The extended public health measures during the second wave of the pandemic are taking their toll on remote First Nation communities. Along with the overcrowded homes that don't have clean drinking water, MPP Sol Mamakwa says the sense of isolation that has been exacerbated by the pandemic is making mental health issues more challenging.

Mamakwa adds the roll out of the vaccine in the Far North won't be easy.  

"It's a lot of logistics involved in it," he said yesterday, understating the case.

"When you talk about a community of 200, a community of 2,000 or a community of a thousand... Different logistics have to happen," he added. 

Kiiwetinoong has 49 fly-in communities that are part of Nishnawbe Aski Territory, and this represents a whole new level of planning. 

While the mild winter has allowed some reprieve -- as families are able to get out on the land more in the dark days of January -- Mamakwa doesn't understimate the challenges that lie ahead, including a shorter season for winter roads.

On the one hand, the MPP also sees the health care crisis that's unfolding in southern Ontario, where patients are dying, temporary field hospitals are being set up and mobile morgues are being created. On the other hand, he allows, there are also the businesses at risk he said.

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