The AFN Executive Committee established the AFN COVID-19 National Task Force (C-19 Task Force) to make every effort to ensure that the unique needs of First Nations are addressed during this global pandemic.

The overall objective of the C-19 Task Force is to engage in dialogue with experts, leadership, and First Nations to provide recommended actions that will support the mitigation of impacts of COVID-19. The C-19 Task Force is not a decision-making body, but rather assists in providing credible and useful information to the AFN Executive Committee. This information supports their efforts to inform First Nations in their region about the current developments and announcements regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and advocate for increased support and resourcing.

Message from the Chairs

The COVID-19 pandemic has reaffirmed First Nations resiliency and our ability to be innovative and support one another. However, it has also magnified the inequities and challenges faced by many First Nations. During this pandemic, let’s remember the past and what we have learned from our Knowledge Keepers. The health and well-being of our nations and communities is paramount and must be supported.

The C-19 Task Force draws on expertise from the AFN, Chiefs Committees, and outside experts to support First Nations in their work to mitigate the impacts of this pandemic, prepare for the reopening and recover in a new reality. Through the collective efforts of the Task Force, we identified the need to develop dedicated working groups drawing on advice from experts in the field to further efforts in priority areas such as pandemic planning, reopening, and data. Their work will inform our ongoing advocacy efforts and enhance our ability to support and build on the strengths of First Nations. The protection of our most precious resources, our Elders, women and children are in our thoughts each and everyday as we advocate for more much needed resources. Together apart, we will continue to show the strength and leadership to push forward in this new rhythm.

Yukon Regional Chief Kluane Adamek
Manitoba Regional Chief Kevin Hart


Core members of the C-19 Task Force :

  • National Chief Perry Bellegarde
  • Yukon Regional Chief Kluane Adamek
  • Manitoba Regional Chief Kevin Hart
  • Alberta Regional Chief Marlene Poitras
  • Ontario Regional Chief Roseanne Archibald
  • New Brunswick/PEI Regional Chief Roger Augustine

Supported by:

  • National Chief’s Office
  • AFN Health
  • AFN Housing, Infrastructure and Emergency Services
  • AFN Chief Executive Officer
  • AFN Communications
  • Outside experts

COVID Working Groups

The AFN COVID-19 Working Groups are coordinated by the C-19 Task Force lead. The groups are comprised of First Nations leaders and experts in the fields of health, including mental health and addictions, infrastructure, emergency management, data governance, policy, friendship centers, social and economic development, and include representatives from the First Nations Inuit and Health Branch.

Pandemic Plan Working Group

The Pandemic Plan Working Group’s objective is to provide support to First Nations in the development of community specific Pandemic Plans that will support their pandemic readiness in the future and to advocate for resourcing to meet these needs.

Data Working Group

The Data Working Group’s objective is to provide support to First Nations in their data and information governance efforts by drawing relevant information from content matter experts in the areas of research and data governance. Other experts will be consulted as required.

Reopening Working Group

The Reopening Working Group’s objective is to advocate for First Nations to ensure supports are available to First Nations throughout all phases of their reopening plans and to share guidance documents, best practices, and working templates.

C-19 National Task Force Statements

C-19 Task Force Resources

C-19 Task Force Updates

Sid LeeCOVID-19 Task Force