Message to the Snuneymuxw community for the COVID-19 Disease - UPDATED WEEKLY

Jun. 12/20

Download the Snuneymuxw First Nation COVID19 Bylaw below

Download the Snuneymuxw First Nation's Financial Response for the Community

Download the Snuneymuxw First Nation Health Protocol 

Download the Snuneymuxw First Nation Safety Plan

 

Please also see the COVID-19 FAQ's attached below. 

Click here for Nanaimo-Ladysmith Federal Gov finacial help information.

Click here for BC Provincial Gov COVID19 information.

Click here for the COVID-19 assessment tool.

Click here for the First Nations Health Authority COVID-19 website providing up to date medical information.

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COVID-19 Statements from Chief Mike Wyse 

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June 26, 2020
 

 Good Day Snuneymuxw,

We are now entering the summer season and I hope that you take an opportunity to get outside and enjoy our beautiful lands and waters. We have come a long way in the past several months which I can confidently say shows our Snuneymuxw unity, kindness and strength. Our Nation should be very proud of that. I would like to remind everyone that we will all have to do our part to continue to practice personal and professional hygiene, continue to social distance but please stay connected with one another.

We will continue to practice the Snuneymuxw COVID-19 Safety Plan and workplace safety requirements throughout the summer. Please remind friends and families that our services are still operating using enhanced safety processes by appointment only. Please watch the website and Facebook for continued updates and announcements over the next several months regarding the access and use of Snuneymuxw public facilities (gym and fitness room, longhouse kitchen) and service buildings. I commend you again as all of us continue to do our part, as individuals and families, to protect our Nation.

As we all enjoy our summer season, I would like to remind you that if you decide to travel around BC, please practice the same precautions you have been using over the past several months. Enjoy the lakes, beaches, parks, restaurants and Saysutshun while keeping your groups small and social distancing where possible. We live in beautiful territories so I encourage you to have fun this summer!

Finally, congratulations to all our 2020 Graduates, we are so proud of all of you! Join us on Monday, June 29th at 1 pm on Centre Street to show your support and cheers to our Grads.

Have a good weekend!

Respectfully,

Chief Mike Wyse

 

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June 12, 2020
 

 Good afternoon Snuneymuxw, 

Our Nation can join together with hope and happiness that there have been no new cases reported in and around our Territory. We raise our hands to all who have followed the safety instructions so well.

British Columbia has now entered Phase 3 of their reopening plan. Parks, campgrounds, hotels and expanded restaurant services can now be enjoyed by customers. Even though the province is moving into the next phase, Snuneymuxw public facilities and service buildings will remain closed to the public. Our Nation will continue to deliver services by appointment only with social distancing and enhanced cleanliness procedures in place. These safe operations will continue until further notice. Communications will go out to community when things change, so please watch the Snuneymuxw website or Facebook page for additional updates regarding this.

I would also like to inform the community that the final round of the COVID-19 benefit payments has been issued to Snuneymuxw families to help offset financial hardship due to the pandemic. This is a one-time payment of $200 made available for Snuneymuxw citizens to access from the Nation if they are in need. Well over a majority of Snuneymuxw people received this financial assistance. Again, I am proud of the work of our multi-departmental collaboration to make this happen, responding in a timely fashion to the needs of our people. If more financial assistance for our Nation becomes available, we will let you know. I would like to note that these COVID-19 benefit payments are separate from the social assistance top ups that has been made available to social assistance clients.

Our Nation truly appreciates the support of the community during this difficult time and transition to the new normal. We will continue to work hard to adapt to changes and communicate them to you.

Have a good weekend!

 

Respectfully,

Chief Mike Wyse

 

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 June 5, 2020

 

Good afternoon Snuneymuxw,

We have come a long way since the start of the pandemic and your willpower has compelled our Nation forward. This Snuneymuxw unity, compassion and determination has lifted us to rise above the many challenges we have faced together, and this is something to be proud of.

The Snuneymuxw COVID-19 Safety Plan outline several WorkSafeBC procedures and workplace safety requirements for re-starting operations. On June 1, 2020 Snuneymuxw employees began returning to work and everyone must follow the new instructions for access and use of Snuneymuxw public facilities (gym and fitness room, longhouse kitchen) and service buildings (band office, health center, QQS, woodbank, daycare, Petroglyph Development Group). People are no longer permitted to enter and exit these places freely and services will be by appointment only. To find out more about all of the workplace safety measures, please visit the Snuneymuxw website to view the Snuneymuxw COVID-19 Safety Plan. With this new normal, all of us must continue to do our part, as individuals and families, to protect our Nation.

On behalf of Chief and Council, thank you for working together as one as we move forward through this pandemic, safely and cautiously. If you have any questions or concerns please contact our office at 250-740-2300 and we will ensure these are addressed.

 

Respectfully,

Chief Mike Wyse

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 May 29, 2020

 

Dear Snuneymuxw,

Over the past couple of weeks, there are periods of time when the Provincial Health Officer has reported consecutive days for no test positive cases for the coronavirus in the Vancouver Island Health Region. With the transmission rate lowering in our area, we must remain vigilant to prevent an outbreak by practicing the protective health measures.

Last evening, Snuneymuxw Chief and Council authorized the Snuneymuxw COVID-19 Safety Plan that will govern our Nation to resume some operations. The plan outlines safe procedures and operations for the return to work of Snuneymuxw employees, and is the result of collaborative engagement between Chief and Council and senior staff. As we move from shutdown to partial re-open, health officials advise that social interaction may increase to 60% and moving to the next phase requires the transmission rate to remain low. Our resumption of operations heeds this advice and ensures a safe workplace.

On May 31 of this year, the COVID-19 bylaw officers who monitor various access points into our reserves will discontinue. I want to thank our bylaw officers for their service to our Nation. During this transition, we will have to do our part to practice enhanced personal and professional hygiene, continue to social distance and stay connected with one another.

Today, our Nation processed more COVID-19 benefit payments for Snuneymuxw families to offset the financial hardship due to the pandemic. Almost all Snuneymuxw citizens received financial assistance from Snuneymuxw and I am proud of the work of our multi-departmental collaboration to make this happen. Thank you.

Please be safe and enjoy the weekend with your family.

 

Respectfully,

Chief Mike Wyse

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 May 22, 2020

 

Good day Snuneymuxw,

I hope you are all keeping well and safe during these unprecedented times in our community. As of today, there are a total of 2,479 test positive cases for the coronavirus in B.C. However, over 2,000 cases are fully recovered, which is good news for those families affected.

To date, there are no reported cases amongst our Snuneymuxw people, which shows our strong community care as we face this pandemic as a Nation. Thank you all for staying home and practicing social distancing. These protective measures are helping to protect our Nation.

The SFN COVID-19 By-law continues to protect our Nation by prohibiting public access into our Snuneymuxw reserves except for residents and essential service providers. This security measure will continue until Chief and Council review and approve safe options to restart our Nation. This may not coincide with the B.C. government timelines to re-open public places and allow small gatherings. Please continue to limit your social gatherings to your household and immediate family members. As we look forward to the warmer weather and coming summer, I encourage you all to get outside and enjoy our beautiful lands.

Chief and Council continue to work to implement plans and strategies for going forward and creating a safe and happy environment for our people. I will update you more on those as decisions are made.

On behalf of Chief and Council, I want to extend deepest condolences to Snuneymuxw families who have lost a loved one. Our community is here to help each other and be a source of strength as we support one another to walk forward together.

 

Respectfully,

Chief Mike Wyse

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 May 15, 2020

Dear Snuneymuxw,

On behalf of Chief and Council, I want to extend deepest condolences to Snuneymuxw families who have lost a loved one. Snuneymuxw people always work together to embrace a grieving family and support them as they take their last walk with a relative. Our community compassion, unity and teachings are a source of strength as we support one another to walk forward together.

The rate of transmission for COVID-19 is declining in B.C. and the Vancouver Island region reported consecutive days for no new test positive cases, until yesterday. The provincial health officer announced that 2,392 people in B.C. have tested positive for Covid-19, 372 cases are active, 1,885 have recovered, and 135 people have died. Overall, people in B.C. have reduced social interactions by 30%.

May long weekend is ahead of us and we must be mindful that the spread of COVID-19 is still happening. We must all continue to do our part to help prevent the outbreak of the virus by continuing to practice the protective health measures. In mid-May, British Columbia may move into phase 2 of the B.C. Restart Plan. In the coming weeks, Chief and Council will announce a slow and steady approach to re-start our Nation.

This week, more COVID-19 benefit payments were processed for Snuneymuxw families to help offset financial hardship due to the pandemic. Please allow for three (3) to ten (10) business days to receive the financial assistance. Over the last couple of weeks, our Nation has been able to connect with a majority of Snuneymuxw citizens during these challenging times. The work of the Snuneymuxw Team to make this happen is remarkable. Thank you.

Please be safe during Victoria Day Long Weekend and try to stay home.
 

Respectfully,

Chief Mike Wyse

 

 

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 May 8, 2020

Good day Snuneymuxw,

As we turn our minds to thinking about what the ‘new normal’ may be for each one of us, we must practice enhanced personal and professional hygiene and continue to physically distance ourselves while out in public places.

Your diligence to do everything you can to protect yourself, your family and our community has helped to slow the transmission of the coronavirus in our area. The Government of British Columbia outlined a plan to safely restart the economy in phases. Over the next couple of months, health restrictions will slowly be lifted, some people may be able to go back to work and some businesses will be permitted to reopen. But the spread of the virus has not stopped which is why we must remain vigilant to protect our community.

Snuneymuxw Chief and Council is considering the impacts to our Nation as a result of government plans to restart the economy. Snuneymuxw facilities and service buildings will remain closed until Chief and Council put forward a plan that outlines a way forward for our people. Trust and confidence in one another are important for our collective path forward into a ‘new normal’ to be successful.

Our Nation has processed over 1,100 COVID-19 benefit payments for Snuneymuxw families to help offset financial hardship during the pandemic. Most of you have received it but some of you have reached out to advise that you have not. Our staff are responding to all inquiries and dealing with a high volume of financial transactions. I assure you we are doing the best we can to resolve every question as we receive them.

On behalf of our Nation, I wish all the mothers a very Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Respectfully,

Chief Mike Wyse

 

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 May 1, 2020
 

Good afternoon Snuneymuxw,

Yesterday, the public health officer announced a total of 2,112 test positive cases for the coronavirus in B.C. Our community strength to overcome the challenges we face as a Nation during this pandemic is extraordinary.

Our community resilience is a result of all Snuneymuxw people working together. Snuneymuxw leadership, staff and community bind together to ensure the emergency needs of our people are addressed. I want to thank all of you for your dedication and allegiance during these difficult times.

Today, our Nation processed more COVID-19 benefit payments for Snuneymuxw citizens. If you contacted our Nation before April 24, 2020 to receive financial assistance, please allow for three (3) to ten (10) business days to receive it. If you have not contacted our Nation yet, please call 250-740-2300 between 9:00AM–4:00PM on Monday – Friday in order to receive a COVID-19 benefit payment on May 14, 2020.

You may notice that Canada and B.C. are beginning to discuss ways to restart the economy. But this does not mean restrictions are lifted. We must remain strong and continue to social distance and stay home as much as possible. The Snuneymuxw First Nation state of emergency and the Snuneymuxw COVID-19 bylaw is still in effect. However, our Nation must be included within government economic recovery plans so that Snuneymuxw people are supported after the pandemic.

The more we follow the instructions of the health authorities, the better off we will be in the future. When the health authorities advise it is ok for us to gather as a community, our Nation will host a feast to bring our people together.

Please be safe and let’s continue to work together to flatten the curve for COVID-19.
 

Respectfully,

Chief Mike Wyse

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April 24, 2020

Dear Snuneymuxw,

When the public health orders began, our Nation put in place an emergency process and systems that enhance the protection of health and safety for our staff and community. Governance work is anchored on the inherent rights and authority of our Nation, and notably the Nation-to-Nation relationship with Canada under the Treaty of 1854, and Government-to-Government relationship with British Columbia. Using these powers and authorities our Nation took the following steps:

Emergency office and facilities closure and authorization for staff to work from home (March 18, 2020)

Snuneymuxw Health Plan for Pandemic Preparedness, Response and Emergency (March 19, 2020)

Establishment of a Snuneymuxw Emergency Pandemic Response Team (March 19, 2020)

Emergency operating procedures and emergency assistance (March 19, 2020)

Declaration of State of Emergency including a Band Council Resolution (March 23, 2020)

Snuneymuxw Covid-19 By-Law (March 26, 2020)

Oath of Office and Delegation of Covid-19 By-Law Enforcement Officers (April 3, 2020)

Record of discussion with RCMP for enforcement support (ongoing)

I am proud to report that other First Nations are using our COVID-19 By-law as a template to help them govern through this pandemic. Our Nation is doing the best we can with responding to the challenges posed by the pandemic in a timely fashion however we must continue to work together in order to preserver through these challenging times.

It is critical that we follow the instructions for no gatherings and no public access to our reserves. The pandemic is a serious health emergency and we do not want to heighten the risk of an outbreak in our community. I know it is custom to our people for us to gather. But for the safety and wellbeing of everyone in our community, you are advised not to gather people at your residence or in our community at this time.

Please stay safe and be well. 
 

Respectfully,

Chief Mike Wyse
 

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April 17, 2020

 Good afternoon Snuneymuxw,

Your continued strength, unity, compassion, and determination to get through these challenging times is extraordinary. Walking together with one heart and one mind, is a source of strength for all of us in order to persevere through this pandemic.

This week, our Nation processed approximately 658 COVID-19 benefit payments. This means that 658 Snuneymuxw citizens can expect to receive money from our Nation to help off-set financial hardship for Snuneymuxw families. I want to thank everyone who is working behind the scenes to ensure financial support gets to our people, quickly. Our Nation will process the next cycle of benefit payments on April 23, 2020 and I encourage you to review the weekly newsletter for more information.

Currently, Chief and Council are developing a traditional foods distribution plan that outlines a way to distribute traditional foods to Snuneymuxw people in a safe manner and adheres to public health standards. At this time, traditional food distribution will only take place on Vancouver Island. Snuneymuxw citizens abroad will have an opportunity to receive traditional foods when the public health officer advises the health orders are no longer in effect.

During the Easter long weekend, all of us witnessed BC Ferries transport a high volume of vehicle traffic from the mainland to Vancouver Island. This action heightens the risk of increasing the outbreak on the island. Our Nation is communicating our deep disappointment with the province and BC Ferries for allowing these ferry operations in our traditional territory at Duke Point during a state of emergency.

I want to thank Kwumut Lelum for donating $10,000, the Hope Lutheran Mens Group for donating $400, and Fortis BC for donating $500 to our Nation to help protect and enhance health and safety for our people.

Through these unprecedented times, negotiations and business of our Nation continue. We will have updates for you at a later date.

Please be safe and have a good weekend.

 

Respectfully,

Chief Mike Wyse

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April 9, 2020

 Dear Snuneymuxw,

Earlier this week, the provincial health officer advised that the overall rate for the COVID-19 test positive cases is levelling. But new outbreaks in communities and with vulnerable individuals is happening.

Thank you all for staying home and practicing social distancing. These protective measures are helping to slow the transmission of the virus. But this does not mean we can let up because we are advised the pandemic will continue for many weeks to come. I strongly encourage you to continue to stay home and practice social distancing.

I also want to thank you all for your understanding with our community security. During the state of emergency, restricting public access to our reserve lands help to minimize the risk of an outbreak in our community. I am asking for your support as we move forward.

As you know, our Nation is offering financial assistance to help offset the economic hardship caused by COVID-19 and support Snuneymuxw families who are vulnerable and in need. Information about how to access this financial assistance is shared with you through social media, the Snuneymuxw website and newsletter, and phone calls.

On behalf of Chief and Council, I want to congratulate Marina White in her role as the new Health Manager for our Nation. As well, I would like to recognize Chris Leischner for her commitment and dedication as the Interim Health Director.

Please be safe during the Easter long weekend and avoid non-essential travel.

Respectfully,

Chief Mike Wyse

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April 3, 2020

Dear Snuneymuxw,

Earlier this week I announced that Snuneymuxw Chief and Council has identified funding to support Snuneymuxw members who are impacted by COVID-19 with financial assistance.

We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing economic hardships to some Snuneymuxw families. This is why our Nation will support you to offset economic hardships that you may be experiencing.

If you are a Snuneymuxw citizen over the age of 60 or on income assistance, you will automatically receive financial assistance. However, if you are a Snuneymuxw citizen under the age of 60 and not on income assistance, please contact Charsanaa Johnny at charsanaaj@snuneymuxw.ca or 250-591-9679 to access financial assistance from Snuneymuxw First Nation.

You are encouraged to access all the supports made available to you by the federal and provincial governments. Our Nation is in the process to identify people who can assist you to access this support. More information will follow.

As well, the SFN COVID-19 By-law empowers our Nation to prohibit public access into our Snuneymuxw reserves except for residents and essential service providers, remove unauthorized occupants and enforce fines in the event of non-compliance.

We will continue to keep you updated as information becomes available.

Respectfully,

Chief Mike Wyse

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March 24th 2020

 Good day Snuneymuxw,

Yesterday, Snuneymuxw Chief and Council declared a state of emergency for Snuneymuxw First Nation due to COVID-19. We made this decision taking many factors into consideration, such as enhancing your public safety, enforcing public health orders and heeding the advice of emergency and government authorities.

Effective immediately, access to Snuneymuxw reserves is prohibited to the public and our longhouse is officially closed. Enforcement procedures to implement these emergency measures is currently underway. More information will follow.

As well, you are advised to stay home as much as possible, and only leave your house to get groceries or access critical health care services.

In these times, I ask that our community work together by communicating with one another, practice protective health measures, and abide by the state of emergency instructions.

Call *811 or a Snuneymuxw health nurse if you feel symptoms of the virus, feel ill or test positive for COVID-19.

We will continue to update you as information becomes available.

Respectfully,

Chief Mike Wyse

 

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