Originally published in the April 24, 2020 edition of Pikwakanagan Tibàdjumowin
Dear members of The Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation,
This letter will be short and sweet compared to my last letters; I know there is a lot to review and digest in these newsletters.
We remain in a holding pattern in a state of emergency and, while the number of cases and deaths are appearing to level out, we are not going to change our response. Other First Nations and other jurisdictions are considering easing some of the re- strictions and we will watch closely and seek advice regarding the best course of action for Pikwakanagan. It is precisely because we have been swift, decisive, and complete in our response that we have been able to keep the virus away. A decision to reopen for short term economic benefit will be of no benefit at all if the longer-term outcome is a loss of life.
Some of the important things to consider when eval- uating our collective response as a First Nation, or your own personal response to this pandemic are: What is a life worth? How do you value a life? Is a visit or activity worth the death of a relative or friend? What are we really giving up?
We are grateful to the frontline workers who are sacrificing their personal safety and the businesses who are sacrificing their profit and livelihood to save the most vulnerable amongst us. Every day I am count- ing our collective blessings and my personal bless- ings. To wake up each day is a blessing. Life can be quite a struggle at times. Please, see the following poem “Desiderata”, a concise but truly inspiring re- minder to strive for the high ideals. It reminds us to treat others kindly, to accept who they are and to be gentle with ourselves.
Wendy Jocko, Chief