Chief’s Letter No. 3

Dear Members of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation,

In our continued efforts to keep you updated and informed, this edition of the newsletter includes the most recent health and economic resources. Please take the time to read it through and also check our Facebook pages regularly for updates in between publications of the newsletter. Also, consider calling your friends and relatives who may not be online and share this information with them.

Since my last letter, there has been a death from COVID-19 in Six Nations. The number of infections and deaths in several provinces and states have yet to peak. While we are seeing numbers well below the provincial projections in Ontario, it is still very important that we continue to self-isolate. These numbers are a sign our efforts are working but we need to continue to be proactive if we want to keep it that way and ensure we don’t experience a second wave of infections. Remember that people can be infected without showing symptoms and can be spreading the virus without even knowing it.

The Emergency Response Control Group recently implemented additional checkpoints at both Ruby and Crimson Maple Rd. While we have done our best to notify the public that all businesses are closed, and non-essential visits and travel are discouraged, we are still seeing a significant flow of traffic through our checkpoints. This traffic is a threat to the health and safety of our most vulnerable residents, and it will be recorded and forwarded to the OPP if necessary.

I know that it seems like most of our communication and information is focused on the kinds of activities that are restricted, so I would like to take a moment and highlight some of the things that I enjoy and you can do while in self-isolation:

  • Spring wild turkey hunt, fish and trap alone or with members of your household
  • Greet your neighbors outdoors as long as you are more than 2 meters apart and do not exchange any items
  • Go for a walk alone or with members of your household
  • Plant a garden
  • learn from Elders and Knowledge Keepers by phone or by watching webcasts about medicines, spending time on the land, language, stories, ceremonies, songs, etc.
  • Call your relatives and friends who live off reserve
  • DANCE (Check out our new “Dance Challenge” video on YouTube:


There have been some important updates to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and there is now a dedicated toll-free phone line for First Nation members who need help with applications for both Employment Insurance and the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Service Canada’s Outreach Support Centre line is 1-877-631- 2657.

If you have specific questions about any of the COVID-19 services provided by the federal or provincial governments, an up-to-date and direct source of information is your local MP and MPP offices. recommend you phone these offices if you have questions.

Who is your local MP and MPP? It depends on where you live. If you are not sure, google “find my MP” or “find my MPP” and this will come up):

The Anishinabek Nation and The Chiefs of Ontario con- tinue to publish excellent updates:

https://www.anishinabek.ca/covid-19

https://www.coo-covid19.com

Please take care of yourselves and others (from a distance!) during this difficult time. Join me in thanking all of our staff and volunteers that continue to ensure our collective health and safety. While it is important to be critical and highlight ways we can all improve our response, please remember that we need to honor and respect each other and find ways to express kindness and gratitude as well.

Wendy Jocko, Chief