COVID-19: Supporting Indigenous People

The recommendations and resources listed on our website apply to everyone in the Thunder Bay District Health Unit catchment area. Indigenous people may benefit from accessing additional information from Indigenous organizations that are supporting community members in urban, rural, and remote areas in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.


Promoting Well-being


We acknowledge the importance of Indigenous ways of knowing, doing, and being in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. In addition to general information on COVID-19 and Mental Health, Indigenous people may be interested in culturally-relevant resources on promoting well-being throughout this difficult time. These are a few of the many resources that have been created by and for Indigenous people in this area.

Drop and GoBAGS

The Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) created GoBAGS to support community members in their time of need using a physical distance approach. There are various themes available, each designed with a specific need in mind, such as:

  • Moon Time
  • Cleaning Kits
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Traditional Medicine
  • Family
  • Fresh Fridays (NEW)

Please visit the GoBAG webpage or call ONWA at 1-800-667-0816 (toll free) for more information.


First Nation Communities

Accessing Testing

People residing in areas that are not close to a Thunder Bay or District Assessment Centre are advised to call their local nursing station, band office or the Thunder Bay District Health Unit directly for the latest information about COVID-19 testing.


Guidance and Resources

Some First Nation communities are living under drinking water advisories, which can cause confusion or uncertainty around handwashing. Indigenous Services Canada has provided guidance for those with questions about this.

Many people also have questions about the case confirmation and contact tracing processes in First Nation communities. In response, Indigenous Services Canada has put together some resources on this topic::

Indigenous Services Canada has also developed informational videos on the following topics:


Equipment & Supplies

Ontario Health North has established a regional supply chain table to support the distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and critical supplies. Various providers are being prioritized, including First Nation communities and Indigenous health centres. 

COVID-19 Data

To view the status of cases in the Thunder Bay District Health Unit catchment area, including First Nation communities, please visit the Current COVID-19 Data webpage. This page also provides links to sources of COVID-19 epidemiological data that can be used to monitor trends provincially and nationally, including Indigenous Services Canada and the Yellowhead Institute.


Resources Translated Into Indigenous Languages

See the topic areas below to find resources that have been translated into different Indigenous languages.

    Last Updated: 31/07/2020