Update on COVID-19: Memo to First Nations Schools, Emergency Order Extended - May 19, 2020

May 19, 2020 - Memo to Principals of First Nation/Federally Operated Schools

From: Denise Dwyer, Assistant Deputy Minister, Indigenous Education and Well-Being Division

We are committed to keeping you informed during the COVID-19 outbreak. This memo serves as notification that the Government of Ontario’s order of March 17, 2020, to close all private schools as defined in the Education Act, including First Nation/federally funded schools, has been extended to May 29, 2020. In addition, the Government of Ontario’s order of March 31, 2020, to close all places of non-essential business has also been extended to May 29, 2020. Private schools and First Nation/federally funded schools are not listed as essential businesses under this order. However, subsection 1(3) of the order permits providing services online, by telephone or other remote means. The government of Ontario is following the orders of Dr. David Williams, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and the experts at the COVID-19 Command Table to keep everyone safe. We will continue to act on the advice of Dr. Williams as the situation evolves. First Nation/federally funded schools with specific questions about the applicability of the order to their operations or circumstances should consult with their legal counsel. Where access is considered, schools should discuss with their local leadership and public health unit regarding doing so in such a way that will minimize chances of exposure and comply with physical distancing and self-isolation requirements. We know the actions we are taking are affecting the lives and livelihoods of people across the province, but these are extraordinary times and we need to do whatever we can to keep individuals and families safe and stop the spread of this terrible virus. We recognize that you will have many additional questions and we are committed to providing additional information on an ongoing basis.


For questions related to First Nation/federally funded schools, please contact IEO@ontario.ca.

Learn about how the Government is supporting people, businesses and families during COVID-19 by visiting www.ontario.ca/coronavirus.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to Ontario students and children.

Original signed by

Denise Dwyer

Assistant Deputy Minister

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