The Mowachaht/Muchalaht Boat ramp near Muchalat Inlet, British Columbia. (Wikimedia commons)

Vancouver Island First Nations council calls on B.C. to act after first COVID-19 case on reserve

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council representing 14 Nations calls the first case on Mowachaht/Muchalaht reserve a ‘critical situation’

The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council (NTC) has called on the provincial government to act after the first case of COVID-19 was reported yesterday on Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation (MMFN) reserve land in Gold River.

READ MORE : ‘It’s scary’: Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation identifies first COVID-19 case

The MMFN, acting administrator, Rene Mitchell told Black Press that the First Nation is monitoring the situation closely and implementing all necessary protocols to prevent community spread.

In a statement, NTC- that represents 14 Vancouver Island First Nations, has called on Premier John Horgan and Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Minister Scott Fraser to support the council and First Nations to prevent the spread of the virus in their communities.

On June 9, the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council issued four requirements they wanted in place before the province opened up to Stage 3.

But it was not until the Heiltsuk, Tsilhqot’in and Nuu- chah-nulth issued a collective statement on June 28 that the province started paying attention to those requirements.

It was not until mid-July that a table with B.C. and the three Nations was established, where they could talk about these four requirements: rapid testing, screening of people before coming into the territory, training and implementation of culturally safe contact tracing, and a communications protocol that would ensure Nuu-chah-nulth Nations know the location of a COVID-19 case that is close to their communities, so they could be properly prepared.

Judith Sayers, president of NTC called the first case of COVID-19 on MMFN reserve a “critical situation,” and added, “having a damaging case of COVID on reserve is what we have been working against for some months now.”

“When the province opened to Stage 3 without our consent, the numbers of new COVID cases have tripled and even quadrupled daily and we knew it was a matter of time before one of our on-reserve members contracted the virus. Premier John Horgan and Minister Scott Fraser must mandate the tables we have set up so we can find immediate solutions to protect our members. We must not wait any longer and certainly do not want an outbreak in our communities before the province reacts,” said Sayers.

Mariah Charleson, vice president of NTC said that despite all their efforts to have B.C. meet the Vancouver Island First Nations’ basic health requirements, they have not been able to find viable solutions.

“We call on the government of B.C. and all its health authorities to work closely with NTC and our Nations to support our communities with what we need to prevent the spreading of this devastating virus to our members. This is a great opportunity for Premier Horgan and B.C. to step up to the challenge and practice true reconciliation; we demand action,” said Charleson.

“Let us work together so there are no more cases on reserve for Nuu-chah-nulth people,” said Sayers.

CoronavirusFirst NationsHealth

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

QUINN’S QUIPS: I was raised a reader, and I’m passing it on

Alberni Valley News’ editor shares memories of reading to her niece

ALBERNI GOLF: Nielson leads the way in men’s golf

Sunday, Sept. 27 will be an 18-hole two-man alternate shot event

ARTS AROUND: Grandmother and grandson team up for art exhibit in Port Alberni

This will be Pam Turner’s first art show in 17 years.

Ucluelet mayor criticizes province’s lack of communication as highway closures resume

Daily closures return to only highway in and out of Tofino-Ucluelet

Port Alberni SPCA’s Animeals program needs help

Food donations for pets in need have dropped off due to COVID-19

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Cops for Cancer: COVID-19 can’t stop Tour de Rock

‘having the chance to come back and ride this year means everything to me’

‘It’s a boy’: Southern Resident killer whale calf born to J Pod is healthy, researchers say

J35 had previously done a ‘Tour of Grief,’ carrying her dead calf for 17 days

Most Read