Indigenous

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

The number of active COVID-19 cases continue to decline as vaccine efforts ramp up in First Nations and Inuit communities, according to the latest data from Indigenous Services Canada.

15 deaths reported from the virus since last week

Health care workers administer COVID-19 vaccinations to members of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation in North Vancouver, B.C., earlier this month. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

The number of active COVID-19 cases continues to decline as vaccination efforts ramp up in First Nations and Inuit communities, according to the latest data from Indigenous Services Canada.

There were 1,136 active cases in First Nations communities as of March 22, a decrease of 130 cases from the week prior. As of March 18, there were six active cases in the Nunavik region of Quebec. As of March 23, there were zero active cases in Nunavut.

New infections were reported primarily in Manitoba with 270 new cases on-reserve in the last week. Pine Creek First Nation, nearly 325 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, declared a state of emergency and issued a lockdown order in response to a coronavirus outbreak.

In Ontario, Ohsweken Public Health in Six Nations of the Grand River announced it had identified two cases of variants of concern.

Since the pandemic began, there have been a total of 24,084 cases in First Nations communities. A total of 273 people have died from the virus, with 15 of those deaths being reported in the last week. The total number of hospitalizations rose to 1,076. The number of First Nations people who have recovered from the disease is now at 22,675.

Total cases in First Nations communities per region reported as of March 22:

  • British Columbia: 2,670
  • Alberta: 7,034
  • Saskatchewan: 6,131
  • Manitoba: 6,091
  • Ontario: 1,531
  • Quebec: 617
  • Atlantic: 10

Vaccine distribution

As of March 18, a total of 200,560 doses have been administered in 586 First Nations and Inuit communities. It represents 54 doses administered per 100 adults in First Nations and Inuit communities in provinces — five times the rate in the overall Canadian adult population. 

In Manitoba, members of the Canadian Armed Forces personnel are being sent to help with COVID-19 vaccinations in up to 23 northern First Nations.

Read more about the vaccination efforts taking place in Peguis First Nation, Man., London, Ont., and Listuguj, Que.:

Watch Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller outline how the military will help vaccinate northern Manitoba First Nations communities:

Indigenous Services minister says military will help vaccinate northern Manitoba First Nations communities

Politics News

2 months ago
1:13
Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller outlines the plan to involve the military in vaccinating northern Manitoba First Nations communities. 1:13

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 or lost a loved one to COVID-19. If you would like to share your story, please email us at indigenous@cbc.ca.

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