Grand Council Treaty #3 is requesting all of its citizens to stay home as much as possible to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 as the province of Ontario moves to close all non-essential businesses and the Government of Canada continues advising people to stay home. People should only leave their homes for essential needs such as purchasing food, medicine, and other essential products or to provide for those that cannot supply these items themselves. Citizens are therefore advised to shelter in place to assist in response efforts and shorten the duration of this pandemic.
Northwestern Ontario has limited health care capacity and it is the duty of all of us to support our health professionals by reducing the transmission of this virus by all means available.
This means not meeting in groups, eliminating all but the most necessary of travel, and continuing to practice good hygiene and sanitation whenever possible. It is now also advisable to self-isolate after returning from travel within Canada as well as from abroad. While border communities have been assured of leniency at closed border crossings, it is not recommended that citizens travel across the border into the United States if at all possible.
Grand Council continues to work with the regional organizations of Treaty 3 to assist in coordinating relief measures. Grand Council and the Ogichidaa have been inspired by the individual efforts of people within our communities that have banded together to organize food delivery, care for elders, and made available for community members essentials such as firewood and traditional medicines. Efforts are being made to flow funding to ensure it is possible to continue these community and regional efforts for the duration of this emergency.
It is times like this that we must draw upon our Anishinaabe history and identity to care for one another and to remember that it is at times like this that we must sacrifice our own comfort and habits for the greater good of our communities and our Nation.