Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation declares state of emergency

Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (NCN) declared a state of emergency encompassing all NCN lands that took effect March 20 at 6 p.m., “to minimize the risks related to the current coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) declared by the World Health Organization.” The state of emergency includes an alcohol ban. 

In a social media release, the NCN said that consequences for violating state of emergency rules might include: eviction, banishment, imprisonment or fines consistent with the NCN community protection laws.

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“A ban on non-essential travel into and out of the community will go into effect at 8 p.m. on Sunday March 22, 2020 for all persons, except those providing essential services in accordance with NCN’s Communicable Disease Emergency Plan, all medical personnel, utility providers, designated NCN advisors, members of Chief and Council, medical emergencies where the NCN Health Director or her designate determine the risk to the individual requires assistance at the Nursing Station, and any other personnel designated in writing by Chief and Council as the need arises,” the NCN stipulated.
“All persons arriving at the roadside check-stop will be required to fill out a questionnaire for tracking and monitoring visitors to the community to ensure compliance with the non-essential travel ban.”

The NCN said that all schools and non-essential services would be closed March 21 at 6 p.m. 

“A ban on the transportation of alcohol onto NCN Lands will go into effect,” they said. “Private and public gatherings of more than fifty are prohibited. All NCN citizens and residents on NCN lands are to remain in the community until Chief and Council, or its designate indicates it is safe to resume normal activities, but NCN citizens and residents on NCN lands will be permitted to access their traditional camps by snowmobile only unless health officials advise that such activities must cease to protect the health and safety of the community.”

NCN explained that all people heading to traditional camps by snowmobile “must first report to a First Nation Safety Officer and indicate when they are leaving for and returning from camp." 

“There will be no delivery of any products to them at camp, including but not limited to alcohol or cannabis and that they will not use routes to their camp to then travel to urban areas such as Leaf Rapids or Thompson,” they said. “This order applies to all individuals and businesses on NCN lands, excluding the Mystery Lake Lands, which are subject to separate requirements.”

© Melita New Era