COVID-19 preparedness and response in the territories, Nunavik, and Nunatsiavut

Each territory has a universal health care system that provides services for all territorial residents, including Indigenous peoples. As a result, addressing COVID-19 is the responsibility of territorial governments with territorial public health systems leading the response across Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

Territorial governments are responsible for primary care and public health for all residents of the territories. The Government of Quebec is responsible for Nunavik. The Nunatsiavut Government delivers public health whereas the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is responsible for primary care.

Supporting the territorial government response to COVID-19

Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) has been responding to requests from communities and territorial governments for increased public health measures to respond to COVID-19. ISC coordinates between federal departments to provide solutions, such as surge capacity and isolation structures, and is in regular communication through various working groups to address other issues such as food security, transport and medivacs.

The support focuses on 3 main areas.

Federal funding

ISC is working with Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada and other federal departments to support funding to territorial governments and communities for both their COVID-19 response and for ongoing funding arrangements, including the:

Supplies and equipment

How to submit a request for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), health, medical or social services:

  • Yukon: contact
  • Northwest Territories:
    • for health or social services needs, contact Carolyn Ridgley at
    • for requests that are not related to front-line delivery of health and social services, contact the NWT Emergency Management Organization (EMO) at, to the attention of Sudhir Jha
  • Nunavut: contact Susan Noseworthy at Community and Government Services: SNoseworthy@GOV.NU.CA. PPE requests should specify if they are health or social services related or if they are general in nature.

If territorial PPE stockpiles are low, territorial governments can reach out to the Public Health Agency of Canada, to access the National Emergency Strategic Stockpile for urgent health care needs.

If the territorial government denies a request or has not responded in over 48 hours, ISC can assist Indigenous communities in the territories with their requests for PPEs through the national ISC stockpile. Contact:

Targeted territorial working groups

ISC works closely with territorial and Indigenous partners through a number of working groups to support Northern communities and facilitate the release of federal funding in response to COVID-19.

ISC will continue to collaborate with territorial governments and Indigenous partners to help respond to COVID-19. Contact information for ISC Northern Region is Louis Dumulon:

Supporting the Nunatsiavut government response to COVID-19

The Nunatsiavut Government is leading the response to COVID-19 in Nunatsiavut. By supporting linkage with provincial public health, as well as providing funding and information, ISC Atlantic region is assisting the Nunatsiavut Government with its response. ISC has also invited the Nunatsiavut Government to identify any additional supports that might be available for unique needs.

Supporting the Nunavik response to COVID-19

The Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services, as an integral part of the Quebec health network, has the responsibility for public health and the pandemic response in Nunavik. ISC collaborates with the Board and with Makivik Corporation to help respond to COVID-19. Specific requests related to the COVID-19 response can be addressed to: or by telephone : 1-833-978-2331.

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