Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation southwest of Williams Lake identifies positive COVID-19 case

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Check-points will be monitoring visitors and traffic traveling in Stswecem’c (Canoe Creek) and Xgat’tem (Dog Creek) communities after a positive COVID-19 case has been confirmed.

In a Dec. 18 notice, Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation chief and council said every precaution is being taken to stop the spread after the limited exposure.

An on-reserve member returning from Kamloops had tested positive for COVID-19 after signs of pneumonia.

Kukpi7 (chief) Hillary (Hank) Adam said he wanted to reassure on-reserve members that all protocols are in place.

“The emergency operations centre is a key part of co-ordinating our efforts to make sure that we contain any exposure that might have happened,” he said in a statement, noting the disease is affecting the First Nations population at a higher rate than that of the non-Indigenous population.

“We will need to be twice as vigilant through the holidays,” he added.

Nearly 300 members live on-reserve at the semi-remote Indigenous community located under 100 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake along the Fraser River, according to the B.C. Assembly of First Nations.

Adam said their most important goal is to protect the health of their elders.

“I’m asking everyone to stay in their bubble through the rest of the year and do all the recommended things you can do to stop the spread.”

Rebecca Dyok, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Williams Lake Tribune