Tansi! Let me start by saying that my Council colleagues and I and all our staff know that the current situation is very stressful for everyone. We have never faced anything like this in our lifetime but in speaking with some of our Elders I was reminded about the polio epidemic that hit Manitoba in the 1950’s. One of the reasons our community remained safer than other places was because we were isolated. There was no road to Thompson or Leaf Rapids, in fact there was no Thompson.

The recent outbreak of the coronavirus has brought uncertainty and disruptions to our normal routines. This pandemic is challenging us in ways that are new and unprecedented. It is not only NCN that is affected, the whole world is facing the same threat.

Our primary goal is to keep our community, our Citizens, staff, and residents safe and healthy. To do that we need everyone to be part of the solution. It is during tough times such as these that we are defined as peoples. Our community has always come together to overcome the hard times and we need everyone to help us deal with this threat now.

We must restrict movement

My Council and I, like all governments around the world, are attempting to limit the spread of the coronavirus by restricting the movement of people. These tough decisions are taken after consulting federal and provincial health professionals. The good news is that as of 5:00 pm today, the number of cases in Manitoba remains at 17, the same as yesterday and all appear to be related to travel out of province.

The numbers will increase

But, we know the numbers are going to increase soon, so today, we took the following actions to help make our community safer:

  • A local state of emergency will come into effect tomorrow
  • There is now a ban on non-essential travel into and out of the community and we are working to define essential services
  • Effective immediately all persons arriving at the roadside check-stop will be required to fill out a questionnaire (for tracking and monitoring visitors to the community) to ensure compliance with the non-essential travel ban
  • Effective tonight at 10:00 p.m. NCN VLT’s closed and will remain closed until the local state of emergency is lifted
  • Effective tomorrow, March 20 @ 6:00 p.m. a ban on the transportation of alcohol onto NCN Lands will go into effect

Helping you to prepare

Chief and Council recognize that this pandemic has come upon us very quickly. To assist you in stocking up on groceries and other supplies, buses have been arranged to give you the chance to go shopping in Thompson. These buses will be available for boarding at Friday, 10:00 a.m. at Three Rivers Store. These buses will be returning to NCN from Thompson Family Foods at 3:00 p.m. This transportation is free.

Please be aware there are certain restrictions that must be followed: no alcohol or cannabis (regardless of permit), no children on the buses, and no intoxicated person will be allowed entry onto the buses.

It is highly recommended that in addition to your normal shopping, you purchase the following items:

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bleach/Javex
  • Lysol wipes
  • Dry goods (for example rice, beans, cereal, pasta, canned goods, flour, salt, sugar)
  • Water
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Bar soap
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Adult and child Tylenol
  • Vitamin C

We also must ALL practice social distancing (2 meters between people), proper hygiene, i.e., washing hands and the surfaces we touch and self-isolating if we suspect we’ve been in contact with an out of province or international traveler.

We are a strong and resilient community. We have lived on N’tuskenan, our sacred lands, since time immemorial and we will continue to live here long after the coronavirus is gone. But, today we need everyone to be part of the war to defeat this virus.

Chief Marcel Moody
COVID-19 related phone numbers are (204) 679-0179 and (204) 679-0279