Council Moves to Protect Community By Limiting Access

With the deepening pandemic crisis threatening the health and welfare of the community, the Chief and Council has decided to limit external access to Neyaashiinigmiing. The Sydney Bay Road entrance was closed last week and a sign erected at the Coveney’s Road entrance advising that access to the community was restricted to residents and essential services.

Beginning Thursday, April 2, at midnight, the next phase will be implemented, with a monitoring station erected at the Coveney’s Road entrance, and staffed around the clock. 

Vehicles entering the community will be required to stop and give the monitors their reason for entering. Entrance is permitted for:

  • Residents and members
  • Essential employees
  • Emergency Response personnel
  • Essential inspection, maintenance and repair persons
  • Canada Post employees and other carriers
  • Hydro One, Bell Canada and GB Tel service people
  • Fuel suppliers
  • Anyone with written permission of Council

Persons outside of these categories will be considered trespassers on the reserve and reported to the police.

The Chief and Council ask that vehicles leaving the reserve carry no more than two people, unless absolutely necessary. 

The Chief and Council understand that restricting access to the community is a significant action that many members may feel is an unfair and unnecessary inconvenience, but the Council is completely committed to protecting the community in the face of a dire international crisis. 

COVID-19 is a serious illness that is especially dangerous to the elderly, or those with pre-existing health conditions, including diabetes. Many of our friends and members of our families fall into these high risk categories. Chippewas of Nawash also has a limited capacity to deal with a serious outbreak of the coronavirus in Neyaashiinigmiing. 

Note that some people who have contracted COVID-19 may not feel ill or show any symptoms, but they are still highly contagious. The only method of avoiding the disease that is known to work is social distancing which includes avoiding all non-essential travel. Non-resident members who come into the community from outside risk bringing the virus into our particularly vulnerable community. 

The access monitors will not restrict any member of Chippewas of Nawash from entering the community, but the Chief and Council urge all of our members, wherever they live, to stay sheltered in their primary residence, for the good of the entire community, and themselves.

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