- The AFN Executive Committee established the AFN COVID-19 (C-19) National Task Force to support the AFN Executive Committee by drawing on experts in the health, emergency management, communications and legal/policing sectors and other areas as required.
- The AFN C-19 National Task Force will engage in dialogue with experts, leadership and First Nation citizens to provide recommended actions that will support the mitigation of impacts of the C-19 virus and ensure First Nations have access to reliable and accurate information.
- The AFN will continue to advocate with all governments for planning, preparation and response measures that address the unique needs of First Nations.
The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is making every effort to ensure that the unique needs of First Nations are addressed during this global pandemic. The AFN is advocating with all governments to engage with First Nations so they are involved in every stage of planning preparedness and response, and working to ensure accurate and timely information is available to First Nations.
To further these efforts, the AFN Executive Committee established the AFN C-19 National Task Force by way of a motion at a duly convened meeting on April 21, 2020. Under the current Terms of Reference, the C-19 National Task Force receives its mandate from the AFN Executive Committee and is accountable to the Executive Committee and First Nations-in-Assembly. The Task Force is Co-Chaired by Manitoba Regional Chief Kevin Hart, Portfolio Holder for Emergency Management, and Yukon Regional Chief Kluane Adamek, Portfolio Holder for Health.
The overall objective of the AFN C-19 National Task Force is to engage in dialogue with experts, leadership and First Nation citizens to provide recommended actions that will support the mitigation of impacts of the C-19 virus. The National Task Force is not a decision-making body, but will assist in providing credible, useful information to the AFN Executive Committee and support their efforts to inform First Nations in their region about the current developments and announcements regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, including information related to external announcements by governments, organizations and other entities that can impact First Nations.
The National Task Force will provide support to the AFN Executive Committee by drawing on information from experts in areas like health, emergency management, communications and legal/policing sectors and other subject matter as required. The AFN C-19 National Task Force will work closely with the AFN Health Sector, AFN Emergency Management Sector and other AFN Policy Sectors to ensure all relevant information and analysis is gathered and shared with First Nations. This information can be packaged in a number of ways and made available to First Nations and organizations through a number of communications avenues.
The Task Force members will ensure any recommendations reflect a national perspective and take into consideration regional variations and processes. Currently, the National Task Force has been given a 60-day mandate for its work, but the term can be extended if required. Due to the rapidly changing circumstances involved in the response to the pandemic, the Task Force will review and update the Terms of Reference as necessary to ensure that they are acting in the most effective and efficient manner to meet the needs of the national and regional offices.
The AFN C-19 National Task Force is an important extension of the AFN’s work to ensure First Nations have access to the best information and advice during this difficult time. There is already a wide variety of information available through a number of channels (AFN social media, the AFN App and e-Newsletter and others) and it is all available on the AFN website. We encourage you to visit the AFN COVID-19 Webpage to access these resources:
We thank all First Nations leadership, Elders and Knowledge Keepers, experts and frontline workers, and citizens who are working diligently to ensure our people and our Nations are safe and healthy.