First Nations along B.C.’s north, central coasts ask for crack down on non-essential travel to the region – The Globe and Mail

First Nations and municipalities along British Columbia’s north and central coasts – home to popular destinations including Haida Gwaii – have asked provincial and federal authorities to crack down on non-essential travel to the region, saying they don’t have the capacity to deal with an influx of people who may become ill with COVID-19.

More stringent restrictions – including a travel ban on anyone other than residents and essential workers – is essential to protect local residents, including Indigenous elders who are among the last fluent speakers of the Haida language, says Haida Nation president Jason Alsop.

“We are worried about community spread that would reach our elders – our elders are some of our fluent language speakers, there’s only a few fluent speakers left … they are the ones that current and future generations learn from,” Mr. Alsop said Wednesday in a telephone interview from Skidegate.

Mr. Alsop said he would like to see measures such as bans or fines for people who disregard advice to avoid non-essential travel, saying Haida members have observed licence plates from Arizona, Florida and Alberta in recent days in and around Skidegate.

Read More:

NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More