With governments and institutions around the world all scrambling to gather the supplies necessary to mount an effective pandemic response, Chippewas of Nawash staff and leadership have been working overtime to procure the same materials for the community. University of Guelph students Emma Anderson and Moira Germann-Cisterna, with the help of Professor Kim Anderson, Department of Family Relations & Applied Nutrition, heard about our difficulties, and have come to the community’s aid with a generous donation of 140 bottles of hand sanitizer. The hand sanitizer will be distributed to the Maadookii Seniors Centre and Nawash Health Services. Disinfectants are in short supply everywhere, so this will be extremely helpful for us in keeping our cherished Elders and front line staff safe in the face of COVID-19. Councillor Tony Chegahno expressed his appreciation for the gift, saying that it was “amazing that the students did that on their own” in deciding to make the donation. The Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation is sincerely grateful for the kindness and generosity of Emma, Moira and Kim. Chi-Miigwech!
Fire Chief Nick Saunders, with the support of the Chief and Council, asks that all residents of Neyaashiinigmiing refrain from starting open fires of any kind, including brush-burning, campfires, bonfires, and cook-outs. The fire department is supporting the community in many different ways during the pandemic crisis, in addition to their primary duties as front-line responders. The Fire Chief, Chief and Council want to avoid overloading the volunteer firefighters, who are so critical to the community’s pandemic response, with unnecessary fire calls until the crisis has passed. The Fire Department thanks all residents for their patience and cooperation.
For the safety of staff and the public, Band services are running on limited hours during the pandemic. The Health Centre will be open on Friday, however, between the hours of 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM for medication and cheque pick-up.
Please let others in the community know, electronically or by phone, and practice social distancing if you do visit the Health Centre. Remain at a safe distance of at least 2 meters from other people.
Nawash’s Kina Waa Noojmojig Nanaweing Wellness Centre has adjusted it’s operating hours in order to comply with the best medical advice to social distance and avoid direct contact with others. The dedicated staff want to remind the community that they are still there to offer support during this difficult time. Clinical Supervisor April Jones has provided some useful information for those in need, on the Wellness Centre’s page.
Like most services, Legal Aid Ontario has been impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Wellness Centre received the following update from LAO:
March 19, 2020
The safety of our staff, clients, and stakeholders is our first priority. As we are currently unable to guarantee a safe workplace for our courthouse staff, LAO has determined that it will be asking staff and per-diems not to attend physical courthouses until further notice, effective end-of-day today.
We are hopeful to resume in-person services soon and are working closely with MAG in order to determine when we would be prepared to return to physical courthouses.
Continuation of client services
We are dedicated more than ever to continuing to provide high-quality services to legal aid clients and we are instituting interim solutions in our district to continue offering services.
Clients can call 1-800-668-8258 if they have questions about what legal aid services are available to them. More information is available on our website.
I will continue to provide you with updates on client services as we put more measures in place. In the meantime, please reach out to me if you have any questions about accessing client services. On behalf of all staff at Legal Aid Ontario, I appreciate your understanding during these difficult times.
Legal Aid Ontario
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.
Cheques are available for pick up at the Band Office on Friday, April 3, 2020, from 12:00 PM until 2:00 PM. If you are unable to pick up your own cheque and designate someone to pick it up for you, your designate must have a signed note from you giving them permission. Your designate will be required to sign for the cheque.
The next period of Income Support will cover the period from Sunday March 29 – April 11, 2020. Applications must be submitted to the Band Office by 4:00 PM, Monday April 13, 2020. Any forms handed in after 4:00 PM will be processed the following week.
Applications for the next period will be available at Band Office reception on Monday, April 6, 2020, from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM.
Questions may be directed to Angela Ashkewe, Business and Employment Support Worker.
Phone: 519-534-1689 ext. 225
Information on the application process can be found here.
The COVID-19 virus is highly contagious. The best way to keep it out of the community and protect the health of our families and neighbours is by limiting contact with people outside Neyaashiinigmiing. To help us keep our distance during the pandemic crisis, the Food Bank program has expanded its operations with more days and more stock. The Food Bank provides a healthy selection of foodstuffs, including meat, dairy, grains, canned goods, fresh produce and even pet food. They can even include some common personal hygiene products.
While it has always been open to all residents, the Chief and Council urge every household to take advantage of the Food Bank at this time and avoid unnecessary trips to the supermarket.
Food Bank distribution will be open to all residents on Tuesdays, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM and Thursdays, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM, at the Community Centre.
Frequent hand washing is an important part of slowing the spread of COVID-19. Think you know how to wash your hands already? Watch this useful video to see how much you’ve missed – and how to wash completely.
Effective 11:59 PM, Thursday, April 2, 2020, the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation will restrict access to Neyaashiinigmiing to residents and essential services only. This restriction will be enforced at the Coveney’s Road entrance. The Sidney Bay Road entrance will remain closed to all traffic. Chief Greg Nadjiwon has issued the following statement: