Grand Council Treaty #3 leadership and staff are working with the Northwestern Health Unit, Kenora Chiefs Advisory and community leaders across the region to help control the spread of COVID-19 in northwestern Ontario communities.
GCT3 says they would like to assure Treaty #3 residents that every effort is being made to respond to any cases of COVID-19 and prevent any wider outbreaks, and they are supportive of communities’ safety measures and lockdowns to keep residents as safe as possible.
“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,” said Grand Council Treaty #3 Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh.
“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.”
Treaty #3 communities with safety measures and lockdowns include Wabaseemoong, Washagamis Bay, Niisaachewan, Wauzhushk Onigum and Naotkamegwanning. GCT3 is asking cottagers and residents to respect these restrictions and travel advisories.
Kenora Rainy-River MPP Greg Rickford notes that while working as a member of Ontario’s emergency preparedness committee as well as the Indigenous Affairs minister, he’s spent a considerable amount of time meeting with Ontario Chiefs, Grand Chiefs, and Indigenous leadership across the province throughout the pandemic.
“Since the onset of this, our Indigenous communities have shown real leadership. The coronavirus has proven to be devastating for people with compromised health systems. Indigenous communities and leadership have taken this really seriously, even as they’re facing these additional threats.”
As of June 16, over 7,500 COVID-19 tests have been taken in the Northwestern Health Unit’s catchment area, with 27 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. As it stands, 22 of those cases are considered resolved, and 5 cases are still listed as active.
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Rickford praises local First Nations on COVID-19 prevention