The Tsakis reserve is closed to non-essential visitors until Dec. 7. (Zoe Ducklow photo)

North Island First Nations update COVID-19 response after ‘Auntie Bonnie’s’ recommendations

"We have to protect our vulnerable people."

  • Nov. 24, 2020 12:00 a.m.

Kwakiutl First Nation has once again closed their Tsakis reserve (Fort Rupert) to non-essential visitors as of Nov. 23, for at least two weeks while provincial coronavirus restrictions are in place.

The checkpoint will be staffed between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. by Aries Security as a “gentle reminder to people that we have to be cautious of who comes onto our reserve. We have to protect our vulnerable people,” said elected chief Ross Hunt Jr.

“This is all in alignment with the recommendations from Auntie Bonnie, as people call her,” Hunt Jr. added, referring to Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

“We just keep reiterating people’s patience and understanding, and to please respect people’s bubbles.”

Quatsino First Nation at Coal Harbour has implemented phase Orange of its new colour-coded COVID-19 response phase system, as of Nov. 22.

This phase asks all residents to limit their travel to the North Island (north of Comox), wear masks, limit gatherings to household groups, self-isolate for two weeks if they do travel past Comox, and to restrict visitors to the reserve to only essential or direct business meetings.

The nation hired a temporary director for their emergency operations centre, Chad Pacholik, who has helped develop the response plan and will continue working with the nation to stay on top of the evolving pandemic.

Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw First Nations is setting up a checkpoint at the entrance to the Tsulquate reserve, to take effect Nov. 27. In the meantime, signage is still posted requesting that all visitors wear masks and that anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or anyone who has travelled within the last 14 days to not enter the reserve.

READ MORE: 6 things you need to know about B.C.’s latest COVID-19 health orders

READ MORE: Latest COVID-19 restrictions starting to show results in B.C.

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