Indigenous

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

Over 59 percent of adults in First Nations communities have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine according to the latest data from Indigenous Services Canada.

369,497 vaccine doses administered in First Nations and Inuit communities

Jen Jerome had her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on April 28 at the Native Friendship Centre of Montreal. It was a part of three vaccination clinics held by Indigenous organizations in Montreal. (Submitted by Jen Jerome)

Over 59 per cent of adults in First Nations communities have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the latest data from Indigenous Services Canada.

To date, a total of 369,497 vaccine doses, including 107,596 second doses, have been administered in 661 First Nations and Inuit communities. It's also estimated that over 74 per cent of adults living in Yukon, N.W.T. and Nunavut have received at least one dose.

The number of doses administered does not include First Nations people who live off-reserve or in urban centres. However, several provinces and cities have either prioritized Indigenous populations or organized special immunization clinics. 

Read more about vaccination efforts to vaccinate urban Indigenous populations in Montreal and across Manitoba:

Active cases

There were 761 active cases in First Nations as of May 3, a decrease of 39 from a week prior according to the latest data from Indigenous Services Canada.

The majority of new infections were reported primarily in the Prairies, with 185 cases in Manitoba and 190 cases in Alberta since last week.

Eleven deaths were reported in the last week, bringing the total number of First Nations people living on-reserve who have died from the virus to 318. There have been a total of 27,489 cases in First Nations communities since the pandemic began. Hospitalizations rose to 1,222 and the number of First Nations people who have recovered from the disease is now at 26,410.

As of Tuesday, the Government of Nunavut is reporting 85 active cases of COVID-19, with 83 in Iqaluit and two in Kinngait.

Total cases in First Nations communities per region reported as of May 3:

  • British Columbia: 2,989
  • Alberta: 7,865
  • Saskatchewan: 6,643
  • Manitoba: 7,358
  • Ontario: 1,917
  • Quebec: 707
  • Atlantic: 10

Pandemic stories:

Watch how a special immunization clinic in Calgary is hoping to boost the number of Indigenous vaccinations in the city by providing a safe space:

COVID-19 vaccine clinic looks to connect Indigenous patients with their culture

CBC News Calgary

2 months ago
1:33
This specialized immunization clinic in Calgary is hoping to boost the number of Indigenous vaccinations in the city by providing a safe space. 1:33

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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