Canada – Indigenous Nurses Day celebrated during National Nursing Week

Indigenous nurses are the bridge between traditional healing and Western medicine, establishing and applying a holistic approach to their healthcare delivery.

Ottawa, Ontario (May 9, 2022) – The Minister of Indigenous Services, Patty Hajdu; the Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations, Marc Miller; and the Minister of Northern Affairs, Daniel Vandal, issued the following statement today: 

“Indigenous nurses are the bridge between traditional healing and Western medicine, establishing and applying a holistic approach to their healthcare delivery.

Today, at the start of National Nursing Week, we celebrate Indigenous Nurses Day by recognizing the irreplaceable role of First Nations, Inuit and Métis nurses, who provide culturally inclusive healthcare in their communities and across the country. Indigenous nurses have also continuously demonstrated their phenomenal commitment and exceptional efforts to maintaining the health and well-being of all Canadians, in both urban and remote areas. 

The theme for National Nursing Week is once again #WeAnswertheCall, which provides yet another opportunity to showcase the ways in which nurses respond to sometimes dire and drastic situations with both professionalism and compassion. And for many Indigenous nurses, answering the call reaches far beyond health service delivery: they are advocating for Indigenous voices to be heard and considered in the healthcare system. We especially want to highlight their exceptional work over the past two years. Nurses have played a pivotal role in Canada’s COVID-19 response, and we thank them for their ongoing service to communities.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action state the need for “an increase in the number of Aboriginal professionals working in the healthcare field.” Although efforts have been made to assure a higher presence of Indigenous healthcare professionals, greater progress toward improved representation is key in the years ahead.

To achieve better health outcomes, self-determination and freedom of choice in Indigenous health journeys are vital. First Nations, Inuit and Métis nurses are often uniquely positioned to both understand and campaign for community-led, culturally appropriate healthcare services and delivery while incorporating traditional practices. We recognize and support Indigenous nurses’ tireless work to provide accessible, culturally relevant healthcare.

With many Indigenous nurses having distinct connections to their community’s Elders and healers, their nursing practices pass on the blend of traditional knowledge and medical expertise to the next generation. Their roots in communities and culture are invaluable as we work to build stronger, healthier relationships between Indigenous Peoples and the healthcare systems.

For your exceptional skills, your longstanding dedication, and your unwavering ability to care for each and every one of us, we thank you. We are grateful, we are appreciative for all that Indigenous nurses have accomplished throughout Canada.” 

Alison Murphy

Press Secretary

Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu

Minister of Indigenous Services

Alison.Murphy@sac-isc.gc.ca

You can subscribe to receive our news releases and speeches via RSS feeds. For more information or to subscribe, visit www.isc.gc.ca/RSS.

Canada – Indigenous women’s and 2SLGBTQQIA+ organizations are supported to end violence against vulnerable people

Today, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations, announced funding for 18 Indigenous organizations (including 15 Indigenous women’s and three 2SLGBTQQIA+ organizations) through multi-year agreements that amplify their voices and perspectives in the development of policies, programs and legislation. Crown−Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) is coordinating the distribution of $36.3 million over five years beginning in 2021−22 to 2025−26, and $8.6 million ongoing for this program to allow stable and longer-term project funding for these organizations.

May 6, 2022 — Ottawa, Ontario, Traditional Unceded Algonquin Territory — Crown−Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Today, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations, announced funding for 18 Indigenous organizations (including 15 Indigenous women’s and three 2SLGBTQQIA+ organizations) through multi-year agreements that amplify their voices and perspectives in the development of policies, programs and legislation. Crown−Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) is coordinating the distribution of $36.3 million over five years beginning in 2021−22 to 2025−26, and $8.6 million ongoing for this program to allow stable and longer-term project funding for these organizations.

The newly funded organizations and programs span 11 provinces and territories and include the Ontario Native Women’s Association’s Reconciliation and their “Indigenous Women – Improving Indigenous Women’s Safety” program, Two-Spirited People of Manitoba with their “2S Medicine Owl” initiative, and Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak / Women of the Métis Nation and their “Awii – The Person You’re Supposed to Be: Connecting Métis 2SLGBTQQIA+ Across the Motherland” program. The Supporting Indigenous Women’s and 2SLGBTQQIA+ Organizations Program provides longer-term, sustainable funding to Indigenous women’s and 2SLGBTQQIA+ organizations to enable them to support engagement at the grassroots level and support advocacy on behalf of their members while also supporting the co-development of policy, programs and legislation at all levels of government.

Through the Federal Pathway, the government’s contribution to the National Action Plan, funding under this program helps respond to Call for Justice 1.8 from the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, which calls upon the government’s support of national, regional and community-level Indigenous women’s and 2SLGBTQQIA+ organizations.

The Federal Pathway outlines the Government of Canada’s work with partners to advance solutions that will support families and Survivors and address the root causes of violence. The Federal Pathway is part of the broader 2021 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan (National Action Plan). The National Action Plan was created from the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

The Government of Canada is working with partners to end violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people in Canada through solutions that will protect vulnerable people and address the root-causes of this violence. The ability of Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples in Canada to shape these solutions—in areas such as data and research, diversity and inclusion, leadership development, and equality and safety—is key to this effort.

“It is critical that the voices of Indigenous women and 2SLGTBQQIA+ organizations are heard and brought forward in the decision-making processes that impact their communities. These 18 organizations are well-positioned to empower and engage Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples to support real and meaningful systemic change in Canada. Together we will continue to work in partnership to implement the National Action Plan and the Government of Canada’s Federal Pathway to address this national crisis.”

The Honourable Marc Miller

Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations

“We welcome the commitment from the federal government to prioritize the engagement of Indigenous women’s and 2SLGBTQQIA+ organizations. The MMIWG National Inquiry centred on the needs of the grassroots; this funding further ensures that Indigenous women’s and 2SLGBTQQIA+ voices are centred in the decisions that impact us so we can restore balance to our families and communities.”

Nona Matthews

Executive Director of Newfoundland Aboriginal Women’s Network (NAWN)

Justine Leblanc

Press Secretary

Office of the Honourable Marc Miller

Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations

justine.leblanc@rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca

You can subscribe to receive our news releases and speeches via RSS feeds. For more information or to subscribe, visit www.cirnac.gc.ca/RSS.

Canada – Indigenous Services Canada COVID-19 monthly update – May 2022

COVID-19 continues to impact communities across the country, and Indigenous Services Canada remains available to assist in prevention and response efforts.

May 5, 2022 — Ottawa, Ontario, Traditional unceded Algonquin Territory — Indigenous Services Canada

COVID-19 continues to impact communities across the country, and Indigenous Services Canada remains available to assist in prevention and response efforts.

Monthly review – April 2022
In April 2022, the following data was reported from First Nations communities:

2,441 average daily reported active COVID-19 cases

A 9.6% decrease from March 2022

176 newly reported hospitalizations

A 45.5% increase from March 2022

22 newly reported deaths

An 18.5% decrease from March 2022

The following webpages and resources are updated regularly with COVID-19 information on:

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 – updated regularly
Vaccines administered – updated weekly
PPE shipments to communities – updated biweekly
Epidemiological summary of COVID-19 cases in First Nations communities – updated weekly

Requests for Federal Assistance (RFA) for COVID response – Recent conclusions
As of May 5, 2022:

Deer Lake First Nation’s (Ontario) RFA was approved on March 18, 2022, for CAF support, and subsequently extended by two weeks. CAF support concluded earlier than expected on April 8, 2022, due to a significant drop in active cases.
Kashechewan First Nation’s (Ontario) RFA was approved on February 1, 2022, and subsequently extended by two weeks. CAF support concluded on March 30, 2022.
Attawapiskat First Nation’s (Ontario) RFA was approved on February 16, 2022. A new RFA was approved on March 16, 2022, and an extension for continued CAF support was approved on March 30, 2022. CAF support concluded on April 13, 2022.

Alison Murphy

Press Secretary

Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu

Minister of Indigenous Services

Alison.Murphy@sac-isc.gc.ca

You can subscribe to receive our news releases and speeches via RSS feeds. For more information or to subscribe, visit www.isc.gc.ca/RSS.

Canada – Minister of Indigenous Services completes inaugural visit to First Nations communities in British Columbia

This week in her first visit to British Columbia as Minister of Indigenous Services, the Honourable Patty Hajdu was able to meet with a number of First Nations leaders and communities impacted by the events of 2021 to discuss shared priorities, challenges faced by recent events and emergencies, and the ongoing supports required in the months ahead.

February 25, 2022 — British Columbia — Indigenous Services Canada 

This week in her first visit to British Columbia as Minister of Indigenous Services, the Honourable Patty Hajdu was able to meet with a number of First Nations leaders and communities impacted by the events of 2021 to discuss shared priorities, challenges faced by recent events and emergencies, and the ongoing supports required in the months ahead.

Minister Hajdu and Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) would like to recognize the resilience and strength of First Nations leadership and emergency services teams in the region for their work over the past months. She also offered her ongoing support for communities and survivors of residential schools as the identifying of unmarked graves furthers the intergenerational trauma of these institutions. 

On February 23, Minister Hajdu travelled to Kamloops and met with Chief Willie Sellars of Williams Lake First Nation and conveyed the Government of Canada’s condolences on the identification of potential burial sites at the former St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School. 

Minister Hajdu delivered a virtual address to Chiefs attending the Union of BC Indian Chiefs’ Meeting. In her remarks, she recognized the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, climate change and the opioid crisis on First Nations and confirmed Canada’s commitment to continue to work with them in addressing these emergencies. 

She met with the First Nations Emergency Services Society (FNESS) and First Nations Leadership Council to discussed shared concerns and priorities, and confirmed an additional $5.7 million in supports from ISC’s Emergency Management Assistance Program for the 2022–23 fiscal year. This funding is in addition to the $6.2 million provided to the Society since last summer to help support First Nations in their response and recovery efforts.

Minister Hajdu was also welcomed by Kúkpi7 Roseanne Casimir and the council of Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc to their community. They discussed a number of priorities, including housing, economic development, mental health supports, food sovereignty and the importance of protecting the sacred sites of unmarked graves of children who never returned home.

On February 24, Minister Hajdu met with Chief Marcel Shackelly of the Nooaitch Indian Band to discuss the impact of flooding on his community, as well as recovery and rebuilding efforts.

Later that day, she met with Chief Christine Minnabarriet of Cook’s Ferry Indian Band, Chief Arnold Lampreau of Shackan Indian Band and Chief Lee Spahan of Coldwater Indian Band. She was given an aerial tour of their communities, which were significantly impacted by the devastating floods last November. She was able to see first hand the widespread damage done to infrastructure and the environment. 

First Nations in British Columbia have endured unprecedented compounding emergencies in the past year: flooding and forest fires, the opioid crisis, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, communities continue to endure the traumatic effects of residential schools as they identify the location of unmarked graves. 

ISC and the Government of Canada will continue to work in partnership with First Nations leadership and emergency services as they support their communities and residents through these challenging events, and in their priorities for the months ahead.

“Thank you to First Nations in British Columbia for the warm welcome and reception in your territories. I lift up my hands to the Chiefs, Councils and First Nations emergency services teams for their extraordinary efforts throughout the past year dealing with unprecedented and compounding emergencies. I was very moved by the conversations with Survivors and community leaders about the recent discoveries at the former St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School and Kamloops Residential School and recognize the grief, trauma and pain those discoveries have caused. Our government remains committed to our partnership to support you and your communities through these challenging times.” 

The Honourable Patty Hajdu

Minister of Indigenous Services

In December 2021, the Government of Canada committed $5 billion to support British Columbia in its recovery from natural disasters.

In British Columbia, ISC has a service agreement with Emergency Management British Columbia to provide emergency management services on reserves that are comparable to those available to other BC communities. The department reimburses First Nations, as well as provinces, territories and authorized third-party emergency service providers, 100% of eligible response and recovery costs, including evacuation costs.

A Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding on emergency management services with the First Nations Leadership Council, the Province of British Columbia and ISC also sets the stage for a trilateral approach. These agreements underpin ongoing discussions among partners on how to better support First Nations during emergencies and include FNESS in emergency response platforms.

To date, CIRNAC’s Residential Schools Missing Children – Community Support Funding has approved sixty-five applications related to research, knowledge gathering, commemoration, memorialization and field work investigation of residential schools, totalling just over $73.8 million. Of these approved funding applications, 14 are community-based initiatives in British Columbia.

Alison Murphy

Press Secretary

Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu 

Minister of Indigenous Services 

Alison.Murphy@sac-isc.gc.ca

You can subscribe to receive our news releases and speeches via RSS feeds. For more information or to subscribe, visit www.isc.gc.ca/RSS.

Canada – JOINT Statement – The Government of Canada, National Indigenous leaders and the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages mark the start of the International Decade of Indigenous Languages

JOINT statement marking the International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022–2032)

This statement will also be available in the following languages:

Denesuline
Innu-Aimun
Inuktitut (North Baffin)
Inuktuk (Qaliujaaqpait)
Mi’kmaq
Michif Cree
Michif French
Oji-Cree
Plains Cree
Western Ojibway

OTTAWA, February 21, 2022

Today, on International Mother Language Day, the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage, National Chief RoseAnne Archibald of the Assembly of First Nations, President Natan Obed of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and President Cassidy Caron of the Métis National Council unite their voices to mark the beginning of the International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022–2032), declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), a key outcome of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages.

In addition, the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages, Dr. Ronald E. Ignace, is pleased to underscore the importance of the Decade bringing focus and awareness to Indigenous languages and Indigenous language rights.

The aim of the Decade is to draw global attention to the loss and current risks to Indigenous languages, and to mobilize stakeholders and resources for the urgent need to preserve, revitalize and promote them.

Indigenous languages are at the heart of First Nations, Inuit and Métis culture, identity and self-determination. They are used to share our history through storytelling, to connect with the natural environment and to create familial bonds.

As part of the International Decade of Indigenous Languages, we recognize that the many Indigenous languages passed down from one generation to the next are each a thread in Canada’s rich cultural tapestry. Indigenous languages must be well cared for to keep this tapestry vibrant and varied.

As they are traditionally transmitted orally from Elders to youth, languages are a pillar in their respective communities, yet they are fragile. While they hold immense value and knowledge, they are at increasing risk of being lost to history. Three-quarters are in fact endangered. We have a collective role to play in supporting Indigenous peoples in revitalizing their languages. The Government of Canada continues to work with national Indigenous organizations to implement legislation designed to help revitalize, maintain and strengthen First Nations, Inuit and Métis languages, including through the Indigenous Languages Act and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, as well as through the first appointments to the Office of the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages.

The work of the Office of the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages will also be important in, among other things, helping to promote Indigenous languages and supporting Indigenous peoples in achieving their language revitalization goals.

But we need to do more.

Throughout this Decade, we will collaborate to share their stories, and support events and activities that highlight the important role of Indigenous languages in Canada and the work underway to revitalize and maintain them. Our goal is to plan for the Decade and create a legacy we can leave for our children and for our children’s children. They are the ones who will keep Indigenous languages alive.

Join us in honouring, promoting and celebrating the cultural richness of all Indigenous languages in Canada and around the globe.

“For each of us, our language is central to our identity, community and culture. Language is essential in how we share our stories and our history, and how we connect with one another. That is why Canada is proud to support Indigenous language revitalization. We will mark the International Decade of Indigenous Languages by accelerating the implementation of the Indigenous Languages Act in a co-developed and cooperative manner with Indigenous partners. We must support First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in their efforts to revitalize their languages and build the next generations of speakers of Indigenous languages.”

—The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“The Canadian government and numerous religions, particularly the Catholic church spent, by today’s standards, billions of dollars destroying First Nations languages and cultures. In the Decade ahead, I look forward to their re-investment and support as we undo the damage that they have done. The first step is a fully funded Indigenous Languages Act. Today and throughout the Decade ahead, we can walk the healing path forward as we lift up Language Champions and every single First Nation person re-learning to speak their language.”

—National Chief RoseAnne Archibald, Assembly of First Nations

“As Inuit, our language is a foundation of our culture and identity. As we embark on this International Decade of Indigenous Languages, we reflect on the resilience of Inuktut, which remains among the strongest Indigenous languages in Canada. Inuit have experienced significant language loss, however, and the task of protecting Inuktut can’t be ours alone. Our hope is that the next ten years will bring renewed support and revitalization efforts to help Inuktut become a dominant language in Inuit workplaces, schools and homes.”

—Natan Obed, President, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami

“Colonization has led to the near eradication of the Michif language, and, because language, culture and identity are inextricably linked, has had a devastating impact on Métis identity. The United Nations Decade of Indigenous Languages gives us an opportunity to highlight the work that our Michif speakers and Métis Governments are doing to reclaim and revitalize the use of Michif in our communities.”

—Cassidy Caron, President, Métis National Council

Laura Scaffidi

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

laura.scaffidi@pch.gc.ca