For immediate release
September 28, 2020
Treaty Five Territory, Thompson, MB – Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Inc. is responding to news of confirmed cases in Northern First Nations.
“Two MKO First Nations have recently announced that they have had cases of COVID confirmed amongst people living in their communities,” stated Grand Chief Garrison Settee. “I have the utmost confidence in our leaders that they will continue to work diligently with public health to handle these cases and work to contain the spread of the virus.”
The two First Nations that have publicly confirmed COVID cases in their communities are the Tataskweyak Cree Nation and York Factory First Nation.
“First Nations and Northern residents have worked extremely hard to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Northern Manitoba,” said Grand Chief Settee. “I recognize the efforts shown by leaders and other residents to help prevent the transmission of this virus to our communities. I encourage all Northern residents to remain vigilant but also to remember to be kind. There has been a lot of stigma attached to people who test positive for COVID-19. Anyone can test positive and there is no need to shame or stigmatize a person who goes for testing or who has the virus. Let’s continue to spread kindness and show support to anyone who becomes ill. It can happen to any one of us.”
MKO’s role with Northern First Nations is to provide advocacy to its leadership. MKO will continue to work closely with the leadership in First Nations to stay informed of any challenges they are facing when it comes to responding to the pandemic and in turn, MKO will advocate on behalf of the First Nations on an as-needed basis.
Chief Doreen Spence of the Tataskweyak Cree Nation and Chief Leroy Constant of York Factory First Nation are focusing on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and are not responding to media requests at this time.
The notices from Tataskweyak Cree Nation and York Factory First Nation are shared below.