Curve Lake First Nation asking visitors to Think Twice

·2 min read

In order to better control the COVID-19 pandemic, Curve Lake First Nation is asking visitors to Think Twice before visiting the community.

Signs are now placed within Curve Lake First Nation to let people know it’s not a good time to visit the First Nation. In a recent statement Chief Emily Whetung relayed a message to those from the hot zones to stay out all together.

“We are strongly recommending that all individuals from Red-Control or Grey Lockdown zones refrain from entering the community for any reason. “All seasonal residents are strongly discouraged from entering the community for any reason,” she wrote.

​Chief Whetung said even though there is good news on the horizon, meaning the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc., which according to Ontario Regional Chief Roseanne Archibald is now approved for 135 First Nations across Ontario, she is adamant about keeping the community safe and free of an outbreak.

“As the holidays approach, we must be creative in the way that we celebrate with each other and keep public health measures top of mind to ensure the safety of our friends, family and loved ones,” she added in the statement to the community.

​Yet, recently and after the signs erected asking those to “think twice,” a new gas station took to ad campaign to invite consumers to the First Nation to purchase fuel. When asked about the flood of people after the statement was issued, Chief Whetung did not reply to request for comment.

However, she did go on to say in the statement the administration continues to ensure businesses have precautionary measures in place and that they are supported in doing everything they can to keep the community safe.

​Other area First Nations have already taken the necessary steps to stop the spread of the coronavirus form entering their communities. Hiawatha First Nation put out a notice early last month where Chief Laurie Carr indicated the First Nation is stepping back from Phase 3, and those who are from the “hot zones,” are not to visit and respect the First Nation's decision in protecting their elders and residents from contacting COVID-19.

All First Nations and other Indigenous organizations are closed until Jan 4, where Chiefs have not indicated if their shutdown would last longer.

Curve Lake First Nation council has decided to open The Oshkiigamong Early Learning Centre and Curve Lake School, where the process of reopening is set for Jan 4. Chief Whetung said the First Nation is monitoring the COVID-19 situation during the holidays.

“If stricter local measures are necessary in conjunction with public health, I would call an emergency council meeting to discuss any threats to the community,” she wrote.

​Meanwhile, Ontario premier Doug Ford has announced a province-wide lockdown starting Dec. 26, allowing only essential business to offer in-person shopping at a reduced capacity.

Natalie Hamilton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Peterborough This Week