MEET THE CHIEF: Garden River First Nation Chief Andy Rickford, community working to combat COVID and identifying unmarked graves

By Victoria Gray Writer Garden River First Nation took an aggressive position to protect the community from COVID-19 and continue to have strict guidelines and it kept them COVID-19 free for most of the pandemic. The Ojibway First Nation has about 3,100 members of whom 1,250 live on the reserve. The community has managed to have come through the worst of the fourth wave of the pandemic with 20 cases of the virus in the community and no deaths. Like other communities in Ontario the Algoma Health Unit was too overwhelmed to give them a proper count of COVD-19 cases in the community. Part of the problem was not having a testing facility on-reserve forcing people into Sault St. Marie. Chief Andy Rickford said the surrounding area of Sault St….

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