Chief’s Letter No. 1

As you are aware, Council has declared a state of emergency in Pikwakanagan. This had to be done to protect our Community. We have a number of vulnerable people in our community, which include our elderly and those with respiratory and other health issues. All businesses have been closed until further notice in an effort to reduce the amount of traffic within our community and hopefully reduce the amount of possible community transmission. These are troubling times that we are in and we have to take decisive measures to slow the spread.

As of April 1st, there were approximately 2400 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ontario, with 7 confirmed in Renfrew County. This may seem like a small amount, but the spread is aggressive and, as we have seen in other places around the world, those numbers can quickly become overwhelming. Chi miigwetch to businesses, organizations, families and individuals who have acknowledged and respected the severity of the threat this virus presents. We must stay safe, we must think of our elders, our children, our families and friends.

Without proper social distancing and precautions, one person could infect many and those could infect many more. Protect yourself and protect those you love, stay home. If you have to go out for essential supplies, please go alone, practice safe social distancing, disinfect your supplies once you return, wash your hands thoroughly and frequently and avoid touching your face. There are resources and services available if you are unable to leave your home because you fall into an at-risk category OR you cannot afford to buy food. If in need of food and supplies, CALL (613) 625-2259.

There is a lot of information online regarding COVID-19. Please be aware that there is also a lot of misinformation circulating. Consult trusted sources first and limit your consumption of information if it becomes overwhelming. Your mental health is as important as your physical health in these trying times. There are a number of activities you can still do without risking transmission. For example, you can go for a walk alone or with members of your household and enjoy the Spring season. We are blessed to live in an area where there is plenty of space for us all to enjoy the outdoors without coming into contact with anyone else.

Please consult the previous newsletter dated March 27 for comprehensive resources, advice and guidelines. The Emergency Response Control Group is working tirelessly to provide updates and coordinate resources to meet the needs of the community. Please be kind and supportive to the members of the Emergency Response Control Group as they are under extreme pressure, with the weight of the safety of the entire community on their shoulders. Kindness, gratitude and generosity of spirit are also essential in our fight to overcome COVID-19.

Stay safe and stay healthy

Wendy Jocko, Chief