The Secwepemc Nation has declared a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Nation’s administration offices are closed and will only be providing essential services until further notice.
Band leaders have called on provincial and federal governments to ensure Secwepemc members have adequate access to care throughout the pandemic, equivalent to the general public.
In a display of social distancing, key staff members from Secwepemc communities met virtually to discuss the measures they’ll undertake to prevent the spread of COVID-19 locally.
Those measures include promoting “the Five”:
- HANDS Wash them Often
- ELBOW Cough into it
- FACE Don’t touch it
- FEET Stay more than 3ft apart
- FEEL sick? Stay home
The Nation also tasks itself with providing adequate and timely funding to support all members, sharing resources between communities, securing access to all essential materials, ensuring food security and coordinating communication to resolve concerns as they arise.
“Secwepemc Nation members stand to have considerable impacts on our most vulnerable Elders, immunocompromised and members with pre-existing and chronic health conditions,” Secwepemc Kukukwpi7 representatives said Monday, March 23. “It is the duty of each of us to care for one another.”
On March 25 Splatsin Indian Band Chief Wayne Christian offered a message to the public regarding the pandemic.
“We are in an extraordinary time and we must act like COVID-19 is here in the community and take all of the precautions as advised by health professionals,” Christian said. “Look after yourself and look after your family, especially your parents and grandparents. Maintain physical distance but emotional connection.
“If you haven’t been following the Provincial Health Officer’s direction on social distancing, now is the time for every British Columbian to do so. Do it for the ones you love. Do it for the ones you don’t know. We need everyone together in this response.”