A remote First Nation prepares for its most daunting challenge: limiting the spread of coronavirus
The pandemic complicates all the difficulties that come with being a remote community. In normal times, there is constant traffic between Eabametoong and the world outside. In the winter, many people take the winter road to visit family in Thunder Bay or other places, do their shopping, watch hockey games or go to medical appointments. But that road, built over frozen lakes and swamps, is only open for a few weeks in the coldest weather. The winter road season is ending now, leaving the community reliant on flights from the airstrip
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The Tantramar COVID-19 task force will co-ordinate the community’s response efforts during the pandemic, and will focusing on issues of food security, infrastructure, volunteers, and mental health services. The task force will have representatives from municipalities, First Nations, non-profits, faith communities, local schools, Mount Allison University and nursing home workers.
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They’ve been on the phone with the different First Nations in the area to see what kind of relief is available. They’ve made sure to do their part in flattening the curve.
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“This checkpoint is not to be mean or nasty, by any means. It is trying to protect us and maybe even protect people from the outside,” said Joe. “That’s all we’re trying to do.”
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In an interview with CBC’s The Trailbreaker Friday, Grand Chief Mackenzie said he’s confident Tłı̨chǫ communities are taking the threat of COVID-19 seriously.
“Our people have gone through hardship, disease and survived so far till today,” he said. “We are strong.” Mackenzie said his main message for Tłı̨chǫ residents is for them to stay home and sober.
The COVID-19 crisis on First Nations: a reminder of our inequality and an opportunity for change
This virus lays bare the links between our well-being, our climate and the biodiversity crisis of our own creation, which now stares humanity in the face. As we are all forced to consider our own mortality, we should also consider our opportunities to be better stewards of our communities, of our resources and of our world. Let’s not view this as the end of something, but as the beginning of something better.
‘We are not prepared’: Inuit brace for coronavirus to reach remote communities
Nunatsiavut, the Inuit self-governing region in northern Labrador, is one of the few places left in Canada without a confirmed case of COVID-19. People there are deeply concerned they would be ill-equipped to handle the virus if it arrives, and are worried it’s only a matter a time before they see their first case.
Several First Nations grapple with confirmed COVID-19 cases, press government for help
The coronavirus must be seen as an existential threat to nearly one million First Nations people, said Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde, adding that many communities have modified or postponed ceremonies and gatherings that are vital to their cultures.
Curfews, checkpoints hope to protect First Nations communities from COVID-19
“The curfew is [to] limit outside interactions and try to have community members to stay home. Blockages [are to] stop non-members and non-residents entering our community. We don’t know where everyone’s coming from. “We as a community have to help each other.”
Hutterite colony mobilizing to sew face masks to stop the spread of COVID-19
The plan, McDonald said, is to distribute the masks to the local community, including the Kainai and Piikani First Nations and to other organizations in the community of Pincher Creek in the fight against COVID-1
Rolling River First Nation distributes care packages to every household on reserve
On March 30, a group of volunteers from the community packaged and distributed 144 care packages to every single house on the reserve as well as 14 packages for band members living in the nearby town of Erickson.
“There is some form of comfort that we can provide for them, to know that we’ve reached out to them and have done what we could for them to make sure they are OK in this worrisome time,” said Wilson.