Government of Canada COVID-19 update for Indigenous Peoples and communities, week of August 9
August 12, 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.
By end of July 2021, Canada has received enough doses to fully vaccinate all eligible people in Canada. As of August 9, 2021 over 62 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been distributed across the country.
As of August 10, 2021, over 86% 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 65% have received their second dose. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, over 81% of individuals aged 12 and older have received one dose, with 68% having received two doses as of July 31, 2021.
ISC regions and Indigenous communities across the country have stepped up to promote and administer COVID-19 vaccinations to Indigenous Peoples. We thank all those who have received their first dose of the vaccine and remind everyone to be sure to book your appointment for your second dose to protect against severe disease outcomes, such as hospitalization and death, especially in the context of the Delta variant.
With the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions quickly and a potential Delta-driven fourth wave among Indigenous Peoples, continued efforts to avoid a devastating impact on Indigenous communities, including vaccines, awareness and continued public health measures are needed. These measures are crucial since a large proportion of the Indigenous population, particularly on reserves, are children under the age of 12, who are not yet eligible to get a dose which could put communities at risk, if COVID-19 were to spread among the unimmunized.
In Saskatchewan, active COVID-19 cases continue to increase, particularly in northern Saskatchewan, which includes three First Nation community outbreaks. Indigenous Services Canada in Saskatchewan is working in partnership with Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority (NITHA) and communities to address vaccine hesitancy through access to testing and vaccination, and the promotion of public health measures (masking and social distancing), including providing masks and hand sanitizers at First Nation cultural gatherings and events.
The Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs (BATC) and the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) have arranged COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinics, on-site at the upcoming Fred Sasakamoose “Chief Thunderstick” National Championships in Saskatoon so spectators have an opportunity to get tested or receive a vaccination during the three-day hockey tournament this weekend.
It is important to note that as provinces and territories continue to ease restrictive public health measures, this easing will be dependent on the current risk level in and around their communities, which is informed by COVID-19 rates, the presence of variants of concern, vaccination coverage in each jurisdiction, public health and health care capacity, and community vulnerabilities. Members of the public must continue to follow their community’s recommendations on the use of personal preventive measures, such as wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing and receiving both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine available in Canada.
As of August 11, 2021, the following COVID-19 data has been confirmed:
- 33,448 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases
- 288 active cases
- 32,776 recovered cases
- 384 deaths
The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is a critical part of Canada’s whole-of-government response to the pandemic. The CAF is pleased to continue working 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.
As of August 2021, the CAF has assisted more than 100 Indigenous communities across Canada since the beginning of the pandemic. The CAF remains ready to respond wherever and whenever the government or Indigenous partners need them to help protect Canadians.
As part of Operation LASER, which is the CAF’s response to a global pandemic situation, Canadian Rangers are providing assistance with COVID-19 response efforts in Hatchet Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan. CAF recently concluded its support to Attawapiskat First Nation in Ontario.
Canadian Rangers are also activated in many communities across the country as Sentinels to help identify emerging demands.
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For more information, media may contact:
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services
Indigenous Services Canada
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