Council Adopts Reopening Plan for Neyaashiinigmiing

We are pleased to announce that the Council has accepted and approved the recommended Reopening Plan for Neyaashiinigmiing, most of which will come into effect on June 14, 2021. The CNUFN Council has been carefully monitoring the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario, and conditions in Neyaashiinigmiing. Vaccination levels continue to improve across the province and case counts are dropping steadily. The provincial Stay at Home order ended on June 2, 2021, although the province-wide Emergency Brake and associate regulations will remain in effect until Ontario enters Step 1 of its Reopening plan. We can now gather outdoors, in groups of up to 5 people from different households.

While this does not mark the end of the pandemic or completely remove the risk of an outbreak, conditions have considerably improved. We can now begin taking safe, measured, responsible steps to reopening the community.

The Community Emergency Response Group struck an ad hoc Reopening Committee to create a plan for the safe and responsible reopening of Neyaashiinigmiing. The committee members were Cynthia Jamieson, Acting First Nations Administrator; Cynthia Porter, Health Manager; Amy Ingram, Supervisor of Social Services; Councilor Nick Saunders; Judy Nadjiwan, Board of Education Administrator; Patrick Nadjiwan, Legal Counsel; and Dr. Ian Arra, Grey Bruce Medical Officer of Health. The committee’s recommendations balanced our ongoing need to reduce the risk of a dangerous outbreak in the community, with the widespread desire to see life begin to return to normal.

Our plan is specific to the situation in Neyaashiinigmiing, although we will observe the province’s direction as Ontario moves into subsequent steps of the provincial reopening plan. We cannot exceed the speed of the provincial reopening, but we can go slower if we feel it would be better for the community. This is only a first step in what will be a multi-phase reopening process. We look forward to seeing more of our relations and friends (in small groups, for now) as the danger of the pandemic recedes.

We encourage everybody who is eligible for, and can tolerate a vaccine, to be vaccinated against COVID-19 at the earliest opportunity. We are holding a clinic in the community on Saturday, June 19, for members and their immediate families as young as 12 years old. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, register online today, or call the Nawash Health Centre at 519-534-0373. Let’s continue working together to help bring this pandemic to an end. Your vaccination protects you, our youth, and those who can’t tolerate the vaccine for other medical reasons.

Whether vaccinated or not, all community members are asked to continue to observe pandemic protocols to help keep the community safe.

  • Wear a mask outside your home.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Watch your distance and stay 2 meters away from people you don’t live with.

Council Extends State of Emergency in Neyaashiinigmiing

At the Council meeting of Friday May 28, 2021, the Council of Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation extended the State of Emergency in Neyaashiinigmiing until June 30, 2021.

There are hopeful signs on the horizon, of an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the gradually increasing vaccination rate and a corresponding reduction in new cases in the province. We remain vigilant, however, to the ongoing risk of a dangerous outbreak. The Council and Administration will continue to take extraordinary actions as necessary to keep members and the community healthy and free of COVID-19. We are grateful for the incredible strength, patience and support of the entire membership and community of Neyaashiinigmiing.

An ad hoc Reopening Committee has been struck to create a plan for the safe and responsible reopening of Neyaashiinigmiing. The committee members are Cynthia Jamieson, Acting First Nations Administrator; Cynthia Porter, Health Manager; Amy Ingram, Supervisor of Social Services; Councilor Nick Saunders; Judy Nadjiwan, Board of Education Administrator; Patrick Nadjiwan, Legal Counsel; and Dr. Ian Arra, Grey Bruce Medical Officer of Health. The committee will balance our obvious desire to see life return to normal, with the need to reduce the risk of a dangerous outbreak in the community. The recommendations of the committee will also address our seasonal cottagers and campers who are eager to return to Neyaashiinigmiing as soon as possible.

We encourage everybody who is eligible for, and can tolerate a vaccine, to be vaccinated against COVID-19 at the earliest opportunity. We are holding a clinic in the community on Saturday, June 19, for members and their immediate families as young as 12 years old. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, register today.

If you have not been vaccinated yet, we look forward to seeing you at a vaccination clinic soon! Let’s work together to help bring this pandemic to an end. Your vaccination protects you, our youth, and those who can’t tolerate the vaccine for other medical reasons. Whether vaccinated or not, all community members are asked to continue to observe pandemic protocols to help keep the community safe.

  • Wear a mask outside your home.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Watch your distance and stay 2 meters away from people you don’t live with.

Update: Outdoor Activity Rules Relaxed as of May 22

From Dr. Ian Arra, Grey Bruce Medical Officer of Health:

“The Stay-at-Home order is in place until June 2, 2021, as the province continues to deal with the impacts of COVID-19.

Effective May 22, 2021, certain outdoor recreational amenities will reopen with restrictions in place, such as the need to maintain physical distancing. These amenities include but are not limited to golf courses and driving ranges, soccer and other sports fields, tennis and basketball courts, and skate parks. No outdoor sports or recreational classes are permitted.

Outdoor limits for social gatherings and organized public events will be expanded to five people, which will allow these amenities to be used for up to five people, including with members of different households. All other public health and workplace safety measures under the province wide emergency brake will remain in effect.

Stay-At-Home means you are only allowed to gather indoors with anyone you live with, and limit close contact to only members of your household (the people you live with). If you live alone, you can have close contact with only one other household. Outdoor limits for social gatherings and organized public events is limited to five people.

Stay-At-Home means do not travel outside your region unless absolutely necessary. You should only go out for necessities, such as:

  • the grocery store or pharmacy
  • health care services (including getting vaccinated)
  • outdoor exercise or walking pets in your community
  • work that cannot be done remotely
  • child care

Stay-At-Home permits outdoor recreational amenities to open as of May 22, including outdoor sports facilities and multi-use fields. However, no outdoor sports or recreational classes are permitted:

  • golf courses
  • baseball diamonds
  • soccer fields
  • tennis, platform tennis, table tennis and pickleball courts
  • basketball courts
  • BMX parks
  • skate parks
  • portions of parks or recreational areas containing outdoor fitness equipment
  • picnic sites and picnic tables

Stay-At-Home means parks and recreational areas, including benches, playgrounds, play structures, play equipment, and off-leash dog parks are open as long as two metres physical distancing can be maintained.

Stay-At-Home means seasonal campgrounds and campsites can only be made available for trailers and recreational vehicles that are used by individuals who are in need of housing or permitted to be there by the terms of a full season contract.

Stay-At Home means marinas and boat launches are closed, except for:

  • repairing or servicing boats
  • placing boats in the water to be secured to dock
  • enables access to residence or other property, to support government operations or services, or for the transportation of items by commercial barges
  • operating a restaurant for takeout or delivery

Stay-At-Home means outdoor garden centres, plant nurseries and indoor greenhouses may open for in-person shopping, with limited hours, at a maximum capacity of 25%

Stay-At-Home means restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments are only open for take-out, drive-through and delivery. All indoor and outdoor dining is closed.

Stay-At-Home means garage sales and yard sales are not permitted.

Read Appended Regulations for details.

For More Information:
Dr. Ian Arra, MD MSc FRCPC ACPM ABPM
Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer
To arrange to speak with Dr. Arra, please contact Drew Ferguson at:
519-376-9420 or 1-800-263-3456 ext. 1269 or d.ferguson@publichealthgreybruce.on.ca”

June 19 COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic to Include Youth

Health Canada recently expanded the approved ages for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to include youth 12-15 years old. We are pleased to announce that we have scheduled our first COVID-19 vaccination clinic to include 12-15 year old youth. The Nawash Health Centre is holding a first-dose COVID-19 vaccination clinic Saturday, June 19, from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM at the Kikendaasogamig Elementary School, by appointment ONLY. This clinic is open to all members of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation in the Grey Bruce area, and their immediate families, 12 years old or older.

Call the Nawash Health Centre at 519-534-0373 to make your vaccination appointment, or register online.

Priority Group: All members of Chippewas of Nawash in the Grey Bruce area, and their immediate family, 12 years old or older.
Dose: This is a first dose clinic, but we will have a limited number of second doses for persons who have not yet received their second shots.
Time: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: Kikendaasogamig Elementary School, Neyaashiinigmiing
Register: Please call the Nawash Health Centre at 519-534-0373, or register online

If you have not been vaccinated yet, we look forward to seeing you at a vaccination clinic soon! Let’s work together to help bring this pandemic to and end. Your vaccination protects you, our youth, and those who can’t tolerate the vaccine for other medical reasons. Whether vaccinated or not, all community members are asked to continue to observe pandemic protocols to help keep the community safe.

  • Wear a mask outside your home.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Watch your distance and stay 2 meters away from people you don’t live with.

Provincial Stay-at-Home Order Remains in Effect Until June 2

New COVID-19 cases in Ontario have been steadily trending downward from the peak we saw in April. This is encouraging, but case levels are still high and the risk of a dangerous spike in cases that could overwhelm our medical system remains a possibility. In response, the Province has extended the declaration of emergency and the province-wide Stay-at-Home order until June 2, 2021.

With the arrival of the May long weekend and fine weather, we know that residents, friends and family want to travel and relax. We want to remind all members that, in the interest of public safety, access to Neyaashiinigmiing is restricted to residents and essential services only. While we are looking forward to the end of the pandemic, and lifting of restrictions, we cannot welcome guests at this time. Please stay home, in accordance with Provincial health directives.

Please observe all temporary restrictions and public health and workplace safety measures. If you are eligible for and can tolerate a COVID-19 vaccine, please get vaccinated. Encourage people in your social group to receive their vaccinations too. Working together, we will overcome the pandemic and open our doors to all our relations and friends once more.

Chi-miigwech. We are grateful for your understanding and patience during this difficult time.

Vaccinating Adolescents Against COVID-19

Health Canada recently expanded the approved ages for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to include 12-15 old adolescents. The Nawash Health Centre has since received a number of requests for COVID-19 vaccinations for youth family members.

Our vaccination clinics are operated in cooperation with the Grey Bruce Public Health Unit, which distributes the available vaccines. We have been advised by Dr. Ian Arra, the Grey Bruce Medical Officer of Health, that Ontario provincial health authorities have not yet provided direction to health units in the province about administering the vaccine to youth.

While we will make the vaccine available to all members and their families who are eligible to receive it, as soon as we are able, we cannot give the vaccine to the 12-15 year old age group yet. Dr. Arra suggests that eligible youth may begin vaccinations in June or July, with the goal of having them fully vaccinated by the start of the new school year in September.

We will update the community and members as we receive new information regarding COVID-19 vaccine availability.

Whether vaccinated or not, all community members are asked to continue to observe pandemic protocols to help keep the community safe.

  • Wear a mask outside your home.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Watch your distance and stay 2 meters away from people you don’t live with.

Upcoming First-Dose COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic

The Nawash Health Centre is holding a first-dose COVID-19 vaccination clinic Saturday, May 15, from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM at the Kikendaasogamig Elementary School, by appointment ONLY. This clinic is open to all members of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation, Saugeen First Nation or other First Nations persons in the Grey Bruce area, 16 years or older. Call the Nawash Health Centre at 519-534-0373 to make your vaccination appointment, or register online.

Priority Group: All members of Chippewas of Nawash, Saugeen First Nation or other First Nations persons in the Grey Bruce area, 16 years or older
Dose: This is a first dose clinic, but we will have a limited number of second doses for persons who have not yet received their second shots.
Time: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: Kikendaasogamig Elementary School, Neyaashiinigmiing
Register: Please call the Nawash Health Centre at 519-534-0373, or register online

The COVID-19 pandemic is emotionally challenging for everybody. It’s been a difficult year, separated from our extended families and friends, the activities that bring us joy and relaxation, and even unable to meet with co-workers. Happily, approved and safe COVID-19 vaccines are finally offering a way out of this worldwide crisis. Widespread vaccination is our eventual path back to normalcy and control over our own lives. A vaccine isn’t just a shot in the arm – it’s a little dose of hope.

The decision to get vaccinated is a personal choice, one with potential implications for the health and safety of people around you as well. We will continue to share vaccine information and make vaccinations available to members who want them. We encourage everybody who is eligible for, and can tolerate the vaccine, to be vaccinated at the earliest opportunity.

If you have not been vaccinated yet, we look forward to seeing you at a vaccination clinic soon! Whether vaccinated or not, all community members are asked to continue to observe pandemic protocols to help keep the community safe.

  • Wear a mask outside your home.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Watch your distance and stay 2 meters away from people you don’t live with.

Upcoming Second-Dose COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic

The Nawash Health Centre team has scheduled two COVID-19 vaccination clinics in May, to provide the second required dose to those who have already received a first. The schedule below indicates where you should get your second shot.

If you received your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Bayshore Community Centre, Owen Sound on March 25, 2021, you will receive your second at:
Location: Julie McArthur Centre, 700 10th Street East, Owen Sound
Date: May 13, 2021
Time: 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM

If you received your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Davidson Centre, Kincardine, on March 27, 2021, you will receive your second at:
Location: Davidson Centre, 601 Durham St., Kincardine
Date: May 7, 2021
Time: 5:30 PM – 6:00 PM

Please call the Nawash Health Centre at 519-534-0373 to confirm your appointment for your second dose.

We do not have a first dose clinic scheduled at this time, but if you haven’t been vaccinated yet you can still get your shot by calling the Nawash Health Centre. We encourage all members and residents who are eligible for the vaccine to be vaccinated as soon as possible. Help us protect our community and bring the end of the pandemic closer. In the meantime, whether you have been vaccinated or not, keep the people around you safe and continue to follow pandemic safety protocols.

  • Wear a mask outside your home.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Watch your distance and remain at least 2 meters from people you don’t live with.

Visitor Rules for Neyaashiinigmiing

To reduce the alarming spread of COVID-19, the Province of Ontario issued a declaration of emergency and a province-wide Stay-At-Home order. The provincial Stay-at-Home order is in place until at least May 19, 2021. The Council has similarly moved to extend the State of Emergency in Neyaashiinigmiing until May 31, 2021 and declared that we will move to the Grey Zone COVID-19 safety limitations in Neyaashiinigmiing during this period. While Band Offices and Programs remain open, residents are asked to please call ahead when visiting any Program or Administration office, and diligently follow all pandemic protocols.

At this time, access to the community remains restricted to members and their immediate families, and necessary services. Non-member extended family members (in-laws, cousins, etc.) should not visit at this time. We ask that non-resident members limit visits to Neyaashiinigmiing to essential trips only. To avoid disappointment when trying to enter the community, all members are asked to please review the Visitor Rules before planning any non-residents visits to Neyaashiinigmiing.

The monitoring station on the Coveneys Road entrance to Neyaashiinigmiing is an important part of our system of COVID-19 protections. The monitors have the challenging task of ensuring that our safety restrictions are respected by all those attempting to enter the community. The monitors follow the directions of the Council, which are guided by the advice of our Community Emergency Response Group. The monitors do not have discretion regarding who is authorized to enter the community. We ask that every person crossing the boundary be respectful of our monitors and their important role in keeping the community safe.

Neyaashiinigmiing Emergency Shut Down for 48 Hours

The Grey Bruce Health Unit has declared that the county has reached a critical threshold of COVID-19 cases, with more than 70 new cases in the past 36 hours. The GBHU is greatly concerned that if drastic measures are not taken by all Grey Bruce residents, the pandemic may spiral out of control locally. The main causes of new infections are people failing to follow lockdown protocols, social gatherings, and youth “bush parties”. Some individuals are also not being honest with the GBHU with respect to contact tracing and case management inquiries.

The GBHU is reallocating staff to complete the huge number of contact traces now required and hopes to have it completed in 2-3 days. In the meantime, the GBHU asks that everyone consider themselves a carrier for the next 48 hours and remain at home except for essential travel. Follow any directions given by public health, as well as the Provincial Stay-At-Home order.

In light of this growing crisis, the Council has made the difficult decision to close all Band Programs, including Kikendaasogamig Elementary and Nshiime Daycare, for Thursday April 15th, 2021 & Friday April 16th, 2021. The Food Bank will remain open. The vaccination clinic scheduled for Saturday, April 17, will continue as planned, for now. We will advise the membership if Public Health decides to cancel the vaccination clinic.

Our success so far in avoiding an outbreak in the community is the direct result of our diligence,  strength, and cooperation. This closure is a difficult step for all us but we are confident that we will get through this together. Please stay home, unless absolutely necessary and strictly observe pandemic protocols:

  • Wear a mask outside your home.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Watch your distance and remain at least 2 meters from people you don’t live with.