NOTE: A previous version of this media release incorrectly stated that the public health orders restricting travel would be going into effect on Thursday, September 3. The release has since been updated to display the correct information.

To view this release in a PDF format, please click here


For immediate release
August 31, 2020


Treaty Five Territory, Thompson, MB – Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) is responding to an update made today by Dr. Brent Roussin, Chief Medical Officer for Manitoba. Dr. Roussin announced that a public health order that restricts travel in Northern Manitoba is coming into effect later this week on Friday, September 4, 2020.

“I want to commend Dr. Roussin for working closely with MKO and Northern First Nations in working to protect our citizens from the COVID-19 virus,” stated Grand Chief Garrison Settee. “We are fortunate that to date, our measures have been effective in keeping COVID-19 out of the First Nations in Northern Manitoba. On behalf of MKO, I send my thanks to Dr. Roussin as well as the Province of Manitoba for listening to First Nations leadership and putting this measure is put into place. We have no cases of COVID-19 in our MKO First Nations and our leaders and citizens continue to do everything they can to prevent the introduction of this virus into our communities.”

Updated public health orders will take effect on September 4, 2020. The orders prohibiting travel to Northern Manitoba (north of the 53rd parallel of latitude) will have exceptions. MKO will share more information about the details of the order once they become available.

“Northern First Nations called for the closure of non-essential travel to Northern Manitoba due to their understanding that we need to take as many measures as we can to stop this virus from spreading during this unprecedented situation,” said Grand Chief Settee.

MKO shares regular updates on our social media accounts and on a new webpage at



For more information:
Melanie Ferris, Communications Officer
Phone: 204-612-1284
Email: [email protected]

Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) is a non-profit, political advocacy organization that has represented 26 First Nation communities in Manitoba’s North since 1981. The MKO represents more than 72,000 First Nations people.