Six Nations closes schools until 2021 in COVID-19 fight

By Lynda Powless


SIX NATIONS OF THE GRAND-Six Nations has been in a State of Community Emergency for 219 days and as of Friday Oct., 16th, has 29 active cases and seven postive cases that came in Friday sparking Six Nations Elected Council (SNEC) to call for the closure of all Six Nations schools for the rest of the year.

Six Nations Elected Chief Mark Hill said during a radio update Friday, SNEC passed four motions at a special closed council meeting dealing with COVID-19. Those motions included closing the schools until January 2021 with a reassessment of the decision in December 2020. The schools will continue to remain open to faculty.

At the same closed meeting he said SNEC agreed it will not be erecting any checkpoints closing off the territory at this time.

He said SNEC is also discouraging Halloween events. “Six Nations Elected Council is strongly discouraging any Halloween activities including house to house trick or treating or events,” he said.  Instead he said SNEC will be holding a drive through event Oct 30th from 4 to 7 pm. He said more information on the event will be coming.

.He said the Six Nations Assessment Centre had, as of Friday, completed 2,385 VOVID-19 tests.

He said with the rise in COVID-19 numbers SNEC is continuing to advise community members to restrict any gatherings, indoors or outdoors to household members only

He said SNEC passed a motion making wearing of masks mandatory for any visitors to the community.

He said the only exceptionsto the mandatory mask wearing are children under the age of 2 or those with medical issues or disabilities that prohibts the ability to wear, or take on or off masks without assistance.

He said Six Nations Assessment Centre team have been working long hours and extended the testing hours on weekends and during the recent holiday to accommodate the recent surge in cases.

He said health care workers worked through the holiday without rest “and we need to show our support for our health care workers and our four principles.”

He said the number one principal that is becoming slack in the community is the holding of large non-essential gatherings and travel. “We need to tighten up as we did in March and gather only with your immediate household.” He said if the gatherings continue to happy the CVID-19 numbers will continue to rise.

He is also calling on the community to provide all necessary information to health care staff to allow for complete tracing to occur. “Be honest with health care staff and provide accurate tracing information. If you cannot recall who you have been in contact with in the past 14 days then you are overdoing your activities,” he said.

He said the core principles including:

Stay home when ill.

Maintaining physical distancing from others outside your immediate households

Wash your hands or clean with sanitizer and clean high traffic areas in your home and workplace

And Wear a mask!

He said the14 day isolation is still in effect for those returning from travelling and community members should be cautious of travelling to any nearby hotspot areas including Toronto, Peel, Hamilton  and Ottawa.

He said Six Nations campaign “Protect our People” requires community members to please follow health official’s advice. They are the experts and working tirelessly for us, we need to follow their guidance.”

He said for Six Nations “flattening the curve is our top priority right now.”

He told community members they are all in this together. “It’s not about shaming one another. We are all in this together. We want to be having a huge reminder of what we have to do to protect each and every one. I have seen conversations from community members saying they are getting a stigma from coming back after having a positive case.”

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