SASKATOON -- Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) chiefs are asking the federal government for sanitization supplies and COVID-19 tests to be delivered to remote communities.

FSIN Vice-Chief Heather Bear said northern Saskatchewan First Nations are the most vulnerable because they’re distant from hospitals and supplies.

“It would be disastrous,” Bear told reporters, when asked what the potential impact of COVID-19 would be on Indigenous communities.

“We’re looking at communities that are so close-knit and they gather continuously.”

Indigenous leaders are also advising First Nations to practice social distancing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) has cancelled all upcoming conferences and travel plans after Saskatchewan announced its first presumptive case.

Last week, the federal Minister of Natural Resources made a visit to Cigar Lake’s uranium mine. Seamus O’Regan also met with northern Saskatchewan communities who rely on mining jobs.

On Wednesday, O’Regan saw a doctor for COVID-19 symptoms – prompting some northern Saskatchewan community members to get tested.

“We’ve all been quarantined here today, until told otherwise,” June Strong said in a Facebook video, describing the situation.

On Friday morning, O’Regan tweeted that his test came back negative.

The FSIN said it won’t force First Nations to take precautionary measures, but supports the communities that have plans to shut down schools.