the vaccine roll-out is well underway. Starting this week, Indigenous Peoples in Manitoba who have received their first dose of the vaccine can book appointments at super sites, pop-up clinics or urban Indigenous clinics. The Government of Canada, in collaboration with the province of Manitoba, is also working to support the Manitoba Metis Federation with their vaccine clinic in Winnipeg. In Sudbury, Ontario, urban Indigenous Peoples are now eligible to receive their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at an interval shorter than four months. In Calgary, a coalition of organizations, including the Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary, Siksika Health Services, OKAKI and Seven Brothers Circle, have been working together to run a clinic that provides vaccines to Indigenous youth and other target groups. In addition, in British Columbia, everyone aged 12 and older can now register to be vaccinated. This is a chance for First Nations youth who live off reserve to be vaccinated, as well as youth in First Nations communities who were not eligible when the clinics across the province were held. 

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) continue to assist Indigenous communities across the country. The CAF is helping vaccination teams with the accelerated pace of immunizations in a number of on-reserve First Nations communities in Northern Manitoba. So far, the CAF has assisted 11 communities within the province with the delivery of the first dose, and five of those communities have also received the second dose. This week, the CAF is supporting second-dose clinics in the First Nation communities of God’s Lake First Nation, Barren Lands First Nation, O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation and Northlands Denesuline First Nation.

Canadian Rangers were activated in the community of Lac Seul First Nation in Ontario on May 4 to provide assistance in dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak. The Rangers are working alongside First Nations partners to provide humanitarian assistance and address the immediate needs of this remote community. Similarly, Canadian Rangers were also activated in the Moose Cree First Nation, Neskantaga First Nation and Attawapiskat First Nation in Ontario to provide assistance with COVID-19 response efforts in these communities. As always, the Government of Canada will be there to support Indigenous communities in need, for as long as it takes.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Adrienne Vaupshas
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada

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