First Nation leaders at Wabaseemoong Independent Nation have issued a public message in order to address the current situation in their community.

"As many people are aware, the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading within the Kenora Region and it is having impact on our community," it says in the message.

Chief Waylon Scott posted a video message earlier this week and he was accompanied by previous chiefs John Paishk, Ron R. McDonald, and Eric Fisher.

"We are continuing to do everything we can and have ensured we have multiple safety protocols and measures in place to combat this," the message continued.

The community reported 12 new cases Wednesday when the First Nation issued the week-long lockdown notice to members. 

"We as a community are strong, and we know we are going to get through this, and work together. We have multiple plans being executed; as of right now, that will help to keep our membership safe and healthy," the community's message continued.

The leadership says they're working closely with:

- the Kenora Chiefs Advisory,

- the Northwestern Health Unit,

- the Lake of the Woods District Hospital,

- the Kenora District Services Board,

- Indigenous Services Canada,

- the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs,

- the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services,

- the All Nations Health Partners,

- Treaty 3 Police,

- Waasegiizhig Nanaandawe'iyewigamig and

- many other organizations.

"We have testing teams working in the community conducting testing throughout the week and working closely with our community health nurses. We have made numerous arrangements so COVID positive cases have a safe and appropriate place to isolate...so the risk of spread is reduced. These are trying times for everyone right now, and we really want to reiterate to our membership and the broader community, we are taking this seriously, and we are going to be okay through all of this," the message continued.

The First Nation says staff from their partner organizations have stepped up to provide services such as:

- testing,

- screening,

- food security,

- transportation needs, and

- much more to make sure our members are supported fully throughout this time.

For more information:

Message from Wabaseemoong First Nation

Four hospitalized with COVID-19 in Kenora

Whitedog imposes strict lockdown to curb COVID-19