Pressure is mounting, as more calls are being made to allow First Nations and Metis leaders to be more involved with COVID-19 pandemic planning.

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations said its important that leaders participate in provincial pandemic planning meetings and conference calls.

Now the New Democrats are asking the province to step up with urgent supports for those at risk of spreading the coronavirus.

“The leadership of First Nations and Metis communities have not been invited to be involved in the way that they should be at the provincial level. We are hearing from communities about questions of overcrowding, about food security and how they are going to operate in terms of testing and tracing,” said NDP leader Ryan Meili. “We also need action on food security.  We’re hearing from remote communities about rising prices, as supply chains are being challenged and their ability to meet demand.”

The Far North has only three confirmed cases of COVID-19, but communities and First Nations are taking proactive measures such as road checkpoints, food delivery, movement restrictions and even border closures to help mitigate the spread of the virus.

“The only way we are going to stop the spread of Covid-19 and decrease the number of cases provincially is if we all work together and unify in pandemic planning” explained FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron.

Fond du Lac First Nation Chief Louis Mercredi said his community has one bed at the local health facility and are ill-equipped to deal with a positive case.

Premier Scott Moe said he has been in discussions with leaders and Chiefs about their communities have enough testing supplies and that the supply chains remain open.