Moving to support their members during the coronavirus pandemic, some northern First Nations are providing members with cash, fuel, and food.
In a letter to members on Saturday, the Mikisew Cree First Nation in Fort Chipewyan outlined a range of assistance to be provided. The First Nation encouraged members to follow health protocols and check in on Elders.
All Mikisew Cree members will receive a $500 payment by early next week, the letter stated.
Every household in Fort Chipewyan – not only those occupied by Mikisew Cree members – will receive one barrel of fuel.
Members living in Fort Chipewyan, Fort McMurray, Edmonton, High Level, Fort Smith, and Yellowknife will be given food hampers. Members interested in receiving one of the 350 available hampers are asked to message the First Nation on Facebook with their name, address, and phone number.
The First Nation said staff are placing daily phone calls to Elders but encouraged members to also watch over their families, especially older relatives.
Further north, the Łútsël K’é Dene First Nation approved a payment for members at an emergency meeting on Saturday. Details have not yet been released.
In their own letter, the Łútsël K’é Dene advised members to stop non-essential travel out of the community by snowmobile or plane. All members returning to the community will be required to self-isolate for two weeks.
No non-residents will be granted entry to the fly-in community of 300 people unless they are providing essential services.