Government of Canada COVID-19 update for Indigenous Peoples and communities, week of July 5

News release

July 8, 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 continues to work closely with Indigenous organizations and provincial and territorial governments. As of July 5, 2021, Canada and partners reported an incredible accomplishment in their vaccination efforts, with more than 49,454,782 COVID-19 vaccine doses being distributed across the country. As of July 6, 2021, in First Nations communities with available information, over 87% of individuals aged 18 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and over 55% have received two doses.

Indigenous Peoples aged 12 and older are currently eligible to register for their first vaccine dose. As of July 6, 2021, over 80% of individuals aged 12 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in First Nations, Inuit and territorial communities. Of this group, over 54% have received their second dose. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, over 76% of individuals aged 12 and older have received one dose.

We thank all those who have received their first dose of the vaccine and remind all Canadians to be sure to book your appointment for your second dose to increase the effectiveness of reducing severe disease outcomes such as hospitalization and death. Being fully vaccinated, together with following all public health measures, is necessary to protect each other and reduce the spread of COVID-19. Summer is often a time for gathering with friends and family; however, we must all remain diligent in following public health measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

One way ISC is supporting communities and reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19 is using ISC CARE to transport and facilitate health human resources from across Canada to and from First Nations communities in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta. As of mid-June 2021, we have transported 6,961 health human resources. The ISC CARE renewal contract was awarded to PAL Airline Ltd. ISC is confident that we will transition smoothly into the new contract arrangement with no disruption to health care services, to community or to our workforce involved in the transport.

As of July 7, 2021, the following COVID-19 data have been confirmed:

  • 32,368 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases
  • 419 active cases
  • 31,584 recovered cases
  • 365 deaths.

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) continues to assist Indigenous communities across the country. As part of Operation VECTOR, which is the CAF’s support to the federal, provincial and territorial governments in distributing COVID-19 vaccines, Canadian Rangers and additional CAF personnel are extending their assistance to provincial vaccination authorities. They are completing logistics and general duty tasks in various communities of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation in Northern Ontario to continue supporting the Government of Ontario and Ornge partners with the delivery of the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to community members aged 12 to 17.

Ornge’s Operation Remote Immunity 2.0 launched on May 31, 2021, and aims to vaccinate approximately 6,000 youth aged 12 to 17 in 31 Ontario fly-in First Nations communities and Moosonee. This week, the CAF’s Ornge-supported vaccine clinics are being held in Attawapiskat First Nation, Cat Lake First Nation and Pikangikum First Nation.

As part of Operation LASER, which is the CAF’s response to a global pandemic situation, Canadian Rangers are currently activated in Kashechewan First Nation in Ontario to provide assistance with COVID-19 response efforts in the community. ISC continues to work with Kashechewan First Nation and health partners to coordinate and deliver critical supports in response to their community COVID-19 outbreak. 

Most recently, the CAF concluded its assistance to the communities of Attawapiskat First Nation and Fort Albany First Nation in Ontario.

Canadian Rangers are also activated in many communities across the country as Sentinels to help identify emerging demands.

The CAF is a critical part of Canada’s whole-of-government response to the pandemic. The CAF is pleased to work in close collaboration with provincial, territorial and Indigenous leadership partners to provide emergency support to all community members affected by the recent COVID-19 outbreaks.

Over the last few days, the CAF has deployed assets to British Columbia to support local efforts in the emergency response to the wildfires. The CAF is also assisting the Yukon Government in mitigating the effects of flooding by providing personnel and equipment.

ISC is working with other federal departments to respond to the request for assistance from the Government of Yukon. The department has also reached out to the Council of Yukon First Nations to determine whether there are any specific needs for First Nations communities that could be supported by the Indigenous Communities Support Fund.

ISC is also working closely with Saugeen First Nation, the Grey Bruce Health Unit, the Canadian Red Cross, other health partners, and federal and provincial departments to ensure that the community has the supports needed to respond to its COVID-19 outbreak. ISC has deployed additional nurses and paramedics to the First Nation, and discussions with community leadership and partners to identify additional resources that may be required to control and stop the spread of COVID-19 are ongoing. 

Associated links

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Adrienne Vaupshas
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services
adrienne.vaupshas@canada.ca

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada
819-953-1160
SAC.media.ISC@canada.ca

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