Indigenous

COVID-19 in Indigenous communities: What you need to know this week

One death was reported this week bringing the total of deaths on First Nations reserves from COVID-19 reported by Indigenous Services Canada to 10.

North American Indigenous Games in Halifax postponed indefinitely

Flora Weistche, 41, lives southwest of Montreal and is originally from Waskaganish, Que. She made a mask to represent how Cree and other Indigenous communities in Quebec are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. (Thierry Beauregard)

There are currently 120 active cases of COVID-19 on First Nations reserves across Canada, according to data from Indigenous Services Canada.   

New cases since last week were primarily reported in Alberta, British Columbia, and Manitoba. One death was reported, bringing the total of deaths on-reserve from COVID-19 to 10.

There has been a total of 616 cases of COVID-19 on First Nations reserves as of Sept. 21, as well as 51 hospitalizations. A total of 486 First Nations people have recovered.

Cases on First Nations reserves reported per region as of Sept. 21 :  

  • British Columbia: 132
  • Alberta: 265
  • Saskatchewan: 96
  • Manitoba: 8
  • Ontario: 68
  • Quebec: 47

Top COVID-19 stories

Métis Nation-Saskatchewan president Glen McCallum tested positive for COVID-19, and at least five people who attended meetings in Waskesiu, Sask., last week with McCallum now have COVID-19 symptoms.The Hawood Inn, where the meetings were held, is now closed for extensive cleaning. Owner Nancy Wood said McCallum ignored pleas to follow COVID-19 protocols during the two-day meeting.

  • Pikangikum First Nation, Sandy Lake First Nation and Kasabonika Lake First Nation in northern Ontario reported new cases of COVID-19.
  • The North American Indigenous Games in Halifax, postponed this year due to COVID-19 and scheduled to take place in 2021, were postponed again.
  • A COVID-19 testing site for Indigenous people is scheduled to open in Toronto in mid-October.
  • A beader from northern Quebec has created a COVID-19 mask to pay tribute to how Cree and other Indigenous communities are dealing with the pandemic.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19? 

  • new or worsening cough
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • temperature equal to or over 38°C
  • feeling feverish
  • chills
  • fatigue or weakness
  • muscle or body aches
  • new loss of smell or taste
  • headache
  • gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting)
  • feeling very unwell

If you think you may have COVID-19, please consult your local health department to book an appointment at a screening clinic. 


CBC Indigenous is looking to hear from First Nations, Métis, and Inuit who have contracted COVID-19. If you would like to share your experience, please email us.

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