Council Extends Neyaashiinigmiing Pandemic Shutdown

In order to remain in sync with the provincial pandemic restrictions, and to keep the community as safe as possible, the Council has decided to extend the administrative shutdown in Neyaashiinigmiing until February 11, 2021. Non-essential Administrative programs and offices will remain closed until that time.

The Council is doing everything it can to keep the Neyaashiinigmiing community safe and healthy until a vaccine is widely available to residents. We will continue to work tirelessly for the good of the membership, residents and staff during this challenging time.

The Administrative shutdown will be reassessed weekly. We are grateful for the patience, support and strength of the entire Neyaashiinigmiing community while we wait out the pandemic. We will come back strong in the year ahead.

Update: Vaccinations Delayed in Grey Bruce

We have learned from Dr. Ian Arra, the Grey Bruce Medical Officer of Health that the vaccines scheduled to arrive on January 25th have been delayed, due to production issues. The first vaccinations are expected to arrive in mid-February and will be reserved for the most vulnerable. A portion of the initial Grey Bruce allotment will still be earmarked for the residents of Neyaashiinigmiing’s Seniors Apartment Complex. No date or estimate has been given at this time for the next batch of vaccine.

The COVID-19 vaccines have been extensively tested around the world in many different populations. They have been shown to be safe, and remarkably effective. Watch this video to learn more about vaccine safety.

We share the community’s disappointment at this delay. The sooner we are all safely vaccinated, the sooner we can put the pandemic and its trials behind us. We will share more information about when residents can get a vaccine as soon as it becomes available.

 

First Vaccinations Scheduled for Neyaashiinigmiing

We have been advised by Dr. Ian Arra, the Grey Bruce Medical Officer of Health, that the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be delivered to Grey Bruce on January 25, 2021. Vaccinations for priority groups will start shortly after the vaccine arrives.

The first recipients in Neyaashiinigmiing will be residents of the Seniors Apartment Complex, which is being regarded as a long-term care facility for the purposes of vaccine distribution. We expect those residents to be vaccinated in the last week of January. Residents of the community who are 70 years and older, not living in the Seniors Apartment Complex, will be vaccinated in the next round of vaccinations, expected in mid-February.

Unfortunately, supplies of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines remain limited worldwide. While a vaccination will be available for everyone eventually, lower priority groups will have to wait for their dose until supply and distribution lines catch up.

Until we are all safely vaccinated, our best strategy remains careful following of the pandemic health and safety guidelines:

  • Wear a mask outside your home.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Watch your distance. Remain at least 2 meters from people you do not live with.

Thank you to all our members, residents and staff for your patience, courage and strength during this difficult time. We look forward to seeing you all again, in person, when the pandemic has passed.

COVID-19 Vaccines Coming Soon

COVID-19 vaccines will be coming soon to Grey Bruce. The amount of vaccine available is limited, so those that are particularly at risk will be given priority for the first shots.

A portion of the first batch of vaccine is reserved for Neyaashiinigmiing as well. Planning is underway to vaccinate our most vulnerable residents. As of this writing, the exact date that the vaccine will be available, and the amount of vaccinations that can be given has not been confirmed. We do expect it within weeks, not months, and there will be enough for those residents most at risk.

Most of us will have to wait some time before sufficient vaccine is available for all of us to receive a shot.

The two vaccines currently authorized for use in Canada have undergone extensive testing worldwide. They have been found safe and effective by numerous governments and medical agencies internationally, including the World Health Organization. You can learn more about the vaccines approved for use in Canada here.

The Chief and Council and Community Emergency Response Group have no concerns about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines. They will protect us and our relations. They will bring this challenging time to a close and let us open our doors to family and friends again. To slow and eventually stop the spread of the virus, everybody that can be vaccinated, should be vaccinated.

If you have any questions regarding the vaccine, please contact your doctor, or the Nawash Health Centre at 519-534-0373.

Ontario Declares Second State of Emergency

In response to the crisis of rising COVID-19 cases in Ontario, the Province has declared a second state of emergency. For the duration of the emergency, the colour-coded zone system will be paused.

Per the Ontario government website:

“Effective Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the government is issuing a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for permitted  purposes or activities, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for work where the work cannot be done remotely. This order and other new and existing public health restrictions are aimed at limiting people’s mobility and reducing the number of daily contacts with those outside an immediate household. In addition to limiting outings for these purposes, all businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home.”

“In response to the alarming and exceptional circumstances at hand, and to further interrupt the deadly trend of transmission in Ontario communities, hospitals, and long-term care homes, the following additional public health measures will take effect January 13, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.:

  • Outdoor organized public gatherings and social gatherings are further restricted to a limit of five people with limited exceptions. This is consistent with the rules during the lockdown during the first wave of COVID-19 in spring 2020 and will allow individuals and families to enjoy time outdoors safely.
  • Individuals are required to wear a mask or face covering in the indoor areas of businesses or organizations that are open. Wearing a mask or face covering is now recommended outdoors when you can’t physically distance more than two metres.
  • All non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and those offering curbside pickup or delivery, must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m. The restricted hours of operation do not apply to stores that primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants for takeout or delivery.
  • Non-essential construction is further restricted, including below-grade construction, exempting survey.”

The state of emergency is being supported by legal authority granted to provincial officers.

“The province will provide authority to all provincial offences officers, including the Ontario Provincial Police, local police forces, bylaw officers, and provincial workplace inspectors to issue tickets to individuals who do not comply with the stay-at-home-order, or those not wearing a mask or face covering indoors in places open to the public”.

The Chief, Council, Nawash Health Centre, Community Emergency Response Group and the rest of the administration is doing everything we can to keep the community safe until we can vaccinate our most vulnerable. We urge all Neyaashiinigmiing residents, and all of our members living in Ontario, to follow current COVID-19 safety guidelines and any health and safety orders. Keep yourselves, your relations, your neighbours and your communities safe and healthy.

We will update the membership with more information as we receive it.

Grey Zone – Lockdown: What Does it Mean?

As of December 26th, 2020 Ontario, will enter a province-wide shutdown. The shutdown will be maintained in Grey Bruce for at least 28 days.

During the shutdown you should stay home to the fullest extent possible. Trips outside of the home should be limited and only for essential purposes (accessing health care and medication, grocery shopping, etc.)

Gathering

No indoor gatherings are allowed except with members of the same household.  Individuals who live alone may consider having exclusive, close contact with another household to help reduce the negative impacts of social isolation. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 10 people providing physical distancing (2 meters) can be maintained.

Restaurants

Take out, drive through and delivery permitted only.

Sports and recreational fitness facilities

Facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities are closed. Outdoor recreational amenities (e.g., ice rinks, snow trails) can remain open with restrictions.

Retail

Retail generally permitted to be open for curbside pick-up or delivery only. Supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, farmer’s markets, and pharmacies permitted to be open for in-person shopping with restrictions.

Cannabis

Permitted by curb-side pick-up and delivery

Schools

Elementary school students are planned to be able to return to in-person learning on January 11, 2021. Secondary school students will continue learning remotely until January 25, 2021, at which point they may resume in-person learning.

If you have any questions concerning activities during lockdown, please contact SpringDawn Cook-Akiwenzie or Cynthia Porter at the Nawash Health Center: 519-534-0373.

Membership Office Provides Service by Email Only During Lockdown

Due to the pandemic lockdown, the Chippewas of Nawash Membership Office will not hold any in-person meetings until January 28th. Status cards will not be issued by this department during this time.

Per the notice posted on the Indigenous Services website, expired status cards and/or Temporary Confirmations of Registration Documents (TCRDs) should be accepted by Service Providers during this time. Service Providers may ask for a second piece of I.D when expired status cards and TCRD’s are used.

TCRDs can be obtained directly from Indigenous Services by calling 1-800-567-9604 (Mon-Fri 10am-6pm). These will be mailed to you. Allow time for the department to process your request and for your card to arrive in the mail. Note: You must already be a registered band member to be able to obtain a status card or TCRD

If you wish to apply for a Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS), the application forms are available on the Indigenous Services website. Our Membership Office can also email the application forms for a SCIS to you. Email your request to larissa.johnston@nawash.ca. Applicants must then complete and send the forms directly to Indigenous Services Canada.

Thank you for your patience at this time. We look forward to providing a higher service level in the future.

Statement from Chief Greg Nadjiwon

COVID-19 is now in the community. Containing the virus depends on every community member working together, remaining calm, and following all health and safety rules. Chief Greg Nadjiwon has prepared a video statement explaining our preparations and precautions. Watch it on YouTube.

English subtitles are available on this video. Enable closed captions or subtitles on your device.

Food Bank Moves to Delivery-Only Service

In response to the pandemic lockdown, the Nawash Food Bank is now providing all food packages by delivery ONLY. 

Please call the Food Bank between 9:00 AM and 12:00 noon on Tuesday or Thursday to arrange delivery of a food package direct to your door. 

Food Bank Staff and Volunteers will be at the Community Centre on Tuesdays from 1:00 – 3:00 PM, and Thursdays from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM. Staff will only be preparing food packages for delivery. Packages will NOT be handed out in person. 

Deliveries will be made on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Please call before noon on Tuesday or Thursday to allow the Food Bank time to prepare your package for delivery ONLY. 

Nawash Food Bank: 519-534-3266 ext; 105

Community Pandemic Response

The Chief and Council are doing everything they can to keep the community safe during the pandemic. Leadership is working with Grey Bruce Public Health, the Nawash Health Centre, and the Community Emergency Response Group, in setting policies aimed at protecting the health of all Neyaashiinigmiing residents.

We have at least one positive case of COVID-19 in Neyaashiinigmiing. There is no cause for alarm, but now, more than ever, the Council asks for the full cooperation of all residents in resisting the spread of COVID-19. Only your commitment to rigorously follow all pandemic protocols will keep the virus contained.

Neyaashiinigmiing is now in lockdown, with the rest of the Province of Ontario. Please shelter in your primary residence, and avoid taking unnecessary trips outside your home. Out of respect for the health of the community, all non-residents, including members, are asked to refrain from visiting Neyaashiinigmiing at this time. Only residents and essential staff and services are authorized to enter the community.

We regret that non-essential Band programs will remain closed until January 28th, 2021. This schedule is being reassessed weekly. While the current plan is to remain closed until January 28th, if the situation improves programs may re-open sooner. Staff and clients are urged to check our website often for service updates.

Our community of Neyaashiinigmiing is particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus! Protect your relations, friends and neighbours:

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

Important Note: Neyaashiinigmiing small businesses must also stringently follow the safety guidelines. Staff and clients must wear facemasks at all times when indoors and maintain physical distance, if possible.

Even with safe and effective vaccines are on the horizon, this remains a very difficult time, but together we will get through this. We encourage residents and members to remain calm, and adhere to health and safety protocols. We are grateful for your continued incredible patience and strength.

Miigwetch!