Grand Council Treaty #3 Supports Wabaseemoong Independent Nation After Positive COVID-19 Case and Encourages Observance of Community Travel Restrictions

June 12, 2020

Grand Council Treaty #3 stands in support of Wabaseemoong Independent Nations after the positive test for COVID-19 in the community this past week. Our staff is working with Wabaseemoong, the Kenora Chiefs Advisory, and other service providers on response efforts.

During this time, several communities throughout Treaty #3 including – but not limited to – Wabaseemoong, Washagamis Bay, Niisaachewan, Wauzhushk Onigum, and Naotkamegwanning are maintaining checkpoints within their communities to ensure the safety of both their community members and the general public. Grand Council Treaty #3 unreservedly supports these measures decided upon by the communities and requests the public, including nearby cottage owners, to respect these restrictions.

Leadership would like to assure the citizens of Treaty #3 that every effort is being made to respond to any cases and prevent any wider outbreak of COVID-19. Much work has been done by First Nation communities and regional service providers to make us better prepared for the entry of COVID-19 into our area.

The greatest contributions individuals can make to the fight against COVID-19 in the Treaty #3 territory is maintaining physical distancing, washing hands, and avoid sharing information that has not been verified by credible sources. A great amount of fear and confusion can be spread by unverified rumours and hinders response efforts. The Northwestern Health Unit and First Nation leadership are working to effectively and efficiently complete contact tracing and to ensure that all potentially affected individuals are provided the opportunity to get tested.

During this time Grand Council Treaty #3 resolutely stands beside First Nations and whatever response measures they deem necessary to protect their people. We respectfully request that all citizens in the Treaty #3 territory respect and obey any travel advisories, distancing rules and regulations, and lockdowns that First Nation communities have put in place.

The key to defeating COVID-19 is to halt the spread by being vigilant about maintaining distancing. Paying close attention to the advice of public health professionals and First Nation leadership will help protect citizens by supporting calm, coordinated responses that can trace potential infections and get proper care to everyone who may need it.

“I have seen over the past four to five months an impressive amount of preparation for the potential of COVID-19 in our communities. I am confident that during that time we have all worked to build up our capabilities to help us limit in-community spread. Every day that we continue to slow the spread is another day our communities can prepare and another day closer to the development of effective treatments. That is why we all have to do our part to slow the spread,” said Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh.


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