Life in a remote or isolated First Nations community

Find information on different aspects of life in a remote or isolated community.

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About life in a remote or isolated community

Living in a remote or isolated First Nations community is a rewarding and one-of-a-kind experience.

Nurses practice in nursing stations and health centres. Working and living in a First Nations community gives you that extra connection to your clients. You will get to know their day-to-day lives and can take part in cultural events and traditions.

Snowshoeing, canoeing, fishing, hiking and outdoors enthusiasts also appreciate unique opportunities to explore Canada's northern wilderness and natural beauty.

Living in a remote or isolated First Nations community is unlike living in any other area in Canada. The rewards, professional challenges, decision making, relationships and adventures make it worthwhile.

About remote or isolated communities

The Government of Canada delivers primary health care services in many remote or isolated First Nations communities located in 4 regions: Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and Quebec. Most of these communities are located in Ontario and Manitoba. Some communities are more remote or isolated than others. Each community falls under one of 3 main categories.

Category Flights Phone and radio Roads
Remote and isolated Infrequent Frequent disruption None in or out of the community
Isolated Regularly scheduled Good Winter access only
Semi-isolated Regularly scheduled Good Access greater than 90 km to health care services

Internet access

All communities have satellite-based internet access, so the connection may be much slower than what you would experience in an urban setting. Inclement weather and power outages can also delay internet access.


There may not be amenities such as a gym and restaurants. Each community has a northern store where you can buy groceries and housewares.

Cost of living

The cost of living is higher than in urban centres across Canada. The cost of groceries will likely be at least double what you pay elsewhere. The Isolated Post Allowance helps reduce these costs.


Typically, nurses fly in and out of these communities based on agreed upon schedules such as two to four weeks in, and two to four weeks out.


Your home may be within or close to the nursing station where you work. The Government of Canada will find housing for you.

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