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COVID-19: The Long Point First Nation Council Denounces the Federal Government’s Inaction

WINNEWAY, QC, April 8, 2020 – Ten days have passed since the Long Point First Nation Council declared a state of emergency and called for immediate government intervention. Since then, only the Quebec government has responded quickly. The Long Point Council is still waiting for a response from the federal government in order to be able to ensure the lives, health and integrity of all members residing in Winneway.

Long Point First Nation Chief Steeve Mathias directly called on the governments of Quebec and Canada in a letter sent on March 30th, to Premier François Legault and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He asked the governments for public security assistance, as well as support for emergency measures.

The Quebec government then responded by mobilizing a patrol car with two police officers, in order to ensure public safety, as requested by Long Point. A command post was established in the former office of the Council. Social Services (Youth Protection) workers will also be mobilized in the community to maintain essential services to Long Point members.

On the federal side, discussions were held to hire security guards and to provide trailers that would house members who might eventually become infected with the virus and might need to quarantine. Despite the urgency of the situation, the aid promised has still not received the approval of the administrative authorities of the government.

“We are yet again being forced to negotiate with officials who act as if this was business as usual. They do not realize the state of emergency and the immediate and urgent needs that must be met,” said Chief Mathias.

While his Council has ordered total confinement of the community, the Chief implores the federal government to immediately remove the administrative obstacles that are currently preventing the necessary measures to be taken in the current circumstances. “We must not wait for the virus to arrive in our community and not be able to limit its impact. We need to act now,” says Chief Mathias, particularly furious at the attitude of federal public servants who seem more motivated by financial rather than human considerations.

About Long Point

The Long Point First Nation is a community located in the heart of unceded, traditional Anicinabe territory. Most of its members reside in Winneway, on the south shore of the Winneway River.

For further information: Steeve Mathias, Chief, Long Point First Nation,, 819-629-7994, 819-722-2875


BC Government: New virtual mental health supports for COVID-19 on the way

April 9, 2020

VICTORIA – To ensure British Columbians have increased access to vital mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Province has announced $5 million to expand existing mental health programs and services and launch new services to support British Columbians.

“If you are feeling anxious, stressed, depressed or disconnected because of COVID-19, I want you to know that you are not alone,” said Premier John Horgan. “Our government is working to give you more options for mental health support as we all stay home to prevent the spread of this virus.”

Enhanced virtual services will help all British Columbians with mental health needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on adults, youth and front-line health care workers. The funding will also increase access for Indigenous communities and those living in rural and remote parts of the province. It will provide more options for people living with mental health challenges who are currently unable to access in-person supports.

“I have heard from people right across B.C. about how this pandemic is taking a toll on their mental health,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Whether longstanding challenges are flaring up or you’re struggling with your mental health for the first time – we’re here for you. We’re working quickly to expand virtual mental health services to ensure that when you reach out for support, someone will be there to help.”

The Province is working in partnership with Foundry Youth Centres, the Canadian Mental Health Association – BC Division (CMHA-BC), the BC Psychological Association and other community partners to deliver new and expanded mental health services. These include:

  • providing more access to online programs for mental health by expanding the BounceBack program. BounceBack provides online coaching and the Living Life to the Full program, which helps people deal with life challenges and learn self-management skills (CMHA-BC);
  • expanding access to no- and low-cost community counselling programs, including those that serve immigrant and refugee populations, and enabling them to be delivered virtually;
  • increasing access to online peer support and system navigation (CMHA-BC);
  • providing virtual supports for youth aged 12 to 24 by making Foundry services available around the province through voice, video and chat (FoundryBC);
  • providing more online tools and resources to help people assess and manage their own mental health;
  • supporting front-line health-care workers through a new online hub and providing virtual peer support (CMHA-BC); and
  • a new online psychological support service for health-care workers (BC Psychological Association).

Existing services are being scaled up rapidly to meet increased need while new services are being implemented. Several services are available and online, while others will come online April 20, 2020. See the backgrounder below for details.

The emphasis on virtual support and care will be offered in multiple languages, as well as connect people living in rural and remote communities and Indigenous peoples throughout the province. The Province will continue to collaborate with Indigenous partners to ensure these services are culturally safe and responsive to the needs of Indigenous peoples in rural and urban areas.

This funding is in addition to a co-ordinated effort across government to bolster virtual mental health services for children, youth and students related to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Jonny Morris, CEO, CMHA-BC –

“The COVID-19 pandemic is having profound impacts on the mental health of British Columbians, with increased reports of stress, worry, depression, anxiety and loss. This investment will help the CMHA and our partners respond to the growing mental health impacts of COVID-19 through increased access to warm, compassionate and skilled virtual care. It is critical that expanded access to mental health and substance use care is part of the ongoing response to COVID-19. Now, more than ever, we need these mental health supports to reach people, even while we remain physically apart.”

Dr. Steve Mathias, executive director, Foundry –

“At this unprecedented time, it is even more important for youth and families across B.C. to know where to find the supports and services they need. With the support of the provincial government and our nine Foundry centres, Foundry is moving our services online, starting with drop-in counselling, and then peer support services and physical health care. We’re pleased to be able to provide these services virtually so that young people and families in all corners of the province can get the help they need, when they need it.”

Lesley D Lutes, director of clinical training, department of psychology, University of British Columbia (UBC) Okanagan; director of public advocacy, British Columbia Psychological Association –

“On behalf of my colleagues at UBC Okanagan and the BC Psychological Association, we will work tirelessly on this initiative, not only to support direct patient care, but to provide training and support to our mental health colleagues and the next generation of psychologists. We are eager to assist in evaluating new and extended services to ensure that they are both evidence based and delivered to the highest possible level of care. We look forward to developing a meaningful partnership with the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, and I want to thank Minister Darcy for her support thus far. Whether it’s mental or physical health, I’m pleased that we are all coming together to put the health and well-being of British Columbians first.”

Learn More:

For the latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and testing, visit:
Or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter.

For the provincial health officer’s orders, notices and guidance, visit:

For non-health related information, including financial, child care and education supports, travel, transportation and essential service information, visit:
Or call 1 888 COVID19 (1 888 268-4319) between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., seven days a week.

A backgrounder follows.


Joint Information Centre
COVID Provincial Co-Ordination Plan
236 478-1336

Jen Holmwood
Press Secretary
Deputy Communications Director
Office of the Premier
250 818-4881

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions
Media Relations
250 208 8438

For non-medical information relating to COVID-19:
Or call: 1 888 COVID-19


Enhanced virtual mental health supports during COVID-19

The Province is providing $5 million to expand existing mental health programs and services and launch new services to support British Columbians of all ages during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Enhanced virtual services will help all British Columbians with mental health needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on adults, youth and front-line health-care workers.

All resources listed below can be found by clicking on “health care and mental health” online:

Virtual mental health supports for everyone:

  • BounceBack – Expanding access to free online, video and phone-based coaching and skills-building program so that more seniors, adults and youth who are experiencing low mood, mild to moderate depression, anxiety, stress or worry, can receive care. (Canadian Mental Health Association – BC Division). Available now. For more information, visit:
  • Virtual counselling services – Expanding access to virtual community counselling for individuals or groups at low or no cost. A list of community counselling agencies offering virtual support is online. Available now. For more information, visit:
  • Peer support and system navigation – Expanding access to virtual mentoring and supports by increasing the number of peer support and system navigation workers. (Canadian Mental Health Association). Available now. For more information, visit:
  • Living Life to the Full – Launching access to free virtual Living Life to the Full peer support and practical skills courses for coping with stress, problem solving and boosting mood. The eight-week course is led by a trained facilitator. (Canadian Mental Health Association – BC Division). Available now. For more information ,visit:
  • B.C. COVID-19 mental health self-assessment tool – Launching a set of mental health screening self-tests alongside the COVID-19 self-assessment tool. (Canadian Mental Health Association). Available April 20. For more information, visit:

Virtual support for front-line health-care workers:

  • Mobile Response Team (MRT) – In addition to supporting workers on the front lines of the overdose public health emergency, the MRT will also support the mental well-being and psychological safety of front-line health-care workers, specifically home-care and long-term care workers, who are experiencing exponential distress and mental health concerns in response to COVID-19. (Provincial Health Services Authority). Available now, 24/7. For more information, call 1 888 686-3022 or email:
  • Free online mental health first aid – New online supports for front-line health-care workers to help them cope with any psychological effects they may be experiencing. (BC Psychological Association). Available now. For more information, visit:
  • Online resource hub – Expanding online resources to include information to improve psychological and social supports and provide strategies to help front-line workers take care of their mental health and well-being. (Canadian Mental Health Association – BC Division). Available April 20. For more information, visit:
  • Virtual peer support service – Launching a phone and text-based peer support service, staffed by former long-term care and home support workers, to provide confidential emotional support to current workers, and referrals to other services and supports. (Canadian Mental Health Association – BC Division, SafeCareBC and other health partners). Available May 2020. For more information, visit:

Virtual mental health supports for youth:

  • Foundry Virtual Clinic – Nine existing virtual Foundry centres are now accepting virtual walk-in counselling. A new provincewide youth-focused virtual clinic with counselling, peer support, primary care and family support for young people aged 12 to 24 and their families will be available via voice, video and chat. Available April 20, 2020. For more information, visit:

Virtual mental health supports for seniors:

  • BC211 – The Province has already expanded bc211, a provincewide information and referral service, to match seniors whose support network has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak with volunteers. This service will take calls from people who would like to volunteer to help seniors in their community with basic needs, including grocery shopping and pharmacy drop-offs and check-ins. Available now. For more information, visit:

Virtual mental health supports for victims of family or sexual violence:

  • VictimLink BC – Immediate 24/7 crisis support for victims of family or sexual violence is available by phone through VictimLink BC’s 24/7 telephone service. Available now. For more information, call 1 800 563-0808 or email:


Joint Information Centre
COVID Provincial Co-Ordination Plan
236 478-1336

Jen Holmwood
Press Secretary
Deputy Communications Director
Office of the Premier
250 818-4881

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions
Media Relations
250 208 8438

For non-medical information relating to COVID-19:
Or call: 1 888 COVID-19

Connect with the Province of B.C. at:


GTC: A Message from Premier Caroline Cochrane

The Premier of the Northwest Territories, Caroline Cochrane, has released the attached statement regarding concerns with compliance to the Public Health Order.

Documents related to this page

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Vimy Ridge Day: Statement from Premier Kenney

Premier Jason Kenney issued the following statement to mark the National Day of Remembrance of the Battle of Vimy Ridge:

“On the morning of April 9, 1917, on a battlefield in France, a deafening artillery barrage began. Advancing steadily behind this unprecedented wave of destruction were all four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, brought together for the first time in the war.

“Their number included men from across the nation, of every background. They included immigrants, who had known the sting of intolerance in their new homeland. They included Canadians of Asian heritage, treated as outsiders in the land of their birth, and Indigenous troops, whose rights were scarcely recognized by the nation whose name was emblazoned on their uniforms. They all fought for Canada.

“By the end of the day, they had reached the heights of Vimy Ridge, an enemy stronghold that other armies had tried, and failed, to capture. The victory cost Canada dearly: 3,598 lives lost, and more than 7,000 wounded.

“And yet, Vimy Ridge marked a bright spot in the grim chronicle of war. Through state-of-the-art planning and training techniques, Canadians together achieved what others could not. Their victory declared that Canada could stand on its own.

“As we recall the triumph at Vimy Ridge, let us not forget that the soaring marble monument that stands there today is dedicated to 11,285 Canadians who died during the four long years of the First World War, and who have no known grave.

“Let us remember them today, and work for peace every day.”

Media inquiries


MB Government: New Measures to Enforce Public Health Orders in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

April 9, 2020

The Manitoba government and the City of Winnipeg are working in collaboration for an ‘Operation Safe Apart’ pandemic public health enforcement strategy, including new pre-set fines for individuals or business owners who disregard public health orders, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Premier Brian Pallister and Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman announced today.

“Everyone has a role to play in reducing the spread of COVID-19, and the majority of Manitobans are adhering to good social distancing practices and changing how they operate at home, in their community and within their business,” said Pallister.  “Unfortunately, there is still a need to have additional measures in place to address situations where people are ignoring the advice of our health experts.  These changes will give enforcement officers more tools to help curb the spread of the virus.”

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the province declared a state of emergency on
March 20, which included orders under The Public Health Act to help reduce the spread of the virus including:
•    restrictions on public gatherings to 10 or fewer people,
•    require the closure of non-essential businesses, and
•    enforcement of social distancing measures by businesses and services that remain open including ensuring a two-metre distance is kept between people in the facility or premises.

Effective immediately, fine amounts for breaching these emergency orders will be set at $486 for individuals and $2,542 for businesses.

Manitoba will be implementing a multi-tiered enforcement approach to enforcing orders, which will include public education, written warning or ultimately, enforcement actions such as ticketing or arrest if necessary, the premier said.

In Winnipeg, the province is working in close collaboration with the City of Winnipeg, which will utilize Community Service Ambassadors to participate in public education and awareness, with bylaw officer and support from the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) where required.

“I want to thank all those who are doing their part by staying home, practising physical distancing and respecting the measures put in place by the Manitoba government,” said Bowman.  “While most in our community are doing their part, there are some who are not getting the message.  I hope education and awareness will be sufficient and enforcement won’t be required but in the event it is, these measures will help protect the safety of Winnipeggers.”

To support these efforts, Manitoba Justice is partnering with City of Winnipeg to create enforcement units, with WPS acting in an assistance role, in ‘Operation Safe Apart’.  These units will be dedicated to enforcing orders along with providing awareness and prevention, responding to complaints and supporting bylaw enforcement officers.

In Winnipeg, reports of non-compliance can be made by calling: 311 or by email at, or Twitter: @cityofwinnipeg.

Measures involving public health officers working in conjunction with local police services, First Nation police services and the RCMP are also in place for municipalities outside of Winnipeg.  Plans are underway to expand these and adopt measures similar to those announced today for Winnipeg.  These include engaging municipal bylaw officers, community and First Nation safety officers, community volunteer groups such as Citizens on Patrol, and Manitoba Conservation officers who will work with respective police services.

Outside of Winnipeg, reports of non-compliance can be made to the Manitoba Government Inquiry (MGI) inquiry line at 204-945-3744, (toll-free) at 1-866-626-4862 or by email at

“We must to everything we can to protect our most valuable service – our health-care system –and our most vulnerable citizens,” said Pallister.  “These orders will help save lives and changing how we ensure compliance will help us flatten the COVID curve.”

More information about Manitoba’s response to COVID-19 is available at

– 30 –

For more information:

  • Public information, contact Manitoba Government Inquiry: 1-866-626-4862 or 204-945-3744.
  • Media requests for general information, contact Communications Services Manitoba: 204-945-3765.
  • Media requests for ministerial comment, contact Communications and Stakeholder Relations: 204-945-4916.


Mustimuhw Improves First Nations Patient Safety through PrescribeIT®

VANCOUVER, April 9, 2020  – Mustimuhw Information Solutions Inc. is pleased to announce it’s helping to improve the safety of First Nations patients through an agreement with Canada Health Infoway’s PrescribeIT®. Through the agreement, Mustimuhw will integrate PrescribeIT®, Canada’s e-prescribing service, directly into its Community Electronic Medical Record (cEMR).

“PrescribeIT® will help improve collaboration between prescribers and pharmacists,” said Mark Sommerfeld, CEO of Mustimuhw Information Solutions. “PrescribeIT® will enable appropriate health care practitioners to communicate with pharmacists directly through their cEMR, saving time and improving safety.”

PrescribeIT® can also be a significant asset in virtual care settings. It reduces the need for an in-person visit by enabling prescribers to electronically transmit prescriptions directly to pharmacies — an important tool as more physicians and nurse practitioners offer virtual care due to the current COVID-19 health crisis.

“We’re excited to be working with Mustimuhw Information Solutions to integrate PrescribeIT® and help improve patient outcomes,” said Jamie Bruce, Executive Vice President, Infoway. “It also makes prescribing safer when in-person visits aren’t recommended.”

“We’re pleased we will soon be able to prescribe electronically through the Mustimuhw cEMR with PrescribeIT®,” said Kim Roberts, Health Director at Kwakiutl District Council. “PrescribeIT® will make prescribing easier and more convenient for patients.”

Mustimuhw, a subsidiary of the Cowichan Tribes of British Columbia, operates in seven provinces and supports care delivery in more than 297 First Nations communities in Canada. PrescribeIT® will enable physicians and nurse practitioners to electronically transmit prescriptions directly into a pharmacy’s management system. It also enables clinical communication between prescribers and pharmacists and allows prescribers to receive dispense notifications.

About Mustimuhw Information Solutions

Mustimuhw Information Solutions Inc. (MIS) is a technology solution provider for Indigenous health, child and family services, and patient access. MIS solutions, such as the Mustimuhw Community Electronic Medical Record (cEMR) and the Mustimuhw Child and Family Services Case Management System (CFS-BP), are the leading solutions of choice for Indigenous organizations across Canada. MIS tools are recognized for their ability to provide a balance of standardized digital health functionality as well as support the unique functional and cultural requirements of Indigenous services and approaches to wellness. MIS’ electronic solutions seek to integrate community members, families, service providers, and technology in delivering care with one heart and one mind.


Canada Health Infoway is working with Health Canada, the provinces and territories, and industry stakeholders to develop, operate and maintain the national e-prescribing service known as PrescribeIT®. PrescribeIT® will serve all Canadians, pharmacies and prescribers and provide safer and more effective medication management by enabling prescribers to transmit a prescription electronically between a prescriber’s electronic medical record (EMR) and the pharmacy management system (PMS) of a patient’s pharmacy of choice. Learn more at


Infoway helps to improve the health of Canadians by working with partners to accelerate the development, adoption and effective use of digital health across Canada. Through our investments, we help deliver better quality and access to care and more efficient delivery of health services for patients and clinicians. Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government. Learn more at


Karen Schmidt                                                                                 
Director, Corporate/Internal Communications
Canada Health Infoway
Email Us
Follow @Infoway


Tania Ensor
Senior Director, Strategy, Marketing & Stakeholder Relations, PrescribeIT®
Canada Health Infoway


Ontario Starts Planning for Economic Recovery

April 9, 2020

TORONTO — The Ontario government has launched a new Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee which will focus on getting businesses up and running and people back to work after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. While the government’s primary focus is on combatting the virus, supporting frontline health care workers and providing immediate relief to people and businesses, this new committee will be developing a plan to stimulate economic growth and job-creation in the weeks and months ahead.

“My heart goes out to those individuals and families who have been out of work, or whose business has closed through no fault of their own,” said Premier Ford. “I can assure each person affected by this crisis that we will do everything we can to support you, and get you back on the job as soon as possible. While our government battles this virus, members of our new Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee will roll up their sleeves and develop a roadmap to a stronger, more prosperous economy.”

The membership of the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee includes:
• Rod Phillips, Chair, Minister of Finance
• Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
• Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board
• Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation
• Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health
• Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
• Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and Minister of Indigenous Affairs
• John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry
• Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure
• Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries
• Lisa Thompson, Minister of Government and Consumer Services
• Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development
• Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction

The Committee will be consulting with a wide variety of people to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the provincial economy and develop an action plan to move forward, including business associations, chambers of commerce, municipal leaders, corporate leaders, small business owners, and entrepreneurs.

“While we focus our energy and resources on defeating COVID-19, today’s job numbers highlight why we also need to plan for an economic recovery,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance. “At Premier Ford’s request, I have convened the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee. And our first order of business is to prepare for the next phase of Ontario’s Action Plan, which will be ready to launch as soon as COVID-19 is contained. This team will get our economy moving again ― with a focus on job creation, opportunities for growth, and protecting our province from future threats.”

Today, Statistics Canada released its monthly job numbers, which showed a 402,800 decrease in employment in Ontario. To support the provincial effort to deal with this crisis, the government launched Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19. This is a $17 billion package with funding targeted to help families and a variety of sectors across the province.

In addition to $3.3 billion in more health care resources, the plan includes $3.7 billion to support people and jobs, and relief of $6 billion by temporarily deferring taxes for 100,000 Ontario businesses, $1.9 billion to allow employers to defer Workplace Safety and Insurance Board payments, and $1.8 billion to defer municipal education property tax payments.

The government is also providing $52 million from the package to better support individuals and families in financial crisis through social assistance. This funding will support those who are not able to access federal assistance to cover needs such as food costs, rent, medicine and other essential services during this time. Individuals can easily apply online for assistance.

To support small businesses, the Ontario government has also worked with the federal government to develop the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan that will enable up to $40 billion in lending, supported through Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank. This new program will help businesses meet cash flow requirements through guaranteed loans.

“Our government is pulling out all the stops to support our job creators and workers today, during this very difficult time,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “But it is incumbent upon us to look ahead and map out a plan that considers life after COVID-19, a plan that will guide us into a future filled with hope, new employment opportunities and steady economic growth.”

“While the health and safety of Ontarians is our top priority, we need to ensure that our province is positioned to support and facilitate economic growth when we lift the State of Emergency,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board. “This starts with the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee, which will ensure we have a long-term, strategic vision to responsibly reopen our economy.”

Additional Resources

Media Contacts

Ivana Yelich
Premier’s Office

Emily Hogeveen
Minister Phillips’s Office
647 294-6166

Scott Blodgett
Ministry of Finance
416 728-9791


Emergency Aid Available For Saskatchewan Post-Secondary Students

April 9, 2020

The Saskatchewan government will make up to $1.5 million in emergency financial aid available to help at-risk post-secondary students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ministry of Advanced Education announced today it will help students with limited financial resources and supports whose studies and employment have been disrupted. The amount of emergency funding will depend on each students’ circumstances.

“Our government is committed to helping students achieve their educational goals,” Advanced Education Minister Tina Beaudry-Mellor said. “This is especially true during this unprecedented time, as some students are faced with limited supports. These resources will help quickly address some of their more pressing needs.”

This financial adjustment for publicly-funded post-secondary institutions will support both domestic and international students in need through one-time emergency bursaries. The Ministry of Advanced Education will also work with publicly-funded institutions that do not have existing emergency financial aid programs for students to put emergency bursaries in place.

“We recognize the need for urgent supports to help vulnerable students, including those from northern, remote and indigenous communities, as well as international students unable to return home,” Beaudry-Mellor said. “It is critical that we work with our institutions to help students who have nowhere else to turn.”

Emergency bursaries for students will be available from April 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020. Eligibility requirements and application details will be available to students through their post-secondary educational institution within the next week to ten days, after details are finalized.

Adjustments may be made to the program once details of any federal assistance are announced.


For more information, contact:

Scott Brown
Advanced Education
Phone: 306-787-0355
Cell: 306-527-6903


MNC briefs House of Commons Finance Committee on Métis Nation COVID-19 emergency needs

April 9, 2020

Opening Remarks to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance

David Chartrand

Vice-President and National Spokesperson, Métis National Council

Thank you for inviting the Métis National Council here today to assist in your study of the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In our discussion on March 13, the Prime Minister assured me that there would be distinctions-based funding for the Métis Nation.

On March 25 the federal government provided $30 million for the Métis Nation COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan.

The $30 million is enabling the MNC’s Governing Members or provincial affiliates to provide immediate supports to Métis Nation citizens, families and seniors.

They have developed and are rolling out action plans, providing immediate support such as food, income, supplies and rent supplements.

Thousands of our elders across our homeland in western Canada have been contacted and are being assured of and being provided with assistance while staying in their homes.

I greatly appreciate Canada’s rapid response to help our citizens and families in this time of crisis.

At the same time, the health emergency has exposed the particular vulnerability and disadvantages of the 400,000 strong Métis Nation population.

At the federal level, we are excluded from the resources of the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch.

At the provincial level, despite our staggering chronic illnesses, the Provinces tell us to deal with the federal government to deal with our  unique health care conditions and needs.

Even during this pandemic, amazingly, we remain a political football being kicked back and forth between different jurisdictions.

It is our hope that the proposed new federal Indigenous health care legislation will correct that inequity.

In the meantime, we must be vigilant in ensuring that resources to cope with the COVID crisis are available to Métis governments as the situation evolves.

I do want to touch on Canada’s support for small business which is of particular importance to our people who have the highest rate of self-employment of all Indigenous peoples.

Without special measures being taken, our entrepreneurs may not be able to access the funds being committed to help small business or access them in time to avoid insolvency.

Our Métis Nation capital corporations which make loans to our entrepreneurs have paused the loan payments of their clients during this period of business interruption.

But their clients still need additional bridge loans to make it through the shut-down.

Our entrepreneurs are very anxious which may force them to make decisions like selling equipment and abandoning leases they would not otherwise do if they knew there was some backstop financing available to them to get through this rough period.

Most also have difficulty accessing credit from conventional lenders which is why we established the Métis capital corporation decades ago.

The Métis capital corporations are offering to deploy $17.3 million in loan capital now for interest-free bridge loans to many of their more than 900 Métis small business clients who will require this support to survive.

They are seeking federal government backing of these loans through the Canada Emergency Business Account or other measures.

The Métis capital corporations are experienced and prudent lenders.

They were established on the Prairies more than 30 years ago and have rolled over their initial capital eight times.

In August 2018 an MNP survey of their activity showed that over the previous three years their loans of close to $31 million had resulted in loan write-offs totaling $510,000 or 1.6%.

This was a lower default rate than that of the Canadian Business Lending Index for Small Business of a similar period.

Their loans should be accorded the same federal backing as those of the banks.

They also need flexibility to ensure all their business clients can be funded including many who pay themselves by dividends and can’t meet the $50,000 minimum payroll requirement for loans under the Canada Emergency Business Account.

On April 2, I wrote to Ministers Morneau and Bains seeking federal backing for the $17.3 million in loans we are ready to deploy now.

I realize the Ministers, the members of this Committee and indeed all of us who represent Canadians at this time are facing unprecedented demands, pressures and anxieties.

Any assistance this Committee can provide in supporting a positive response to our request will be greatly appreciated as I know it is in Canada’s interest to help us ensure the survival of the Métis Nation business sector.

Thank you.

Download Opening Remarks (PDF)


Open Letter: Immediate and Sustained Measures to Protect Vulnerable Communities in the DTES from COVID-19 Transmission

Dear Premier Horgan, Minister Mark, Minister Simpson, Minister Darcy, Minister James, Minister Dix, Minister Robinson, Minister Mungall, Minister Fraser and Ms. Dean:

We are writing to express our grave concern for the vulnerable residents living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES), where high levels of trauma, poverty, crowding, homelessness, drug addiction, and mental illness create a high-risk environment for a potential aggressive outbreak of COVID-19. Indigenous peoples are disproportionately represented in this vulnerable population, and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic stand to exacerbate thea intergenerational trauma, marginalization, violence, cultural and traditional knowledge loss inflicted by colonization.

Given the severity and lethality of this disease, we urgently call upon the Province to immediately expand efforts to stop or slow the potential transmission of COVID-19. While the City of Vancouver’s deployment of hand sanitizing stations and increased sanitation and food delivery services in the DTES are steps forward in addressing this situation, we see the need for more broader, comprehensive and sustained actions that accurately reflect the reality and needs of DTES residents and that are issued from the provincial level.[1]

We request that the Province immediately take the following actions:

  • Provide immediate, free Wi-Fi coverage throughout the DTES to ensure that people in isolation can access vital online resources and services, including virtual doctor meetings to set up safe supply delivery. Increasing connectivity is crucial for the urban Indigenous population, many of who are cut off from community, family, loved ones, and in-person ceremonial and cultural interactions;
  • Order BC Housing to immediately convert additional vacant hotels and private Single Occupancy Rooms into temporary housing equivalent so there is space for homeless people to self-isolate, then transition this into permanent housing;
  • Increase capacity of mobile primary care to DTES community for those unattached to health care to ensure they can access life-saving prescriptions for ongoing health issues and be connected to safe supply;
  • Increase support for organizations to secure temporary shelter for those fleeing domestic and/or gender-based violence. While Prime Minister Trudeau has pledged $30 million for women’s shelters and sexual assault centres across the country and $10 million for Indigenous women and children’s shelters, more provincial funding must be made available for women’s shelters, violence prevention organizations, and sexual assault centers in the DTES;
  • Develop and implement a province-led food security plan for people in the DTES that is health and culturally-based and requires minimal physical contact;
  • Create a provincial hazard pay fund for lower wage frontline workers in non-profit organizations. To ease the burden on these important organizations, their workers should be able to apply for and receive a supplemental stipend directly from the Province;
  • Procure temporary hotel space for frontline workers so they can effectively self-isolate to prevent the spread of COVID to the vulnerable populations they work with and also their immediate family members;
  • Direct Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry to release an order that people in the DTES and similar areas of crowdedness should proactively be provided with non-medical masks to reduce the possible transmission of COVID-19, and be provided with clear instructions on the etiquette of wearing masks (when and where they should be worn, whether they can be homemade, etc.);
  • Distribute personal protective equipment to frontline workers;
  • Enforce strict physical distancing measures for the crowds of people lining up to receive and cash social assistance cheques and mitigate future crowds by funding Peers to assist signing people up for bank accounts (direct deposits) and stagger payments over a few days;
  • Provide a safe drug supply to all drug users at risk of fentanyl poisoning, withdrawal, and other harms associated with substance-use as the COVID crisis has further compromised the illicit drug supply. We need to keep people alive;
  • Add more support for coordination of DTES frontline organizations and support agencies regarding these recommendations; and
  • Provide a measured, appropriate, culturally-safe response to the COVID-19 pandemic to those who are unhoused and overlooked by current pandemic protocols as articulated in every recommendation in the petition launched by Scott Clark, North West Indigenous Council President; Chris Livingstone, Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society, founder and board member; Chrissy Brett, Oppenheimer Tent City Liaison; and the Carnegie Community Action Project.

Like you, we are gravely concerned about a potential catastrophic and critical outbreak of COVID-19 in the DTES. We need to act strongly and proactively. The above-outlined directives are aimed at maximizing connectivity, providing the means and capacity for the vulnerable and homeless to self-isolate, supporting front-line organizations and workers, and reducing crowding and human-to-human contact.

We urge you to protect those in our society that are most in need of our care and attention and to remember that any impacts COVID-19 have upon the DTES will ripple outward and invariably affect us all. We respectfully ask for a meeting via phone with all of you as soon as possible to discuss.


Grand Chief Stewart Phillip
Chief Don Tom
Kukpi7 Judy Wilson


Regional Chief Terry Teegee

Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer
Charlene Belleau, Chair of the First Nations Health Council
Mayor Kennedy Stewart, City of Vancouver
Jenny Kwan, MP, Vancouver East
Don Bain, Special Advisor to the Premier
First Nations Summit


MMA seeks support from Island municipalities, First Nations calling for everyone to restrict travel and stay at home – Manitoulin Expositor

April 9, 2020

MANITOULIN – Members of the Manitoulin Municipal Association (MMA) are requesting consideration and support from Island municipalities and First Nations on two messages, one reinforcing the federal/provincial governments message for everyone to restrict travel and stay at their principal residence; and secondly, to look at not permitting smelt fishing on shoreline road allowances and public property this year.

“In terms of how we all live, we are all regulated to some extent. If it is cold out, you wear clothes that protect you from the cold. And with COVID-19 we all have to do what we can to make sure everyone is protected,” stated Andrew Aguonie, chief of the Sheguiandah First Nation at an MMA meeting last week. “I support not having a smelt season this year, and following the government’s messages to restrict travel and for people to stay home. We have to do what we can to protect ourselves on the Island.”

Read More:

First Nations along B.C.’s north, central coasts ask for crack down on non-essential travel to the region – The Globe and Mail

First Nations and municipalities along British Columbia’s north and central coasts – home to popular destinations including Haida Gwaii – have asked provincial and federal authorities to crack down on non-essential travel to the region, saying they don’t have the capacity to deal with an influx of people who may become ill with COVID-19.

More stringent restrictions – including a travel ban on anyone other than residents and essential workers – is essential to protect local residents, including Indigenous elders who are among the last fluent speakers of the Haida language, says Haida Nation president Jason Alsop.

“We are worried about community spread that would reach our elders – our elders are some of our fluent language speakers, there’s only a few fluent speakers left … they are the ones that current and future generations learn from,” Mr. Alsop said Wednesday in a telephone interview from Skidegate.

Mr. Alsop said he would like to see measures such as bans or fines for people who disregard advice to avoid non-essential travel, saying Haida members have observed licence plates from Arizona, Florida and Alberta in recent days in and around Skidegate.

Read More:

Kivalliq Inuit Association launches COVID-19 Response Initiatives

RANKIN INLET, NU – April 8, 2020 – The Kivalliq Inuit Association (KivIA) is pleased to announce the launch of COVID-19 prevention initiatives for its members. Initiatives include support for its Elders, traditional activities, and support to all its members within our communities. The funds for KivIA’s COVID-19 response plan come from the Indigenous Community Support Fund announced by the Federal Government on March 25, 2020. KivIA’s share of that fund is $4,341,223.

Inuit Elders Support Fund – the KivIA will provide enrolled elders 60 years of age and older living in the Kivalliq with a payment of $500. each month to off-set the increased costs associated with practicing physical distancing to avoid transmission of the COVID-19 virus. There is no need for elders to apply for this financial support; cheques will be sent directly to elders in mid-April, mid-May, and mid-June.

Traditional Activities Support Fund – Beneficiaries 18 years of age and older can apply for a one-time contribution per household to support traditional activities and physical distancing. Program areas include on the land activities, harvesting activities, and arts & crafts. Priority is given to applications that best demonstrate safety through self-isolation and physical distancing. Application forms are available on KivIA’s website or at the office of our Community Liaison Officer (CLO).

Community Essentials Aid Fund – Each community will be eligible for a financial contribution to support the continuation of their local radio station, snow removal on outlying community access roads. The KivIA will invest $1,150,000. To develop partnerships with existing local community agencies to provide hampers with basic food and cleaning supplies, prioritizing Inuit families most in need.
A contingency fund is in place and will be used for special circumstances and to provide additional relief as the public health emergency requires.

The Kivalliq Inuit Association is a “Designated Inuit Organization” (DIO), which represents the interests of all Inuit living in the Kivalliq Region, acts as a lobbying group, administers and monitors certain provisions of the Nunavut Final Agreement in the Kivalliq Region. The KivIA mission is to represent, in a fair and democratic manner, Inuit of the Kivalliq Region in the development, protection, administration and advancement of their rights and benefits as an aboriginal people; as well as to promote their economic, social, political and cultural well-being through succeeding generations.

More details about these initiatives can be found on our website or by emailing us at:


Travel Restrictions still in place at international border crossings for the upcoming long weekend

Ottawa, Ontario

As we head into the upcoming Easter and Passover long weekend – a weekend that represents for many a time to be with family and friends – the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) would like to remind all that #NowIsNotTheTime for social gatherings. Restrictions are in place on all non-essential travel for foreign nationals, including United States citizens and residents, and Canadians who are planning to cross the border.

The Governments of Canada and the United States (U.S.) implemented restrictions on March 21, 2020 for all non-essential travel along the Canada-U.S. border in response to the spread of COVID-19. This means that travel across the border of an optional or discretionary nature, including tourism and recreation, is not permitted while these restrictions remain in place.

Before you leave home, the CBSA advises you that you will be returned to the U.S. if you attempt to come to Canada for any of the following examples of non-essential travel:

  • Visiting family, friends or a girlfriend, boyfriend or fiancé(e);
  • Attending a party or celebration;
  • Going to a restaurant for take-out;
  • Driving in transit for the purpose of taking a shortcut through Canada to get to a U.S. destination faster
  • Sightseeing;
  • Fishing or hunting; and
  • Opening or checking on a cottage or seasonal home.

Canadians are reminded that if they return to Canada from any foreign destination, that they must quarantine (self-isolate) for 14 days, which means no social gatherings or shopping upon return.

As the CBSA is committed to limiting the spread of COVID-19 in Canada, we remind travellers that now is not the time to travel for non-essential purposes.

Quick Facts

  • For more information on crossing the border during COVID-19, the CBSA has an information line in place: 1-204-983-3500 or 1-506-636-5064 (outside Canada); 1-800-461-9999 (within Canada); or visit
  • Limited travel exemptions exist for healthy essential service workers that cross the border on a regular basis, such as truck drivers, firefighters and medical workers, as well as travellers who enter Canada to receive essential services such as medical care.
  • ·Canadian citizens, permanent residents and Registered Indians under the Indian Act have a right to enter Canada, however, will be subject to COVID-19 entry screening measures, including the mandatory requirement to quarantine (self-isolate) in Canada for 14-days.
  • Regardless of travel, all Canadians are reminded that we can slow the spread of COVID-19 by making a conscious effort to keep a physical distance between each other. Physical (social) distancing is proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak.

Associated Links

– 30 –


Media Relations

Canada Border Services Agency

Media Line:       1-877-761-5945, 613-957-6500



Feds dig into the Indian Act to allow band councils to extend term during pandemic – APTN News

April 8, 2020

In an abrupt policy shift, First Nation band councils will now be able to adopt a band council resolution allowing current chief and councils to extend their terms for six months with the option to extend for another six months, which means communities won’t have to hold or postpone elections in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

APTN News has learned that Minister of Indigenous Services Marc Miller, drawing on section 73(f) of the Indian Act, proposed the new measure to cabinet, who agreed to the regulation.

Section 73(f) of the Indian Act gives government power to make regulations “to prevent, mitigate and control the spread of diseases on reserves, whether or not the diseases are infectious or communicable.”

Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) previously stated multiple times that they didn’t have that authority.

Read More:

Wahta First Nation also closes non-essential business, ending tobacco sales – CTV News

April 8, 2020

BARRIE — Wahta First Nation joins Rama First Nation in closing all non-essential businesses including those selling tobacco.

As of 6 p.m. Thursday, all non-essential businesses will be closed in Wahta First Nation according to a post by the elected council.

On Wednesday, Rama First Nation officially closed all tobacco business.

In a release, a spokesperson for the community says they are closing all non-essential businesses, including all smoke shops, to reduce traffic to the community.

Rama Moccasin and Smoke Shop posted a copy of the notice they were served on its Facebook page.

The notice from the Chief and council states, “We must continue to drastically reduce the visitors to Rama First Nation and to keep practicing social distancing. It is vital to our community’s health.” And, “the Rama Police Service and Security Department will be driving by your business to assist in ensuring any outside visitors are redirected off of the reserve.”

Read More:

IRC Chair and CEO on Postponement of Northern Games 50 Year Anniversary to 2021

Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) along with the Northern Games Society regrets that events scheduled to be held in Tuktoyaktuk and Inuvik and to include Regional and Circumpolar participation in July have needed to be postponed until 2021 due to recommended precautions from Chief Public Health officials and the World Health Organization during this COVID-19 pandemic.

“The 50 year Northern Games events schedule offered a week of traditional Inuit skills and was intended to showcase games, contests of endurance and strength, offer feasts of country foods and include many of our drum dancers from the Region” IRC Chair and Chief Executive Officer Duane Smith regrettably informs the public of postponement, “While the Region will now host the event in 2021, such an ambitious celebration requires a great deal of long-term planning and fundraising effort to host properly and youth have been busy practicing for this event. Koana Quyanainni, Quyanaqpak for all your continual hard work.

IRC looks forward to supporting the organization of the 50 Year Anniversary of Northern Games in order to honour those Inuvialuit who have always gathered for such large and celebratory events. We now anticipate a 2021 50 Year Anniversary of Northern Games focused on sharing culture- including elders mentoring youth and with the contribution of many needed volunteers, collaboration between communities and welcoming of guests to the Region. This summer we must focus on sharing cultural practices on the land with immediate family. I wish Inuvialuit continual good mental and physical health and anticipate a high-level of competition in 2021.”


For media inquiries:

Elizabeth Kolb,

Communications Advisor



Third Edition of COVID-19 Information for First Nations — April 7

First Nations and Indigenous Communities

From:                  Isadore Day, CEO – Bimaadzwin Inc

Date:                    Thursday, April 9 2020

Re:                         COVID19 Weekly Publication – Edition #3

COVID-19 has increasingly become the most critical health emergency for First Nations in modern time. In this edition, we are reporting that there are increased infections in our communities, across certain regions in the country, with one recent fatality.

The current pandemic plans in First Nations are in large part developed, although there appear to be several dozen in Ontario alone with no plans at the present. Communities have either government-templated plans or plans being developed by the First Nation and their health teams.

“Stay at home.” We are all in this together.  Everyone must stay informed in order stay safe.  That remains our central goal and commitment as we expedite this publication.

Please click the link for this week’s publication:

We look forward to your feedback, ideas, and shared information that we can help send across to First Nations across Turtle Island.

We are working with various partners to ensure that the information being conveyed is in support of First Nations as they activate Pandemic Plans and work toward reconstituting First Nation communities once the transmission of COVID19 is no longer a threat to human health.

Implementing strategies, business continuity, and re-focusing efforts to meet the needs of our local First Nation communities is the focus of our efforts. We look forward to this publication evolving based on your specific approaches and will open up dialogue in next week’s issue.

Please contact us at / 1-705-987-2505. Working together, we can, and will make it through this and be stronger as Indigenous People, families, communities, and Nations.


COVID-19: Heiltsuk Nation Joins Other Nations and Municipalities in Calling On the BC and Federal Governments to Do More to Enact and Enforce Non-Essential Travel Restrictions

Heiltsuk Nation continues to enforce its own non-essential travel restrictions to Bella Bella

The Heiltsuk Nation has joined other nations and municipalities of the North and Central Coasts to request that the BC and Federal governments join us in enacting and enforcing non-essential travel restrictions to Haida Gwaii, the North and Central Coasts. The letter below shows just how unified our communities are in taking the threat of COVID-19 seriously.



Checkstops will stay, say leaders in Tuk and Fort Resolution – Cabin Radio

April 8, 2020

While Premier Caroline Cochrane has urged the NWT’s local leaders not to use checkpoints, the hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk and Deninu Kue First Nation each say theirs will remain in place.

The two are among the first to erect checkpoints in response to Covid-19. Speaking to Cabin Radio on Tuesday, Cochrane had asked for such communities to “sit down and talk” with the government so “all of us feel safe.”

Deninu Kue Chief Louis Balsillie said the community of Fort Resolution – where the first case of Covid-19 in a small NWT community was identified last week – would be keeping its checkpoint intact.

“This virus has put a lot of burden on people,” Balsillie said on Wednesday. “Everybody is hurting in a lot of different ways and it’s difficult to deal with things. My people need comfort.”

Read More:

M’Chigeeng First Nation teen wins Northern Ontario Hockey Association officiating award – Anishinabek news

M’CHIGEENG FIRST NATION – Gabe Hare has a reputation of being a rather physical hockey player.

As a result, the 15-year-old member of M’Chigeeng First Nation has been assessed more than his share of penalties throughout his hockey career.

“He knows every penalty box in every arena,” his mother, Stacey Lewis, said of the teenager who weighs in at 205 pounds and stands at 6-foot-1.

Hare, however, has also been earning rave reviews for his officiating work.

In fact, it was announced on Apr. 1 that Hare is this year’s recipient of the Keith Barton Memorial Award, annually presented to the most promising official in the Northern Ontario Hockey Association (NOHA).

Read More:

No active cases of COVID-19 in Nunatsiavut

April 8, 2020

The Nunatsiavut Government is advising Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement that there are no active or confirmed cases of the coronavirus COVID-19 in any Labrador Inuit community.

Information released today from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador indicates one confirmed case of COVID-19 in the region. The individual was outside of the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area when diagnosed, and has fully recovered. At no time was the individual in any Labrador Inuit community from the time of diagnosis until recovery.

Nunatsiavut President Johannes Lampe says he was disappointed to learn of the case through the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s COVID-19 website.

“This is unacceptable,” says President Lampe. “This shows a blatant lack of respect to Labrador Inuit and the Nunatsiavut Government.”

The Nunatsiavut Government is requesting a meeting with Premier Dwight Ball to discuss the matter.

Due to rules around confidentiality, details that may identify the individual will not be released.

Media Contact:

Bert Pomeroy

Director of Communications



Advisory to the Residents of Lax Kw’alaams COVID-19 – Advisory #6

The confirmation of COVID-19 cases within close proximity to our community has resulted in more vigilance being taken by the Emergency Measures Committee.

  1. Anyone violating isolation restrictions imposed upon them will be fined $750.
  2. The Emergency Measures Committee has identified six (6) isolated housing units where individuals may be forced to carry out their 14 day isolation. If you do not agree to isolate in these units, you will not be permitted entry into the community. Waivers may be given upon the discretion of Administration.
  3. Retail grocery outlets are no longer permitted to go to Rupert for their orders. They are obliged to get staff in Rupert to place these orders on the ferry. No contact is permitted.
  4. We are increasing security at access points and amending hours of operations at Tuck Inlet and the Harbour.

The situation is serious. Please think of your community.

Stay at home. Be safe. Practice social distancing.

This is not a game. It is human life.

Garry Reece


AMC comments on the Manitoba government’s decision to extend essential supports for youth aging out of the CFS system during the COVID-19 pandemic

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba. The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) is wary of today’s announcement from the government of Manitoba that supports and services will continue to be provided for foster children aging out of care when they reach 18 years of age for the duration of COVID-19 pandemic.

Assembly of Manitoba Chief Grand Chief Arlen Dumas said “Providing additional supports and services for youth aging out of care, many of them First Nations, has long been advocated by the AMC and others. This announcement, albeit temporary only until September 30, 2020, is a measure that will protect many First Nation young adults.”

Considering the fact that at least 50% of homeless people surveyed by the 2018 Winnipeg Street Census were involved with CFS and also determined that 66% of homeless people who were involved with CFS were homeless within the first year of aging out of care, this action will save lives of these youth. Premier Pallister has offered loose commitments to addressing the issues identified in the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls National Inquiry Report. Young women aging out of the CFS system in the midst a global pandemic should easily be a priority without limitation.

“When First Nations youth age out of care, many have nowhere to go. Homeless people are at considerable risk for COVID-19. Considering that they have no possible way of practicing safe measures such as physical distancing and even washing hands, having no supports or services or housing when they age out of care is a very dangerous proposition” said Grand Chief Dumas.

Put in context, the province of Manitoba imposed block-funding through its “reform” of child welfare, and granting of extended care for youth who reached the age of 18 was often denied. The federal Children’s Special Allowances provides payments to be applied exclusively toward the care, maintenance, education, training or advancement of children in care. However, since 2005, the province of Manitoba forces Child and Family Services Agencies to remit the CSA back to the province, leaving children with nothing when they age out of care. The day before the province of Manitoba declared a state of emergency because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bill 34 was introduced into the Legislative Assembly that retroactively legalizes Manitoba’s actions since 2005, as well as take away the right to sue regarding Children’s Special Allowances.

Since the provincial declaration of the state of emergency, the government of Manitoba also reversed its promise to end birth alerts, blaming the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Grand Chief Dumas concluded “The government of Manitoba must do more for all First Nations children in care. Decisions regarding our babies, supports for children while in care, and when they age out of the system should be made by First Nations, and I call on the government of Manitoba to act honourably and work with First Nations so the provincial policies pre-COVID-19 remain in the past.”


For more information, please contact:

Curtis Mallett, Policy Analyst

Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs


Phone: 204-987-4107


TNG: April 08, 2020 – COVID-19 Update #14

April 8, 2020

Our continued response COVID-19:

TNG remains committed to keeping our employees and the communities we serve safe.

Therefore, we are sharing the following information.

Confirmed Cases:

As the virus continues to spread throughout BC and we are calling on everyone to do their part to stop the spread by staying home or out on the land. As of April 8, 2020, the number of confirmed cases reported are as follows;

Total new cases: 45
Total cases in BC: 1,336
Total cases in Interior Health region: 130
Total cases in Northern Health region: 23
Total recoveries: 838
Total deaths: 48

A Message from Dr. Rob Coetzee and NP Patrice Gordon:

April 7, 2020

Take a moment to reflect on this statement:

“I would rather miss my family and friends for a few months than never see them again”

In the past 24 hours, four more people have died from COVID 19 in BC. In the past few days, we’ve been hearing reports of people in many communities west of Williams Lake getting together, some partying, some visiting… but getting slack with the social distancing and stay at home guidance from our Provincial Health Officer. This worries us terribly and makes us think that we’ve maybe not sent a strong enough message.

We hear a lot of “Well, it was just a couple/few of us and we’re not sick”… but here’s the deal: You may be one of the people who shows few or no symptoms of COVID 19 but is still passing it along to others. Staying in your community for 2 weeks is not the same as self-isolating. If you have been, not even into Williams Lake, but just to the General Store in any community, to the clinic, to the post office, to the band office, to the picnic table by the lake or to ANY place where others outside your household have been, you could possibly have been exposed. And you can then pass the infection on to people who are not able to fight off the virus successfully. They could become very ill. They could die. This is happening all over the province, all over the world — and we need to understand that we are not safe out here unless we are VERY serious about the guidelines.

Kids can also be healthy carriers of the COVID 19 virus… and we know how difficult it is to keep children maintaining social distancing rules. This is a really hard thing. The sun is shining, kids want to be outside to play with their friends. But they can NOT be permitted to play together right now unless they live in the same household. Not with cousins from the house down the road. Not with healthy-looking kids from across the street. We need to be so strict about this. For the safety of our elders and vulnerable. We are fortunate that we can AS A HOUSEHOLD UNIT, be outside because we live where there is space to have that freedom without being in contact with others. But don’t plan to meet up with other families at the park/beach/trails when there are kids involved who will not have the capacity to understand how critical social distancing is.

Adhering strictly to the social distancing rules is also for the protection of another group of people who are in limited supply: Your health care providers. That’s us. Your NP, your doctor, your nurses, your health staff. Every time you get together, you’re increasing the chance of being infected. When someone is sick and needs to be tested, it is us who come to do the test and then help arrange for care. It is the nurses in your community who may be involved if someone gets very sick suddenly. These situations increase the risk to us. Any disregard of the guidelines increases the chances that we are affected, no matter how careful we are. If we fall ill, who will replace us? Who then will care for you? We are working hard for you – Please do your part to protect us.

We can not stress strongly enough how serious this is. It’s a global pandemic but it is also here on our doorstep. If you have to shame your friends/family/neighbours to encourage cooperation, then do so. The experts are warning that this may be about to take off in Canada – we can be protected or we can be part of the crisis – It is up to us to do the right thing.

In case anyone is unclear about the guidelines:

  • Stay home as much as possible
  • Maintain “social distance” – at least 6 feet from anyone outside your household when you do have to be around others
  • Wash your hands often and well
  • Cover your cough/sneeze
  • If you need health care/advice, call ahead to your clinic

We are here for you. Let’s pull together.


Dr. Rob Coetzee
NP Patrice Gordon

TNG Emergency and Health Lines:

If you have a health-related question please contact the TNG Health Office directly. The Health line is operational Monday to Friday from 8:30 am – 12:00 pm.

Health Office: Ph:(250) 398-8575

Please call the EOC – State of Emergency Information line if you have questions concerning the COVID-19 emergency situation. The phone is operational during working hours, Monday to Friday from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm subject to TNG’s EOC Action Plan.

EOC – State of Emergency Information: Ph: (250)-305-6151

TNG is here for you:

TNG remains operational, a source of information and a point of contact for communities. If you have questions or concerns please reach out to our staff via telephone or email.

TNG office telephone numbers:
TNG Downtown Office: (250) 392-3918
TNG Health Office: (250) 398-8575
TNG EOC – State of Emergency Information: (250)-305-6151

Resources to stay up-to-date on COVID-19 include:

Tŝilhqot’in National Government – Emergency Page
Government of Canada – Public Health
Government of BC – Health Link BC
First Nations Health Authority
World Health Organization


Aroland, Ginoogaming and AZA First Nations Launch Minodahmun Development for Greenstone Gold – Net Newsledger

April 9, 2020

LONGLAC, ONTARIO, GREENSTONE MUNICIPALITY – BUSINESS –   Ginoogaming First Nation is proud to announce the launch of the Minodahmun Development Inc. (MDI) to maximize the economic opportunities that are forthcoming in the proposed Greenstone Gold Mines’ (GGM) Hardrock Project. Minodahmun (min-oh-dah-mun) means “clear path” in the Anishinaabemowin language. MDI is a 100% First Nations owned partnership between Ginoogaming First Nation (GFN), Aroland First Nation (AFN), and Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek First Nation (AZA). The three First Nations are equal owners of Minodahmun and will jointly manage and share in the profits of the company. Today, Ginoogaming appoints a seasoned professional in Jason Rasevych as the First Nation’s board of director for the Minodahmun Development Inc. It is fitting that the Ginoogaming Chief and Council are electing Jason as he has a proven track record for ‘blazing trails and clearing the pathway’ for legacy infrastructure builds and major business-related initiatives in Northern Ontario over the past decade.

Jason Rasevych is an Oji-Cree from Ginoogaming and comes from a diverse economic development and business background. With a career focus on First Nation’s economic reconciliation and partnership development, Jason is eager to join the MDI board of directors. Jason has two decades of experience in the natural resources sector working with First Nations communities, economic development corporations, industry and government. In his current capacity as a founding member of the Anishnawbe Business Professional Association, Jason focuses on the inclusion of First Nation’s businesses and peoples in the Northern Ontario economy. He has introduced numerous First Nations’ owned companies and partnerships by negotiating joint venture agreements across the mining, forestry, energy, construction and telecommunication sectors.

Read More:

‘Positively Orwellian’: Manitoba accused of retroactively erasing history of taking cash from kids in care – APTN News

April 9, 2020

Legislation buried in Manitoba’s budget bill aims to cuts the legs out from under lawsuits over its collection of “baby bonus” cash for kids in care, and is “positively Orwellian” says a lawyer who specializes in Indigenous rights law.

Corey Shefman, who practices in Manitoba and Ontario, said legislation in the budget tabled Mar. 19, that retroactively changes the law is a slippery slope and offers this analogy.

“Say you’re driving were driving down a street doing 40 kilometres an hour and two weeks later the government changes the speed limit on that street to 20 kilometers and hour, then sends you a ticket for doing 40. That’s what this (bill) is,” Shefman said.

“In 2020 they’re retroactively trying to change the reality of something that started in 2010.”

In 2010 the then-NDP government in Manitoba forced all child and family services (CFS) agencies to give them a 20 per cent cut of the monthly child benefit money they receive from the federal government as the guardians of children who are in care.

Read More:

Iron Horse Group Inc. recognised by Dene Tha’ First Nation

April 9, 2020

High Level, AB – Headquartered in Bushe River, part of the Dene Tha’ First Nation, Iron Horse Group Inc. is a technology driven Project Management company focused on the environment and people. Iron Horse Group provides numerous solutions that range from the treatment and reuse of water for industry, application of chemistry and various technical resource services such as remediation.

“We are extremely proud and honoured to be recognized by the Dene Tha’ First Nation and look forward to providing products and services while supporting First Nations engagement in a way that reflects our identity as community members,” said Randy Danais, Chief Executive Officer, Iron Horse Group Inc. “We help companies ‘walk the walk’ and are in this for the long term. After projects are complete, our communities will continue to be there for generations, so we must take the time to build lasting relationships.”

The Dene Tha’ First Nation encourages and supports its Nation members that provide contracting services in oil and gas sectors, forestry, mining, right-of-way clearing, road building and any other goods and services that they may endeavour to be a part of in the northern region.

“We support hard-working and established members to work in all areas of the Dene Tha’ Traditional Territories, encouraging the use of local workforce and helping to enhance the northern Alberta economy,” said Chief James Ahnassay.

Iron Horse Group’s First Nation Relations model is built on stewarding strong relationships between landowners and industry, a vital component when it comes to the long-term sustainability of any partnership. From start to finish, time and energy will be put into every project to ensure a strong foundation for a successful relationship.

Services provided by Iron Horse Group Inc. are not limited to any one technology or product.

Project Management·   Aboriginal Consultation

·   Aboriginal Relations

·   Environmental – Testing, Wellsite Remediation

·   Staffing & Manpower

·   Pipeline Management – Integrity and Inline Inspections, Batch Programs and Monitoring

·   Road & Lease Construction & Maintenance

·   Forestry Projects – Mulching, Clearing, Slashing

·   Wellsite Operations, Monitoring & Inspections

Water Treatment·   Flocculant (Coagulants and Polymers), Biocide, H2S Scavenger, Dispersant, EOR

·   Friction Reducer, Clay Control, Acid, Oxidation, Biocide, Filtration, H2S Scavenger, High Loading Membrane Plants for Recycling

·   High loading membrane plants, Filtration

·   Odour management products including stabilized chlorite

·   NSF Certified Water Treatment Products Including

·   Liquid Chlorine, Sodium Hydroxide, Aluminum Chloride, Polyacrylamide

Chemistry·  H2S scavengers – traditional and environmentally friendly

·  Safe vessel entry and LEL removal

·  Degreasers and Cleaners

·  Paraffin inhibition and solvents

·  Disposal well clean outs and preventative maintenance

·  Oxidizing chemistry for odour and biological treatment

·  Beneficial Bacteria Technology

·  Specialty Non-Toxic Surface Cleaners

·  Consulting Services

Learn more about Iron Horse Group Inc., please visit

For interview requests, please use the contact information below.

Media Contact

Drew Scherban

Alchemy Communications

Ph: 403-472-6784



BCAAFC: Friendship Centres work to provide essential services during COVID-19 pandemic

Victoria, B.C. — April 8, 2020 — Friendship Centres are experiencing an increase in requests for services from First Nations communities and vulnerable populations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Collectively, Friendship Centres are the largest infrastructure serving urban Indigenous populations across Canada, providing services critical to the health and wellbeing of their clients for almost 70 years. At their core, Friendship Centres are committed to a brighter future for all, helping whoever walks through their doors in need of supports, no matter their ancestry or Indigenous status.

“We do what we can for all Indigenous people, and when we are in times of emergency, like this COVID-19 pandemic, we pull together, and do our very best to address the increased need for services,” Leslie Varley, Executive Director of the B.C. Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC), is working alongside the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) to secure supports for centres providing essential and urgent services to communities. The NAFC is submitting a funding proposal to the federal government on behalf of Friendship Centres nation-wide, in hopes of receiving a portion of the $15 million in emergency funding allocated for urban Indigenous organizations.

The 25 Friendship Centres located in B.C. have a history of supporting people during times of crisis, some serving as evacuation support centres during intense wildfire seasons. During this pandemic, Friendship Centres are continuing to provide essential services whenever possible, and many are working to fulfill additional urgent needs, such as shelter services for people experiencing homelessness. Other Friendship Centres are reaching out to ensure neighbouring Indigenous communities have access to services that other groups and organizations are not providing for.

The BCAAFC is requesting additional supports from the provincial government, and seeking opportunities to collaborate with other organizations and governing bodies to ensure Indigenous and Métis people, wherever they reside, are not suffering due to jurisdictional boundaries.

The backgrounder attached outlines the requests made by Friendship Centres in order to safely provide essential and urgent services.

For more information, please contact:
Leslie Varley, Executive Director, BCAAFC
250-893-0494 |


B.C. Friendship Centres

Each Friendship Centre is an autonomous not-for-profit organization, governed by a local board of volunteer directors. Each centre develops programs and services depending on the needs identified by community members.

The province of B.C. accepts that 85% of Indigenous people in BC reside off reserve. This means many Indigenous people living off reserve are in dire need of supports and services; however, at this point, few additional services and resources are available to Friendship Centres.

Federal Government: Indigenous Community Support Fund

The $305 million in funding announced by the federal government breaks down as follows:
– $125 million for First Nations, with a base amount for each
– $45 million for Inuit determined by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and land-claim groups
– $30 million for Métis Nation communities, through provincial bodies
– $15 million for Indigenous urban organizations (Canada-wide)

Across Canada, only urban Indigenous organizations, such as Friendship Centres, are required to apply for funding through a national proposal process, rather than receiving the funds allocated directly.

Friendship Centres Requests

The National Association of Friendship Centres is submitting a proposal on behalf of all Friendship Centres for a portion of the $15 million funding available for Indigenous urban organizations.

Friendship Centres have asked for:
– Food and food vouchers to address food insecurity
– Care packages delivered to those with health problems and shut-ins
– Home kits for postpartum parents, including diapers and formula
– Cold and flu medications and other basic medications and first aid kits
– Travel supports for those who are having to resort to hitchhiking in areas like the Highway of Tears
– Taxi vouchers for those needing to get supplies or go to a doctor
– Supports for the homeless, including bedding, warm clothing, tents, and storage
– Cell phones for isolated elders, shut-ins and homeless folks so they can stay in contact with loved ones and service providers
– Hand washing stations, gloves, masks and sanitizer, for Friendship Centre staff and communities

B.C. Friendship Centres as Essential Service Providers

Friendship Centres fulfill the Government of B.C.’s criteria for essential service providers, excerpt as follows:

“Vulnerable Population Service Providers
– Businesses and non-profits that provide food, shelter, social, and support services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise vulnerable individuals, such as:

  • Community Kitchens
  • Voluntary and community service providers
  • Mental health, substance use and addictions services
  • Transitional, social and support housing

– Childcare services for those persons providing essential services
– Caregivers for children in care and out of care.”

In addition to the essential services defined, many Friendship Centres also provide specialized services, such as safe transition houses for women and families fleeing violence, and social housing.


Helping Labrador Inuit cope with impacts of COVID-19

April 8, 2020

The Nunatsiavut Government today announced details of a number of initiatives announced March 26 aimed at assisting Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement deal with impacts associated with the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

Funding for the initiatives is being provided by the Government of Canada through its $305 million Indigenous Community Support Fund to address immediate needs related to COVID-19. The fund is divided between Indigenous governments and organizations across the country. The Nunatsiavut Government’s share of that fund is $5.3 million.

“It’s important that supports be put in place to help Beneficiaries during these difficult and uncertain times,” says Nunatsiavut President Johannes Lampe. “The initiatives we are rolling out today will assist individuals and families, and those who are the most vulnerable, by providing basic needs such as food, wood and fuel. It is our intent to provide help to as many Beneficiaries as we can no matter where they live.”

Emergency Food Supplement Support Program

The purpose of this initiative is to ensure individuals and families impacted by COVID-19 and those most vulnerable to the virus have sufficient nutritious food to support their health and wellness. Adequate nutrition is crucial for maintaining good health and having the ability to fight off infection.

“The levels of food insecurity in Nain and Hopedale, for example, were over 80 per cent before the onset of COVID-19,” notes President Lampe. “We suspect the need is even greater now in these communities, and we expect things to worsen for those who are especially vulnerable, such as seniors, persons living with disabilities, single parents and those living in poverty. Those who are isolated, who have lost wages and who are unable to access food programs will also find it hard to make ends meet for the foreseeable future.”

Priority will be given to seniors (60 years and older) on fixed incomes, persons with disabilities, single parents, low income families (receiving income support, living on fixed pension incomes or employment insurance), and individuals and families who have had their employment hours cut or have been laid off because of the pandemic.

More than $1.1 million has been set aside for this program.

Emergency Heat Subsidy

This program is designed to assist Labrador Inuit with heating their homes during the pandemic. It will subsidize the cost of acquiring and accessing wood, furnace and stove oil, and electricity. Provisions are being made to pay harvesters to provide wood to Inuit communities, as well as to financially assist those who are able to access their own wood.

“Many Labrador Inuit struggle to adequately heat their homes, especially our elders, low-income families and individuals, single parents, and persons with disabilities,” notes President Lampe. “This program is aimed at helping those who are most in need.’

To ensure there is an adequate supply of wood, the Nunatsiavut Government is encouraging harvesters to begin stockpiling as much wood as possible in order to meet the needs of their communities.

Those who qualify for the program and who do not use wood to heat their homes will receive allotments of stove and furnace oil or funds to subsidize electricity costs.

Priority will be given to seniors (60 years and older) on fixed incomes, persons with disabilities, single parents, low income families (receiving income support, living on fixed pension incomes or employment insurance), and individuals and families who have had their employment hours cut or have been laid off because of the pandemic. Support will also be provided to those who are physically unable to access wood, either because of chronic illnesses, broken snowmobiles, etc.

A total of $1 million has been set aside for this initiative.

Harvesters Support Program

The goal of this program is to ensure community freezers are adequately stocked with country food for distribution to those most vulnerable to COVID-19, particularly elders. Funding will be provided to harvesters to cover costs associated with accessing country food. As well, provisions are being made to allow Labrador Inuit and harvesters to trade/barter country food they current have for gasoline, snowmobile oil and ammunition. Those who are able to harvest country food, but unable to do so because of financial constraints, will be able to apply for a gasoline allowance.

“Country foods are a necessity for many of our people in our communities, especially our seniors,” says President Lampe. “This program will ensure there is an adequate supply to meet community needs for the foreseeable future.”

To expedite the program, funds will flow directly to the five Labrador Inuit Community Governments or committees that operate community freezers. Priority will be given to seniors (60 years and older) on fixed incomes, persons with disabilities, low income families (receiving income support, living on fixed incomes or employment insurance.)

A total of $500,000 has been set aside for this initiative.

Other Initiatives

Last week the Nunatsiavut Government announced an initiative to provide a variety of household cleaning supplies to families and individuals within the Labrador Inuit Settlement area where acquiring such products are extremely expensive or not readily available. That program is currently being delivered, with supplies arriving in the communities this week.

As well, packages of coloring books and crayons, and a variety of games, etc. have been provided to Inuit children and families to support mental and social wellness. This includes supports to keep busy with other healthy activities, as well as implementing modified counseling supports. Similar packages are also being provided to individuals who are self-isolating and requiring mental health supports.

Earlier this week, the Nunatsiavut Government announced funding of $54,500 to support efforts of food banks and community freezer programs.

How to apply

Beneficiaries and wood and country-food harvesters wishing to apply for any of these programs are asked to contact the following in their respective communities:

Community Contact person Contact number
Nain Rutie Dicker 709-922-2942
Nain Mary-Adelaide 709-922-2942
Nain Brenda Dicker 709-922-2968
Hopedale Vanessa Gauntlett 709-933-3695
Hopedale Dawn-Rose Winters 709-933-3777
Postville Ruth Jacque 709-479-9867
Makkovik Carol Gear 709-923-2365
Makkovik Michelle Dyson 709-923-2365
Rigolet Paula Sheppard-McLean 709-947-3383
Rigolet Lisa Bennett 709-947-3328

Community contacts will begin accepting applications on Tuesday, April 14.

A food supplement program is being developed for Labrador Inuit residing in Upper Lake Melville as well as in the Constituency of Canada. Details on the program and how to access it will be announced next week.

“The Nunatsiavut Government is working hard to assist Labrador Inuit cope with the impacts of COVID-19,” says President Lampe. “We ask people to be patient as we roll out these programs in the days ahead. In the meantime, I urge all Beneficiaries to follow proper public-health protocols to protect you and your families from this terrible disease.”

Media Contact:

Bert Pomeroy

Director of Communications

(709) 896-8582

(709) 899-0004


TFN Chief Ken Baird April 7, 2020 Update on COVID-19

April 8, 2020

This is an important update from Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Ken Baird, on behalf of Executive Council, about the TFN Government’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus.


Good afternoon everyone,

Before I begin, I’d like to thank the Creator for another beautiful day on Mother Earth.

Tsawwassen Members recognized the 11th anniversary of our historic Treaty on Friday, April 3rd. It wasn’t the usual circumstances, but I hope everyone had a good day, and stayed safe and well. We were able to do deliveries of small care packages on Lands. Members off Lands, please keep an eye on your mail.

Members have been telling us that the measures that went into place March 25th were not enough to stop the Tsawwassen Drive area from being a place of community congregation, where safe physical distancing measures are not being observed.

On Friday, Executive Council determined that additional pro-active measures are necessary to further protect Members from the danger posed by the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. As such, Executive Council issued a full road closure at Tsawwassen Drive and 41B Avenue. Executive Council has also closed Tsawwassen Drive at Highway 17.

There are moveable barriers there to allow for emergency access if needed. Blue Heron Way remains open for local traffic only.

To our knowledge, nobody on Tsawwassen Lands has become infected with COVID-19 and we are grateful for that.

We believe the “shelter in place” protocol is working, and Executive Council appreciates the sacrifices Members and leaseholder residents have made by staying home.

As the weather gets better, we understand the temptation to go out and enjoy the world. But we ask for your patience and your restraint in waiting a little bit longer, until the provincial health officer says it’s safe for people to once again resume their normal routines.

Easter is also approaching. It’s a time when friends and families get together and share a meal. During this time, we encourage you to find other ways to stay connected.

Use the phone, try Facetime, or share photos and videos of Easter with each other. This way you continue to reduce the risk of infection, while staying connected to your loved ones.

At this time, I would also like to answer some questions we’ve been receiving.

If you’re a Member who’s been laid off from work, the Government of Canada has enacted a program called the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. They have also waived the one-week waiting period for Employment Insurance. Please contact Terry Baird at the information below to receive help through this process.

TFN is continuing to provide regular services to Members, including the delivery of hot meals, shopping for Elders and people with compromised immune systems, and providing health care and mental wellness support via the phone.

Please maintain your health and the health of your family by washing your hands with soap and water, avoiding close contact with people who are sick or showing signs of being sick, coughing or sneezing into your sleeve and not your hands, and staying home and sheltering in place.

You can still contact TFN Reception by calling 604-861-9242 and your call will be directed to the appropriate person.

70% of TFN’s staff continues to work, most of them from home, connected to managers with video conferencing. Executive Council continues to meet the same way.

We are continuing the work of this Government; despite the extra measures we must take to keep everyone safe.

Please continue to keep yourselves safe and shelter in place at home. Do not go out, except for the essentials of life. We’re all in this together, and together we can and will get through this.


Statement by the Prime Minister on Vimy Ridge Day

April 9, 2020

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on Vimy Ridge Day:

“Today, we remember the thousands of Canadians who fought and gave their lives in the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

“The capture of Vimy Ridge was more than just a military victory – it was a turning point for our country. During the battle, soldiers from all four divisions of the Canadian Corps fought together for the first time. They came from coast to coast to coast – Francophones, Anglophones, new Canadians, and Indigenous peoples.

“On Easter Monday in 1917 – after carefully planning and preparing their attack – these Canadian soldiers battled uphill through sleet, mud, and machine gun fire to achieve one of the First World War’s most decisive victories. The innovative fighting techniques used by our soldiers at Vimy Ridge would also contribute to the final Allied victory a year and a half later.

“The Battle of Vimy Ridge was a defining moment for Canada, but it came at a great cost. Nearly 3,600 Canadians lost their lives, and over 7,000 more were wounded. It remains one of the bloodiest battles in our country’s military history.

“On this day, we honour the courage and sacrifice of those who fought at Vimy Ridge. Canadians remember who they were, what they stood for, and the history they defined. We also pay tribute to all our brave Canadians in uniform, past and present, for their unwavering dedication and service. Every day, they protect the fundamental values that define this country.

“Lest we forget.”


MKO: COVID-19 Community Bulletin #1: Mental wellness supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Apr 8, 2020

Note: You can download and print a PDF copy of this bulletin here.

Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) and Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin Inc. (KIM) are collaborating with Mental Wellness Services in Manitoba to support Northern First Nations’ leadership and Health Directors during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Feelings of distress, anxiety, fear, and grief can heighten as Manitoba communities practice social and physical distancing during this unprecedented health crisis. In response to the need for people to access mental wellness support and service during COVID-19, mental wellness teams and programs have adapted their methods of communication and will respond through virtual means to continue serving those coping with suicide attempts, completed suicides, homicide, multiple deaths, trauma due to violent assault, or other serious events that impact many people.

Each Wellness Team is committed to:

  • Providing confidential mental wellness support with a culturally safe and trauma-informed care approach to all Manitoba First Nations on and off reserve.
  • Ensuring all services and on-call crisis responses are accessible via telephone or text with various services, including virtual support with FaceTime and/or Zoom video conferencing, where applicable.
  • Ensuring their mental wellness team members and health care providers are trained to help manage an individual’s mental health during COVID-19.
  • Sharing the most current and accurate information-based facts from provincial and federal public health authorities.
  • Staying informed of safety measures during COVID-19, as guided by the Province of Manitoba Chief Public Health Officer and public health authorities.

Mental Wellness Supports in Manitoba

This section provides information about:

  • Dakota Ojibway Health Services
  • Interlake Reserves Tribal Council
  • Opaskwayak Health Authority
  • Southeast Resource Development Council
  • Keewatin Tribal Council
  • Natawiwewak Medical Clinic

Dakota Ojibway Health Services

  • Available since 2017, the Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council (DOTC) based in Headingley, provides an on-call crisis response for youth and adults who are in crisis due to mental health concerns, suicide, and/or addiction issues.
  • An on-call service will be available during the COVID-19 pandemic via telephone and FaceTime. The on-call service is open to talk and debrief with the local health care providers and community members that are feeling isolated and distressed.
  • Services six communities: Birdtail Sioux, Dakota Tipi, Long Plain, Roseau River, Sandy Bay, and Swan Lake
  • Connect with the DOTC Mental Wellness Team: 1-833-600-0087
    • Tina Linklater
      Tel: (204) 803-4035
    • Tara Myran
      Tel: (204) 791-8305
    • Karole Ducharme
      Tel: (204) 770-4739
    • Lindsay Taylor
      Tel: (204) 226-9092
    • Casey Paul
      Tel: (204) 226-1185

Interlake Reserves Tribal Council

  • Available since 2017, the Interlake Reserves Tribal Council (IRTC) is located in Winnipeg and provides virtual support during COVID-19.
  • In a time of crisis, team members will attend to the community using highly sensitive and precautionary measures, as advised by Manitoba’s public health authorities. The Mental Wellness Team is tracking calls and supports for mental wellness. The IRTC Health Directors connect every Tuesday and Thursday via teleconference.
  • Services six communities: Dauphin River, Kinonjeoshtegon, Lake Manitoba, Little Saskatchewan, Peguis, and Pinaymootang
  • IRTC’s website and Facebook page will have information about coping skills for stress and anxiety.
  • Connect with the IRTC Mental Wellness Team:
    • Marcie Tavares
      Tel: (204) 803-0700
    • Sheri Gould
      Tel: (204) 302-0078
    • Treena McPherson
      Tel: (204) 302-1344

Opaskwayak Health Authority

  • Available since 2018, the Opaskwayak Health Authority (OHA) is based in Opaskwayak. The Mental Wellness Team consists of five counsellors, including OHA counsellors who are available via telephone to provide follow-up care with clients, and Opioid Replacement Therapy physician clinics who are available via Telehealth on the regular scheduled dates. Telehealth is being set up for clients to have follow-up appointments with their treatment. The team is contacting clients on a regular basis and is expanding days/hours of operation to accommodate people struggling with stress related to the global crisis.
  • New office hours during COVID-19:
    • Monday & Tuesday: 8:30 am – 6:00 pm
    • Wednesday – Friday: 8:30 am – 9:00 pm
    • Saturday & Sunday: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • Please note that this team does not have NIHB therapists assigned.
  • Services communities affiliated with Swampy Cree Tribal Council: Marcel Colomb, Mathias Colomb, Mosakahiken, Opaskwayak, Sapotaweyak, Misipawistik Cree Nation, and Wuskwi Sipihk
    *Services are available to anyone who seeks support during this difficult time.
  • Connect with the OHA Mental Wellness Team during office hours:
    Tel: (204) 627-7410
    Fax: (204) 623-3907   or:
  • Sarah Linklater, Mental Health Manager
    Tel: (204) 627-7426
    Confidential fax: (204) 623-3907
  • Connect with the Crisis Line after hours: Tel: (204) 623-0519

Southeast Resource Development Council

  • Available since 2018, the Southeast Resource Development Council (SERDC) is in Winnipeg and has a team of nine staff including outreach workers, therapists, a cultural advisor, addiction specialists, Indian Residential School, Resolution Health Support Worker, and MMIWG support workers.
  • During COVID-19, the team provides virtual support via telehealth, telephone, or videoconferencing for counselling and therapy to youth and adults who may experience feelings of stress, fear, and anxiety.
  • Services eight communities: Berens River, Black River, Bloodvein, Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, Hollow Water, Little Grand Rapids, Pauingassi, and Poplar River
  • SERDC website and Facebook page offers updates and supports.
  • Connect with the Mental Wellness Team Program Manager Carol McCorrister:
    • Tel: (204) 956-7500
    • Fax: (204) 934-0374
    • Email:

Keewatin Tribal Council

  • Available since 2017, the Keewatin Tribal Council (KTC) Mental Wellness Team in Thompson consists of 14 staff that include Crisis Response, Mental Wellness, Cultural Advisors, National Native Alcohol & Drug Abuse Program (NNADAP) Counsellor, and a Mental Health Therapist.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mental Wellness Team provides on-call crisis services 7 days a week from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, through telehealth, telephone, or teleconferencing. One-on-one counselling, family counselling, and therapy is available to youth and/or adults who struggle with addictions, substance abuse, suicide ideation, and unresolved trauma and grief.
  • The Wellness Team recognizes the need to support local health care providers (HCP) during this pandemic and are available to talk and debrief with HCPs that find themselves overwhelmed and struggling during this challenging time.
  • Services 11 communities: Barren Lands, Bunibonibee, Fox Lake, God’s Lake, Manto Sipi, Northlands, Sayisi Dene, Shamattawa, Tataskweyak, War Lake, and York Factory
  • KTC website, Facebook page, and local community radio stations will have information about COVID-19 to deal with social distancing and isolation including fun activities and contests.
  • Connect with the Crisis On-Call:
    Cell: (204) 307-1905 or
    (204) 307-0118
  • Connect with the KTC Mental Wellness Team:
    Tel: (204) 677-7410
    Fax: (204) 677-0255

    • John Spence
      Tel: (204) 677-0257
      Cell: (204) 679-1209
    • Echo Dumas
      Tel: (204) 677-0265
      Cell: (204) 307-6453
    • Mary Azure Laubmann
      Tel: (204) 677-0268
      Cell: (204) 307-8440

Natawiwewak Medical Clinic

  • Available since 2018 and based in Winnipeg, the Natawiwewak Medical Clinic (NMC) provides a range of mental wellness supports including adult psychiatry services, clinical assessments, counselling, therapy, case management, and service coordination. The Mental Wellness Team consists of psychiatrists, clinicians, and local mental wellness community support workers.
  • During COVID-19, the NMC offices at the Health Centre and the Quest Inn will remain open and provide virtual support via telephone and Telehealth and will provide mental wellness services to partnering community members who have found themselves in Winnipeg and are requiring mental wellness services.
  • Services four communities: Bunibonibee, Chemawawin, God’s Lake, and Manto Sipi
  • Connect with the Mental Wellness Team:
    Tel: (204) 417-8877
    Fax: (204) 417-7744

    • Amelia Clarke, RSW, BSW (Gods Lake Cree Nation/Manto Sipi Cree Nation)
      Tel: (204) 670-1058
    • Corey Spence RSW, BSW (Chemawawin Cree Nation)
      Tel: (431) 754-0929
    • Joy Koczka, RSW, MSW, BSW, BA (Bunibonibee Cree Nation/Manto Sipi Cree Nation)
      Tel: (204) 229-5488
    • Ken MacKenzie, RSW, MSW, BSW BA (Consulting Clinic Director)
      Tel: (204) 232-3033
    • Kirsty Muller, RN, BN (Bunibonibee Cree Nation/Gods Lake Cree Nation)
      Tel: (204) 298-8142

Mobile Crisis Response Team at Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc.

  • Available since 2017, the Winnipeg and Thompson teams consist of 12 members working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The teams provide a wholistic, culturally sensitive, and safe crisis response and trauma intervention to First Nations in Manitoba, as it relates to completed suicides, suicide attempts, homicide, multiple deaths, and traumatic events such as violent assault or serious events that impact many people. Each request for service will be assessed on a case-by-case basis to determine intervention to support the crisis experienced in the community through video conference or telephone.
  • Services: First Nations in Manitoba and eligible status citizens living on or off reserve in Manitoba
  • MKO website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Youtube accounts have information about COVID-19.
  • Connect with the Mobile Crisis Response Team: 1‐844‐927‐LIFE (5433)

Traditional Healer Services

  • MKO’s Traditional Healer Program, based in Thompson, has a team of three working from home during COVID-19 and provides culturally safe access to traditional healing. Supports for traditional healing normally involves ceremonies, traditional medicines, and land-based activities to acquire traditional teachings from Indigenous Knowledge Keepers.
  • Each request for service will be assessed on a case-by-case basis to determine access to a Traditional Healer. Services will be limited to individual consults through virtual supports primarily by phone.
  • Services: Manitoba First Nations, eligible status citizens living on or off reserve in Manitoba
  • MKO website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Youtube accounts have information about COVID-19.
  • Connect with the Traditional Healer Program Manager, Duke Beardy
    Tel: (204) 307-8192

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls (MMIWG)

  • Available since 2018, the MKO MMIWG Liaison Unit is based in Winnipeg and Thompson.
  • With a team of six staff working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, they are using other communication platforms to continue services to those seeking access to mental, emotional, and cultural wellness support services, including 2SLGBTQQIA+, family members who are affected by MMIWG, or to those who are survivors of violence. The MKO MMIWG Liaison Unit is trained to provide support that is trauma-informed, culturally appropriate, community-based, holistic, and focused on providing a direct and integrated approach.
  • Services: First Nations, Inuit, Metis, non-status, and non-Aboriginal people living in Manitoba
  • MKO website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Youtube accounts have information about COVID-19.
  • The MMIWG Facebook page will have information about COVID-19.
  • Connect with MMIWG Liaison Unit Manager, Hilda Anderson-Pyrz
    Tel: (204) 307-5919

Additional Resources:

This section outlines the following:

  • Non-Insured Health Benefits Program Mental Health Therapists
  • Local Emergency Services and Help Lines

Non-Insured Health Benefits Program Mental Health Therapists

  • People may contact their mental health service provider to confirm whether they can provide counselling services via telephone.
  • Telehealth mental wellness services by eligible providers are covered by the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Program.
  • According to the COVID-19 Pandemic Updates to First Nations, NIHB still have many therapists travelling into communities, as of March 24, 2020.
  • Services: First Nations who are registered under The Indian Act, or Inuk recognized by an Inuit land claim organization.
  • To read about client eligibility, please visit the Government of Canada website.
  • Connect with NIHB for a mental health therapist: Tel: (204) 983-4571

Or email the NIHB Mental Health Services, Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Indigenous Services Canada/Government of Canada:

Local Emergency Services and Help Lines

If experiencing a life‐threatening crisis, please contact your local emergency services (911) or RCMP detachment.

Manitoba Suicide Prevention and Support Line: Reason to Live

  • The Manitoba Suicide Prevention and Support line is a toll-free, confidential, and a 24-hour crisis line run by trained counsellors from the Klinic Community Health Centre. It provides immediate support and service to those struggling with suicidal thoughts or feelings, or to those concerned about a friend’s mental wellness and/or safety, and to family member impacted by a suicide loss or suicide attempt. Our counsellors understand that many people struggle with suicidal thoughts or behaviours.
  • Toll Free Prevention and Support Line: 1-877‐435-7170

First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness

  • If you’re experiencing emotional distress and want to talk, the First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness offers an individual crisis support line open 24/7.
  • Toll Free Hope for Wellness Help Line: 1‐855-242-3310

Winnipeg Crisis Response Centre (CRC)

  • Mental health experts are available 24/7 to help adults experiencing:
    • A mental health crisis with the risk of potential harm associated with an immediate crisis including suicidal thoughts and behaviour
    • Personal distress and other signs and symptoms of a mental health condition requiring urgent mental health assessment and treatment
    • Intense emotional trauma where assessment, crisis intervention, and linkage to other services are required
    • An immediate risk is posed after hours when the ongoing mental health service provider is not available
  • Connect with the Mental Wellness Team: (204) 788-8330 or visit this website

Winnipeg Mobile Crisis Service

  • Mobile Crisis Staff are available 24/7
  • Offers crisis intervention, mental health assessment, telephone consultation and support, health education on mental illness, medication, coping strategies and preventative techniques, liaison and referral to community resources, support to family members and other concerned individuals, psychiatric consultation and assessment, and short-term follow-up.
  • Connect with the Mobile Crisis Service: (204) 940-1781

For more information, contact:

Theresa Yetman, Mental Health Program Manager, MKO
Work cell: (204) 795-4253

Theresa Garson, Mental Wellness Benefits Analyst
Work cell: (204) 391-3356


Can Indigenous governments, organizations access federal COVID-19 relief funding? – CBC

Apr 09, 2020

Indigenous governments and organizations are major employers in the Northwest Territories, but whether they’ll have access to new federal relief programs meant to help employers and workers affected by COVID-19 is unclear.

Judith Rae is a lawyer at the law firm OKT. She specializes in Indigenous governance and has spent time in the N.W.T.

Rae joined Loren McGinnis on CBC’s The Trailbreaker Wednesday morning to talk about financial support that may or may not be available to Indigenous governments and organizations.

The interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Read More:

Landore Resources Ltd.: Mineral Resource Estimate Update with an Independant Technical Report (NI43-101), BAM Gold Deposit – Junior Lake Property

London, United Kingdom –9 April 2020 – Landore Resources Limited (AIM:LND) (“Landore” or “the Company”) is pleased to announce that the Mineral Resource Estimate Update, details of which were notified by the Company on 7 January 2020, together with an Independent Technical Report for the BAM Gold Project, Junior Lake Property, Ontario, Canada (“BAM Gold Deposit”) is now available to view at the link below and on the Company’s  website: 

Extract from Executive Summary:

Cube Consulting Pty Ltd (Cube), was engaged by Landore Resources Canada Inc. (Landore) to update a Mineral Resource estimate (MRE) and prepare an Independent Technical Report, in compliance with the requirements of the Canadian National Instruments 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (NI43-101) on the BAM Gold Project, in Ontario, Canada.

The BAM Project Mineral Resource, Effective Date as at 30 December 2019, is suitable for public reporting in accordance with the NI43-101 and the CIM Definition Standards (May 2014). All drilling information, including all drilling completed up to the end of 2019 has been used in the preparation of the current MRE.

End of Extract

For more information, please contact:

Bill Humphries, Chief Executive Officer         Tel: 07734 681262

Glenn Featherby, Finance Director                   Tel: 07775 651421

Michele Tuomi, VP Exploration                       Tel: +1807 6233770

Landore Resources Limited                    

Derrick Lee / Peter Lynch                                 Tel: 0131 220 9771

Cenkos Securities plc

Nominated Advisor and Broker

This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact or visit


Mason Graphite Inc.: Value Added Product Project Becomes Priority, Mine And Concentrator Project Put On Hold

Laval, Quebec, Canada, 9 April 2020 – Current market conditions have led Mason Graphite Inc. (“Mason Graphite” or “the Company”) to re-prioritize its projects. Therefore, Mason Graphite announces that the second transformation project (coated spherical graphite) has become the priority of the Company while the first transformation project (mine and concentrator) has been postponed.

Priority to the Value-Added Products Project

Given the greater market demand and superior economics for value-added products of Mason Graphite, (VAP or second transformation), this project has been placed in priority sequence and will be the main focus of the Company’s resources. The high-level technical and economic study completed internally at the beginning of the year has demonstrated that a VAP plant, for the production of coated spherical graphite used for Li-ion batteries, presents sufficient potential to justify further analysis.

Furthermore, cycling tests on coated spherical graphite produced at the pilot scale in 2019 from Lac Guéret concentrate continue (within the limits imposed by the COVID-19 crisis) at three independent laboratories. To date, the results from testing in half coin cells, full coin cells and single-layer pouch cells demonstrate that:

  • Specific capacity is higher than 350 mAh/g;
  • Capacity retention after 100 cycles is higher than 90%;
  • Results in power cycling (accelerated discharge) are conclusive;
  • Performances are coherent and reproducible for all three laboratories.

In short, these electrochemical performances are at the same level as commercial references currently available on the market. Tests in multi-layer pouch cells will start as soon as the circumstances allow.

First Transformation Project Postponed

Given the current oversupply of graphite on world markets and the unfavourable capital market conditions for natural resources projects, the Company has decided to postpone, until further notice, the development of the Lac Guéret mine and concentrator (first transformation project). As a result of this decision, Mason Graphite is forced to downsize its team dedicated to the engineering and construction of the first transformation project.

Lac Guéret is one of the highest grade and highest quality known graphite deposits in the world, is located in a highly desirable jurisdiction (Quebec) and remains a key asset for the Company. To this end, all permits, stakeholder relationships and technical studies will be kept current and in good standing for when market conditions return to normal.

Appointment of Interim President and CEO

As of April 1st, 2020, Paul Carmel, Chair of the Board of Directors of Mason Graphite, has been appointed President and CEO of Mason Graphite on an Interim basis. A search committee has been formed – among the directors – and is actively seeking to identify and appoint a permanent CEO.

Consent of the Qualified Person

Jean L’Heureux, Eng., M. Eng., Executive Vice President, Process Development for Mason Graphite, and a Qualified Person, as defined by NI 43-101 for Mason Graphite, was responsible for the audit of data presented in this press release and read and approved it.

About Mason Graphite

Mason Graphite is a Canadian company dedicated to the production and transformation of natural graphite. Its long-term strategy includes the development of value-added products, notably for green technologies like transport electrification. The Company also owns 100% of the rights to the Lac Guéret graphite deposit, one of the richest in the world. The Company is managed by an experienced team cumulating many decades of experience in graphite, covering production, sales, as well as research and development.

For more information:



Ana Rodrigues, at or at +1 514 289 3580

Head office: 3030, boulevard Le Carrefour, bureau 600, Laval, Québec, H7T 2P5


More COVID-19 aid, PPE needed for First Nations and Metis leaders say –

April 9, 2020

OTTAWA — First Nations and Metis leaders say they need more from Ottawa to combat COVID-19 in their communities, including money, assistance with security and help acquiring protective equipment.

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde says money earmarked for First Nations for COVID-19 response so far is not proportional to the populations in their communities and more financial help will be needed.

He is calling on Ottawa to immediately make available 10 per cent of the future funding that will be allocated to Indigenous COVID-19 response to help First Nations deal with the health and social impacts of the pandemic.

Bellegarde also says First Nations must be part of all decision-making when it comes to deciding how resources are allocated — something he says is not happening now.


Teachers not in Nunavut need to come back to ensure learning continues, minister says – Nunatsiaq News

9 April 2020

93 school staff outside the territory ordered to come back by April 21

Nunavut’s education minister is clarifying his department’s decision to order all school staff currently out of the territory to return to Nunavut.

Speaking at a daily press conference on Wednesday, April 8, David Joanasie told reporters that schools in the territory would only reopen on the recommendation of Nunavut’s chief public health officer.

“Yesterday the Department of Education sent a letter to all school staff about returning to work in their home communities on April 21. It is for staff only,” Joanasie said.

That letter ordered all school staff to return to their home communities by April 21.

“This is a mandatory return-to-work date,” the letter said.

Read More:

Great Bear Expands Shallow High-Grade Gold at LP Fault Including 42.70 g/t Gold Over 3.00 m Within 4.24 g/t Gold Over 52.15 m; Results from Gap in Drilling Include 9.35 g/t Gold Over 6.50 m Within 1.66 g/t Gold Over 46.10 m

April 9, 2020 – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada – Great Bear Resources Ltd. (the “Company” or “Great Bear”, TSX-V: GBR) today reported results from its ongoing fully funded $21 million exploration program at its 100% owned flagship Dixie Project in the Red Lake district of Ontario.

The Company has completed 83 of approximately 300 planned drill holes into the LP Fault target, as part of its 5 kilometre long by 500 metre deep grid drill program.  Gold mineralization has been intersected in all (100%) of the drill holes for which assays have been returned to-date.  Current drill results are provided by area, as shown on Figure 1, and in Table 1.

Drill Results Highlights:

  • New lateral and vertical drill spacing on 25 – 100 metre centres has confirmed apparent continuity of gold mineralization on multiple drill sections.
  • Drill hole BR-101 intersected multiple shallow mineralized intervals along 110 metres of core length.  Assays include 42.70 g/t gold over 3.00 m, including 118.00 g/t gold over 0.50 metres, within a broader interval of 4.24 g/t gold over 52.15 metres.
  • Drill hole BR-102 intersected the on-strike continuation of the same shallow mineralization and is collared 143 metres to the southeast of BR-101.  Assays include 23.17 g/t gold over 3.50 metres, within a broader interval of 3.10 g/t gold over 48.00 metres.
  • Previously reported drill hole BR-020 (September 3, 2019), which assayed 10.65 g/t gold over 17.25 metres, within a broader interval of 5.28 g/t gold over 42.0 metres, is the continuation of the same shallow mineralization and is collared 84 metres south of BR-101.
  • The high-grade gold mineralization intersected in BR-020, BR-101 and BR-102 is apparently continuous and projects to within metres of the surface, below shallow gravel cover.  Mineralization remains open to extension in all directions. Figure 2.
  • A series of nine drill holes were completed within a previously undrilled gap in the LP Fault system (formerly, the Gap zone).  Highlights include drill hole BR-120 which intersected 9.35 g/t gold over 6.50 metres, which included 97.50 g/t gold over 0.50 metres, within a broader interval of 1.66 g/t gold over 46.10 metres.
  • Drill hole BR-121, completed on the same section as BR-120, intersected 4.91 g/t gold over 6.40 metres, which included 18.10 g/t gold over 1.00 metre, within a broader interval of 1.07 g/t gold over 73.85 metres.
  • BR-120 and 121 transect the same gold zone 130 and 240 vertical metres below previously disclosed drill hole BR-075 (December 16, 2019), which assayed 16.80 g/t gold over 4.15 metres, within a broader interval of 1.25 g/t gold over 45.50 metres.  Figure 3.
  • Results show apparent continuity of gold mineralization over approximately 400 vertical metres from surface in this area, which remains open to extension in all directions.

Chris Taylor, President and CEO of Great Bear said, “We continue to observe excellent lateral and vertical continuity of mineralization within the LP Fault gold system.  Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have been able to maintain drill operations while continuing to protect our work crews with strict risk mitigation protocols.  All geologists and geotechnical staff on site are Red Lake residents, which gives us sufficient staff for three of our five drill rigs to remain active.  We plan to return to full drill capacity once pandemic-related work restrictions are lifted, and it is safe to do so.   However, even with three active drill rigs the full estimated 300 drill hole program remains on track to be completed by December 2020.”

Figure 1: Location of drill sections contained in this release.  Reference grid squares are 2 kilometres.

Table 1: Current drill results.  Drill sections are arranged from southeast (top of Table) to northwest (bottom of Table), corresponding to the map provided in Figure 1.

Hole ID

From (m)

To (m)

Width* (m)

Gold (g/t)



















and including





and including





and including





and including




































and including





and including





and including





and including





and including





and including





and including





and including
















and including































































and including
















and including















and including
















and including





and including





and including
















and including





and including





Continuation of Table 1.

Hole ID

From (m)

To (m)

Width* (m)

Gold (g/t)
























































































































and including









































and including





and including





































*Widths are drill indicated core length, as insufficient drilling has been undertaken to determine true widths at this time.  Average grades are calculated with un-capped gold assays, as insufficient drilling has been completed to determine capping levels for higher grade gold intercepts.  Average widths are calculated using a 0.10 g/t gold cut-off grade with < 3 m of internal dilution of zero grade.

Updated drill collar locations, azimuths and dips, together with an updated complete assay table for the LP Fault drilling to-date will be posted to the Company’s web site at

Figure 2: Cross section 20000.  Significant intervals of near surface high-grade gold have been drilled along approximately 150 metres of strike length, to a depth of 350 metres in this area.

Figure 3: Section 21150.  This previously undrilled gap along the LP Fault zone has returned continuous gold mineralization over approximately 400 vertical metres.  This drill section is located 1.15 kilometres to the northwest of the section in Figure 2.

Other findings from the most recent drilling include:

  • Two drill holes, BR-113 and 114 testing the North Fault target returned anomalous gold values within iron formation and metasediments.  More follow up exploration of the North Fault target will be undertaken once regional exploration recommences.
  • Drill hole BR-091 on section 18350 is located outside of the eastern limit of planned grid drilling and is the most southeasterly drill hole trace shown on Figure 1 along the LP Fault. It intersected anomalous gold values of up to 0.82 g/t over 1.6 metres in metasedimentary rocks.  Future drilling in this area will focus on identifying favorable felsic volcanic stratigraphy which typically hosts gold mineralization along the LP Fault.

Approximately 220 drill holes remain to be completed as part of the Company’s ongoing 2020 LP Fault drill program.  Additional drill holes are also planned into the Dixie Limb and Hinge zones, in additional to other regional targets.  The Company remains fully funded for this work and does not anticipate requiring further financing in 2020.

Drill collar locations, azimuths and dips for the drill holes included in this release are provided in the table below:

Hole ID

















































































































































The Dixie Project is 100% owned, comprised of 9,140 hectares of contiguous claims that extend over 22 kilometres, and is located approximately 25 kilometres southeast of the town of Red Lake, Ontario. The project is accessible year-round via a 15 minute drive on a paved highway which runs the length of the northern claim boundary and a network of well-maintained logging roads.

The Dixie Project hosts two principle styles of gold mineralization:

  • High-grade gold in quartz veins and silica-sulphide replacement zones (Dixie Limb and Hinge). Hosted by mafic volcanic rocks, and localized near regional-scale D2 fold axes.  These mineralization styles are also typical of the significant mined deposits of the Red Lake district.
  • High-grade disseminated gold with broad moderate to lower grade envelopes (LP Fault).  The LP Fault is a significant gold-hosting structure which has been seismically imaged to extend to 14 kilometres depth (Zeng and Calvert, 2006), and has been interpreted by Great Bear to have up to 18 kilometres of strike length on the Dixie property.  High-grade gold mineralization is controlled by structural and geological contacts, and moderate to lower-grade disseminated gold surrounds and flanks the high-grade intervals.  The dominant gold-hosting stratigraphy consists of felsic sediments and volcanic units.

About Great Bear

Great Bear Resources Ltd. is a well-financed gold exploration company managed by a team with a track record of success in mineral exploration.  Great Bear is focused in the prolific Red Lake gold district in northwest Ontario, where the company controls over 300 km2 of highly prospective tenure across 4 projects: the flagship Dixie Project  (100% owned), the Pakwash Property (earning a 100% interest), the Dedee Property (earning a 100% interest), and the Sobel Property (earning a 100% interest), all of which are accessible year-round through existing roads.

QA/QC and Core Sampling Protocols

Drill core is logged and sampled in a secure core storage facility located in Red Lake Ontario.  Core samples from the program are cut in half, using a diamond cutting saw, and are sent to Activation Laboratories in Ontario, an accredited mineral analysis laboratory, for analysis. All samples are analysed for gold using standard Fire Assay-AA techniques. Samples returning over 10.0 g/t gold are analysed utilizing standard Fire Assay-Gravimetric methods.  Pulps from approximately 5% of the gold mineralized samples are submitted for check analysis to a second lab.  Selected samples are also chosen for duplicate assay from the coarse reject of the original sample.  Selected samples with visible gold are also analyzed with a standard 1 kg metallic screen fire assay.  Certified gold reference standards, blanks and field duplicates are routinely inserted into the sample stream, as part of Great Bear’s quality control/quality assurance program (QAQC).  No QAQC issues were noted with the results reported herein.  Drill hole location information is provided below:

Qualified Person and NI 43-101 Disclosure

Mr. R. Bob Singh, P.Geo, Director and VP Exploration, and Ms. Andrea Diakow P.Geo, Exploration Manager for Great Bear are the Qualified Persons as defined by National Instrument 43-101 responsible for the accuracy of technical information contained in this news release.


“Chris Taylor”

Chris Taylor, President and CEO

Investor Inquiries:
Mr. Knox Henderson
Tel: 604-551-2360
Fax: 604-646-4526


Enforcement Taskforce to Beef up Protection of NWT Residents

Unprecedented times are being met with unprecedented measures as the Northwest Territories responds to COVID-19.

Premier Cochrane, Minister Thom, and NWT Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola today announced the formation of the NWT Compliance and Enforcement Taskforce with the mandate to strengthen the territory’s public health enforcement actions to protect the public health of all NWT residents.

Dr. Kandola has brought in Conrad Baetz, who brings decades of experience in delivering compliance and enforcement programs in the NWT, as her right hand and enforcement strategic lead. Baetz has been deputized as a Deputy Chief Public Health Officer.

Taskforce membership will reflect the whole-of-government approach needed to rise to the challenge of the pandemic.

The Taskforce’s first acts: assigning officers from across government to enforce public health orders and investigate non-compliance across all 33 communities, and ramping up collaboration with other organizations across the territory.

This group will coordinate with the established Protect NWT complaint and enforcement structure. Anyone with credible, specific complaints is urged to continue emailing or call 1-833-378-8297.


“COVID-19 is a threat to the health of all NWT residents. Our government is committed to taking strong action to protect our people and communities, as reflected in the orders of the Chief Public Health Officer. While we expect all residents to do the responsible thing and follow the directions of Dr. Kandola, we also need to be prepared to enforce those orders when it is necessary. Creation of this taskforce will ensure we have the capacity to keep our territory safe.”

–        Caroline Cochrane, Premier

“This is a public health emergency, and it’s the orders of the Chief Public Health Officer which will keep us safer, and slow the spread of this virus in our territory. And anyone who chooses not to get on the same team, follow the orders, and help keep our territory safe will be met with consequences. This enforcement taskforce will support the Chief Public Health Officer as she works to keep us all safe.”

–         Diane Thom, Minister of Health and Social Services

“Changing behavior is central to responding to a pandemic. Education and awareness is one component, but when there’s a refusal to change behavior, we must use enforcement. Mr. Baetz and his team will lead a coordinated effort to put force behind our orders when necessary across this territory.”

–        Dr. Kami Kandola, NWT Chief Public Health Officer


Quick facts

·       Departments participating in this initiative include Environment and Natural Resources, Infrastructure, Lands, and Health and Social Services.

·       The RCMP and Bylaw will play support roles where necessary.

·       Minister of Health and Social Services Diane Thom has declared a Public Health Emergency in the Northwest Territories to respond to the challenge of COVID-19 on the recommendation of NWT Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola.

·       The Public Health Act gives the Chief Public Health Officer the authority to take any steps necessary to protect public health in the event of a Public Health Emergency.

·       During a Public Health Emergency, the Chief Public Health Officer may directly appoint Deputy Chief Public Health Officers and Public Health Officers for public health enforcement purposes.

·       Public Health Officers are designated as Peace Officers with the responsibility of enforcing the Public Health Act.

·       Individuals who contravene any orders of the Chief Public Health Officer, the Public Health Act or its regulations may be subject to fines of up to $10,000 or a prison term of up-to six months for a first offence.


Media contact

Cabinet Communications


Denison Completes USD$5.75 Million Public Offering

TORONTO, April 9, 2020 – Denison Mines Corp. (“Denison” or the “Company”) (DML: TSX, DNN: NYSE American) is pleased to announce that today it has closed its previously announced public offering (the “Offering”) of common shares of the Company (the “Common Shares”). View PDF version.

The Company issued 28,750,000 Common Shares, at a price of USD$0.20 per Common Share, for total gross proceeds of USD$5,750,000, which includes the exercise in full of the over-allotment option of 3,750,000 Common Shares.

David Cates, Denison’s President & CEO, commented, “We are pleased with the market’s response to the Offering. The exercise of the full over-allotment, and the Company’s ability to complete a significant equity financing in the current market, speaks to the support that Denison has earned over the last several years from its investors. The offering was backed by several existing shareholders, including uranium focused investment firms, insiders, and the Lundin family.”

The Offering was completed through a syndicate of underwriters co-led by Cantor Fitzgerald Canada Corporation, as sole bookrunner, and Haywood Securities Inc., and included BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc., Scotia Capital Inc., TD Securities Inc., Canaccord Genuity Corp. and Raymond James Ltd. (collectively the “Underwriters”) pursuant to an underwriting agreement between the Company and the Underwriters dated March 26, 2020.

Proceeds of the Offering are anticipated to be used to fund Denison’s business activities planned for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021, as well as for general working capital purposes, as more fully described in the Company’s final short form prospectus.

The Common Shares were qualified for issuance pursuant to a final short form prospectus in all provinces of Canada (other than Quebec), and in the United States pursuant to a related registration statement on Form F-10, as amended (SEC File No. 333-237381), filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) under the Canada/U.S. multi-jurisdictional disclosure system. The final short form prospectus is available on SEDAR at and the registration statement, including the U.S. form of the final short form prospectus, is available on the SEC’s website at This news release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of the Common Shares in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of that jurisdiction. The Common Shares have not been approved or disapproved by any regulatory authority, nor has any such authority passed upon by the accuracy or adequacy of the prospectus or the registration statement.

About Denison

Denison is a uranium exploration and development company with interests focused in the Athabasca Basin region of northern Saskatchewan, Canada. Denison’s Athabasca Basin exploration portfolio consists of numerous projects covering approximately 280,000 hectares. The Company’s flagship project is the 90% owned Wheeler River Uranium Project. Denison’s interests in the Athabasca Basin also include a 22.5% ownership interest in the McClean Lake joint venture (“MLJV”), which includes several uranium deposits and the McClean Lake uranium mill, which is currently processing ore from the Cigar Lake mine under a toll milling agreement, plus a 25.17% interest in the Midwest and Midwest A deposits, and a 66.57% interest in the J Zone and Huskie deposits on the Waterbury Lake property. Each of Midwest, Midwest A, J Zone and Huskie are located within 20 kilometres of the McClean Lake mill.

Denison is engaged in mine decommissioning and environmental services through its Closed Mines group (formerly Denison Environmental Services), which manages Denison’s Elliot Lake reclamation projects and provides post-closure mine care and maintenance services to a variety of industry and government clients.

Denison is also the manager of Uranium Participation Corp., a publicly traded company which invests in uranium oxide and uranium hexafluoride.
David Cates, President and Chief Executive Officer, (416) 979-1991 ext 362; Sophia Shane, Investor Relations, (604) 689-7842; Follow Denison on Twitter, @DenisonMinesCo


MHRC releases principles on a human rights based approach to manage the COVID-19 pandemic

Today, the Manitoba Human Rights Commission released a document outlining principles and actions for a human rights based approach to the management of the COVID-19 pandemic. Premised on both domestic and international human rights law, the document calls on governments and decision-makers to put human rights at the centre of their responses to COVID-19. “We are in the midst of an unprecedented global event. As we do our best to manage this virus and “flatten the curve,” it is incumbent on all of us to ensure that our responses to the COVID-19 pandemic do not create or exacerbate the inequities impacting our most vulnerable communities, says Karen Sharma, A/Executive Director of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission.

Building on the work of human rights commissions across Canada, the document highlights six key principles that inform a human rights approach to pandemic management, including:

  1. Approach the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 as a human rights obligation
  2. Respect Indigenous rights
  3. Set reasonable limits on measures that infringe rights
  4. Protect vulnerable communities
  5. Respond to racism, ableism and xenophobia
  6. Strengthen human rights accountability and oversight.

The document also highlights a number of key actions that will help realize a human rights-based approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. “This list of actions is not exhaustive, but we believe they represent an important starting point for governments and decision-makers, in particular in the provision of health and educational services, in correctional facilities and government-run institutions, in the protection of privacy and with respect to income supports” said Sharma.

“It is promising that governments and health care providers have proactively undertaken a number of these actions. Building on our collective responses to this pandemic through a human rights based approach will ensure that we lift everyone, including our most marginalized, out of this pandemic.”

For media inquiries, please contact


US$205 M Offer to Acquire Centerra’s Interest in GGM Partnership not Accepted

Thunder Bay, April 8, 2020 – PREMIER GOLD MINES LIMITED (“Premier”, “the Company”) (TSX:PG) (OTCPK: PIRGF) announces that Centerra has not accepted Premier’s offer to acquire Centerra Gold Inc.’s (“Centerra”) 50% interest in the Greenstone Gold Mines Partnership (“GGM”) for total consideration of approximately US$205 Million.

GGM’s principal asset is the Hardrock Project located on the Trans-Canada Highway in Ontario, Canada. Hardrock is one of the most significant large-scale, near permitted, mine development opportunities in North America.

“Centerra’s decision not to accept our offer confirms that Centerra recognizes the substantial value of the Hardrock Project and is inconsistent with its refusal to make a Positive Feasibility Decision in connection with the Project”, said Ewan Downie, President and CEO of Premier.

Premier will continue to take all steps necessary to protect its interest in the Project.

Premier Gold Mines Limited is a gold-producer and respected exploration and development company with a high-quality pipeline of precious metal projects in proven, accessible and safe mining jurisdictions in Canada, the United States, and Mexico.Premier remains focused on creating a low-cost, mid-tier gold producer through its two producing gold mines; South Arturo and Mercedes, and through future mine development opportunities at Hardrock in Ontario where permitting and development initiatives are ongoing and McCoy-Cove in Nevada.

For further information, please contact:

Ewan Downie, President & CEO



Six Nations of the Grand River reports first fatal case of COVID – 19 – APTN News

April 8, 2020

The leadership in Six Nations of the Grand River announced Wednesday evening that one of their members has died of COVID-19.

“Our community is grieving today and our hearts and prayers are with the family,” said Chief Mark Hill in a post on Facebook. “The loss comes less than two weeks after the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in our community on Mar. 28.”

The death marks the first time the novel coronavirus has claimed the life of an Indigenous person inside a community.

Six Nation currently has eight confirmed cases on the territory – more than any other First Nation, Metis or Inuit community in Canada.

The Kahnawake Mohawk Territory south of Montreal has five positive cases and down the road, Akwesasne Mohawk Territory has one case.

Read More:

IRC joins those calling for alcohol restrictions in NWT – Cabin Radio

April 8, 2020

The Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) is joining other Indigenous groups across the Northwest Territories in asking the NWT government to restrict alcohol sales during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a news release on Monday, the corporation said restricting the amount of alcohol individuals can buy is “necessary for the safety of communities” and would help reduce the “common” issue of bootlegging. The corporation wants restrictions in place immediately.

“IRC strongly recommends that GNWT place restrictions on alcohol sales so residents can continue to make better choices, think clearly, and individuals and families are able to stay home safely,” IRC chair and chief executive Duane Smith was quoted as saying.

Smith said that would ensure “emergency funds intended to protect the most vulnerable [are] focused on their comfort, health, and continued safety.”

Read More:

Liberty Mutual facing increasing pressure to exit fossil fuels – Insurance Business Canada

Liberty Mutual is facing increasing pressure from climate and indigenous rights groups, as well as its own policyholders, to exit the fossil-fuel space. However, at its annual policyholder meeting Wednesday the insurer refused to answer policyholder-submitted questions about its role insuring the tar sands oil industry, according to a news release from environmental non-profit

“The insurance giant did not include time or space for policyholders to speak or vote during the virtual meeting, which lasted all of six minutes,” the non-profit said.

“Today’s meeting confirms that Liberty Mutual has not yet reversed its reckless decisions to insure the highly controversial Trans Mountain and Keystone XL tar sands pipeline,” said Randi Mail, insurance organizer at Rainforest Action Network. “More than 50,000 people are calling on the company to drop its coverage for these pipelines and rule out the dangerous tar sands sector entirely, particularly as fossil fuel corporations plow ahead with pipeline construction in the midst of a pandemic. Insurers like Liberty Mutual must protect society against climate risk, not exacerbate it.”

Read More:

Durango Provides Update on Exploration Activities

Vancouver, BC  April 8, 2020 – Durango Resources Inc. (TSX.V-DGO) (Frankfurt-86A1) (OTCQB -ATOXF), (the “Company” or “Durango”) provides an update on the status of its exploration activities and financial position in relation to the unstable market conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently all exploration activities near Durango’s Windfall Lake Québec properties have been shut down, making them inaccessible. During this time of closure, Durango’s Technical Committee is reviewing the historical data previously collected on its East Barry property. The East Barry property is 6,100 hectares in size and runs parallel to the 1,188 hectare Trove property in the Windfall Lake area, where the two projects are bisected by Osisko Mining Inc. (TSX-OSK). Osisko has recently disseminated very encouraging results from their drill programs in the area.

Durango’s East Barry property previously returned up to 2.19 g/t gold in till including visible gold grains (see Durango news release dated July 23, 2018). To further define the 5km gold trend on the East Barry property, additional follow up work plans may include more till sampling, mapping and Induced Polarization surveys.

The recent second quarter financial statements of Durango dated January 31, 2020 reported $204,018 cash on hand and the Company subsequently received a tax refund of $183,828 from Revenu Québec and a GST refund of $20,694. Further, in March 2020, Durango closed a private placement offering for gross proceeds of $200,000, leaving the Company in a solid cash operating position to withstand the current adverse market conditions.

Marcy Kiesman, CEO of Durango stated, “Durango’s exploration milestones are still on track despite the shut down near our Windfall properties. The slow down related to the COVID-19 pandemic is giving our technical team an opportunity to carefully review all historical data collected on the East Barry claim block and they are designing a program which is expected to begin as soon as the Windfall area of Québec opens up and is safe for exploration.”

Further details on the East Barry exploration program and related private placement to finance the work will be shared as they become available.

About Durango

Durango is a natural resources company engaged in the acquisition and exploration of mineral properties. The Company is positioned for discovery with a 100% interest in a strategically located group of properties in the Windfall Lake gold camp in the Abitibi region of Québec, Canada.

For further information on Durango, please refer to its SEDAR profile at

Marcy Kiesman, CEO
Telephone: 604.428.2900 or 604.339.2243


Moneta Provides Drill Program Update And Commencement Of Preliminary Economic Assessment

Toronto, Ontario – April 08, 2020 – Moneta Porcupine Mines Inc. (TSX:ME) (OTC:MPUCF) (XETRA:MOP) (“Moneta” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide an update on it’s 2020 drill program and future plans for the expansion and advancement of the Golden Highway Project, located 110 kilometres east of Timmins, Ontario.


  • Moneta responds to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Commencement of a Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) study for the South West deposit
  • Completion of 2019/2020 winter drill program

Gary O’Connor, CEO & Chief Geologist commented, “We have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring a safe and healthy work environment for all of our employees and contractors. We have completed the 2019/2020 winter drill program and closed the Timmins office, requiring all work to be conducted from home or in physical isolation. We will continue the new resource expansion work however at a slightly slower pace due to the physical distancing of employees. A PEA study has been commenced by Micon on the South West deposit and will continue as planned. Moneta is fully funded for its plans through 2020 and into 2021”.

Response to the COVID-19 Epidemic

In response to the novel COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic Moneta has followed all guidance provided by the relevant authorities to ensure the safety and health of our employees and contractors promoting physical distancing. The Timmins office has been closed and work is restricted to those working at home or in physical isolation. The 2019/2020 winter drill program has been completed and rigs are being demobilized. The new resource expansion work including logging and assaying will continue, however at a reduced level of activity due to physical isolation practices that are in place. Moneta had previously implemented a “behave like you are infected” policy.

Preliminary Economic Assessment on South West Deposit

Micon International Ltd. of Toronto, Canada has been contracted to complete a preliminary economic assessment (“PEA”) on the South West deposit located within the Golden Highway Project. The results of the PEA are due to be delivered later in 2020. The study will review several development scenarios for the South West deposit which was the subject of a resource update in November 2019 (See ME PR 18-2019 dated 26 November 2019). The resource update resulted in a 58% increase to 472,000 ounces (oz) within the indicated category contained within 3.24 million tonnes (Mt) at a grade of 4.53 grams per tonne (g/t) Gold (Au) and a 40% increase to 1,056,500 oz of Au in the inferred category contained within 7.30 Mt at a grade of 4.37 g/t Au, assuming underground extraction using a 3.00 g/t Au cut-off grade.

2019/2020 Winter Drill Program

The 2019/2020 winter drill program has been completed and drill rigs are being demobilized. The drilling has been completed early to maintain a healthy and safe work environment for our employees and contractors in support of efforts to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. A total of 36 holes will have been completed. The program was scheduled to be completed by mid-April and has been successful in testing the resource extensions of the Windjammer South, West Block and 55 deposits as well as intersecting new mineralization at the Westaway and Halfway targets. The core will be processed in isolation and the results will be released as they become available. The data and assays from this program will be used for new resource updates for Windjammer South, South West and 55 deposits plus an initial mineral resource estimate at Westaway.

Investor Relations

Moneta is pleased to announce the appointment of Linda Armstrong of Storyboard Communications to manage the Company Investor Relations responsibilities and activities. Linda brings over 25 years of successful investor relations, corporate communications, and business development experience to the company. Moneta is pleased to welcome Linda to our team in marketing the Moneta story.

QA/QC Procedures

All core drilling conducted by Moneta was oriented. Drill core is cut with half sent to AGAT Laboratories Inc. (AGAT) for drying and crushing to -2 mm, with a 1.00 kg split pulverized to – 75 µm (200#). AGAT is an ISO 17025 accredited laboratory. A 50 g charge is Fire Assayed and analyzed using an AAS finish for Gold. Samples above 10.00 g/t Au are analyzed by Fire Assay with a gravimetric finish and selected samples with visible gold or high-grade mineralization are assayed by Metallic Screen Fire Assay on a 1.00 kg sample. Moneta inserts independent certified reference material and blanks with the samples, and assays routine pulp repeats and coarse reject sample duplicates, as well as completing third-party check assays at Activation Laboratories Ltd. Gary O’Connor, FAusIMM is a qualified person under NI 43-101 and has reviewed and approved the contents of this press release.

About Moneta

The Company holds a 100% interest in 6 core gold projects strategically located along the Destor-Porcupine Fault Zone in the Timmins Gold Camp with over 85 million ounces of past gold production. The projects consist of the Golden Highway, North Tisdale, Nighthawk Lake, DeSantis East, Kayorum and Denton projects. The Golden Highway Project covers 12 kilometres of prospective ground along the DPFZ of which 4 km hosts the current 43-101 mineral resource estimate comprised of an indicated resource of 556,500 ounces gold contained within 3.82 Mt @ 4.53 g/t Au and a total of 1,174,000 ounces gold contained within 8.47 Mt @ 4.31 g/t Au in the inferred category at a 3.00 g/t Au cut-off.


Gary V. O’Connor, CEO
Ian C. Peres, President

Linda Armstrong, Investor Relations


Urban Indigenous organizations ramp up services on tight budgets – Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Central Urban Metis Federation Inc. president Shirley Isbister says her staff have never worked so hard.

CUMFi has drastically scaled up its work to fill the gap left by other services that have closed due to COVID-19. Staff are sewing masks, cooking food for the homeless, delivering groceries for elders and even making Easter baskets for children in lieu of their annual egg hunt.

The organization’s capacity “is stretched way past the limit,” Isbister said.

“There’s so many things that we’re doing that it’s really hard to keep everything up. We need capacity.”

While urban First Nations and Metis community groups say demand for their services has never been higher, they haven’t seen any sign of relief from either provincial or federal partners, causing concern their clients have slipped through “jurisdictional cracks.”

Read More:

The Daily Thursday, April 9, 2020

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