I call this meeting to order.
Welcome to meeting number 11 of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs. I would like to start by acknowledging that I am joining you today from the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinabe and Chonnonton nations.
Pursuant to the order of reference of April 20, 2020, the committee is meeting for the purpose of receiving evidence concerning matters related to the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today's meeting is taking place by video conference, and the proceedings will be made available via the House of Commons website.
During this meeting, the webcast will always show the person speaking rather than the entirety of the committee. In order to facilitate the work of our interpreters and ensure an orderly meeting, I would like to outline a few rules.
Interpretation in the video conference will work very much like it does in a regular committee meeting. You have the choice at the bottom of your screen of floor, English or French.
In order to resolve the sound issues raised in recent virtual committee meetings and ensure clearer audio transmission, we ask those who wish to speak during meetings to set your interpretation language as follows. If you're speaking in English, please ensure you are on the English channel. If you're speaking in French, please ensure you are on the French channel. As you are speaking, if you plan to alternate from one language to the other, you'll also need to switch the interpretation channel so it aligns with the language you are speaking. You may want to allow for a short pause when switching languages. This is found in the bottom centre of your screen where the globe is.
Before speaking, please wait until I recognize you by name. When you are ready to speak, you can either click on the microphone icon to activate your mike or you can hold down the space bar when you are speaking. When you release the bar, your mike will mute itself, just like a walkie-talkie.
Remember that all comments by members and witnesses should be addressed through the chair. Should members need to request the floor outside of their designated time for questions, they should activate their mike and state that they have a point of order. If a member wishes to intervene on a point of order that has been raised by another member, they should use the “Raise Hand” function. This will signal to the chair your interest to speak. In order to do so, you should click on “Participants”, at the bottom centre left of the screen. When the list pops up, you will see next to your name that you can click “Raise Hand”. When speaking, please speak slowly and clearly. When you are not speaking, your mike should be on mute.
The use of headsets is strongly encouraged. If you have earbuds with a microphone, please hold the microphone near your mouth when you are speaking to boost the sound quality for interpreters.
Should any technical challenges arise—for example, in relation to interpretation or if you are accidentally disconnected—please advise the chair or clerk immediately, and the technical team will work to resolve them. Please note that we may need to suspend during these times to ensure all members are able to participate fully.
Before we can get started, I will ask everyone to please click on their screen in the top right-hand corner, ensuring you are on the gallery view. With this view, you should be able to see all the participants in a grid view. This ensures that all video participants can see one another.
During this meeting, we follow the same rules usually applying to opening statements and the rounds of questioning of witnesses during our regular meetings. Each witness will have up to five minutes for an opening statement, followed by the usual rounds of questions from members.
Now I'd like to welcome our witnesses for the first panel. From the First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba, we have Amanda Meawasige, director of intergovernmental relations, and from the Cellule stratégique COVID-19 de la Nation Innue, Chief Mike Mckenzie, Jean-Claude Therrien Pinette and Dr. Stanley Vollant.
Ms. Meawasige, you now have five minutes for your opening statement. Please go ahead.