Nishnawbe Aski Nation Sets COVID-19 Task Force

NAN Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler speaking at press conference
NAN Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler speaking at press conference

THUNDER BAY – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler has announced the development of a Task Team to lead NAN’s response to the global COVID-19 pandemic:

“In our continued efforts to decrease risks to our communities from the COVID-19 pandemic, Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) is taking extraordinary steps to ensure that everything possible is done to keep our First Nations and members safe and supported. I am pleased to announce that we have assembled a dedicated team of medical & field experts to make up & support our internal NAN COVID-19 Task Team. These experts include:

  • Dr. Natalie Bocking, Public Health & Preventative Medicine Specialist
  • Dr. Jane Philpott, NAN Special Advisor on Health
  • Dr. Michael Kirlew, Family Physician
  • Lynne Innes, Nurse Practitioner, CEO & President of Weeneebayko Area Health Authority
  • Mae Katt, Nurse Practitioner
  • Michelle Gervais, Emergency Management Response Specialist

More experts will be brought on to the Task Team, which will be chaired by Dr. Bocking, as needed while this situation evolves and will include Traditional Knowledge Keepers.

To start, this team has been tasked with developing a formal communications protocol that will streamline communications between, NAN, our First Nations, Tribal Councils, area health authorities and the appropriate departments of the governments of Canada and Ontario. This protocol will ensure that the most up-to-date and relevant information is made available to our communities as quickly and accurately as possible. An important feature of this protocol will be the ability to ensure two-way communication and information sharing with those in a position to make decisions and provide answers to our communities.

I am confident that the NAN COVID-19 Task Team is the most effective way to gather and provide vital information that will support our First Nation members during this crisis with the understanding that this is a rapidly changing situation which requires flexibility.”