Indigenous

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

As vaccine distribution continues in First Nations and Inuit communities across Canada, the number of active COVID-19 cases continues on a downward trend. 

5 deaths on-reserve reported from the virus since last week

Lillian Piapot receives her COVID-19 vaccination at the Wellness Wheel Medical Clinic & Indigenous Community Research Network's Wellness Warrior Program in Regina. Dr. JoLee Sasakamoose from the Wellness Wheel (right) supported Piapot. (Cody Lloyd, Wellness Wheel)

As vaccine distribution continues in First Nations and Inuit communities across Canada, the number of active COVID-19 cases continues on a downward trend. 

There were 707 active cases in First Nations communities as of April 4, a decrease of 224 from a week prior according to the latest data from Indigenous Services Canada. As of March 31, there were no active cases in the Nunavik region of Quebec and zero active cases reported in Nunavut.

New infections this week were reported primarily in Alberta and Manitoba with 84 and 81 cases respectively reported on-reserve. A new rapid COVID-19 testing facility opened in Winnipeg's North End to make it easier for urban Indigenous people, as well as those travelling to northern Indigenous communities, to be tested for the virus.

Since the pandemic began, there have been a total of 25,032 cases in First Nations communities. A total of 285 people have died from the virus, with five of those deaths reported in the last week. The total number of hospitalizations rose to 1,127. The number of First Nations people who have recovered from the disease is now at 24,040.

Total cases in First Nations communities per region reported as of April 4:

  • British Columbia: 2,802
  • Alberta: 7,258
  • Saskatchewan: 6,305
  • Manitoba: 6,381
  • Ontario: 1,649
  • Quebec: 627
  • Atlantic: 10

Vaccine distribution

As of April 4, a total of 257,279 vaccine doses have been administered in 612 First Nations and Inuit communities. 

In a March 31 update from Indigenous Services Canada, the federal department stated that members of the Canadian Armed Forces will be assisting Pikangikum First Nation and Sandy Lake First Nation in northwestern Ontario with second dose vaccine distribution this week.

Read more about the vaccination efforts taking place in Saskatoon and Regina:

Watch Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller respond to a question about whether it's safe for people in Indigenous communities who have received their first shots of the COVID-19 vaccine to gather and resume normal life:

Indigenous services minister discusses whether it's safe to gather after receiving an initial COVID-19 shot

Politics News

22 days ago
2:34
Marc Miller responds to a question about whether it's safe for people in Indigenous communities who have received their first shots of the COVID-19 vaccine to gather and resume normal life. 2:34

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 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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