Chief Allan Adam said plans are underway in the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The leadership organized a telephone town hall for ACFN members on March 14, 2020.
ACFN Chief and Council, other Indigenous leaders, and health experts provide them with up-to-date and accurate information.
Chief Adam said he understands their feelings of anxiety, concern, and uncertainty.
“Around the world, this pandemic has created fear and our community has vulnerable individuals such as Elders and those with pre-existing health conditions. The telephone town hall is just one way we are communicating with our Members to ensure they have all the information they need during this challenging time.”
Experts from Nunee Health, Alberta Health Services, Alberta Emergency Management, RMWB, Indigenous Services Canada, and First Nations and Inuit Health Branch participated.
Members asked them and ACFN Chief and Council about the ongoing situation during the town hall.
Chief Adam said recent history shows the Nation must take decisive action.
“During the wildfire in 2016, and again during the recent municipal incident at the water treatment plant in Janvier, we learned that we cannot rely on other levels of government to communicate with First Nations. As a strong and independent Nation, we are taking decisive action and working around the clock to support our Members.”
He added exhaustive and comprehensive response planning for the ACFN is underway.
“We continue to work on plans to support our Members during this time, including how to best support our Members not just in the short term, but also over the long-term.”
Regular updates for members are available on the ACFN website.