O’Chiese Band Manager Notes to you…Community Members

 

April 30, 2020

 

Ahneen, community members, extent of my language. It is great to see the majority of our on-reserve population staying home.  I noticed that horses are being ridden, children on their bikes, see people out in their yards cleaning, people and children laughing. Yes, even during this time of ‘stay at home, stay in the community, keep social distancing’, I see people working together to ensure our safety, our virus protection and people willing to do what is necessary for our Elders, parents and families.

 

Anyway, we have been in isolation since March 13, when our school, daycares and offices closed. The Leadership and I have realized that isolation has been difficult, staying home and in the community can produce cabin fever. Having our children 24 hours a day and trying to continue their education can leave us short tempered, frustrated and possibly really feeling isolated.  Not only that, the night activity is full of worry for our teenagers, our young adults and our community generally.  The Leaders, Elders and members struggle with this issue. One thing for sure is that this covid-19 virus has shown the amount of alcohol, drugs and the age groups that are impacted.  Please take care of yourselves and find healthy ways to self isolate to ensure your mental wellbeing remains strong. Call someone or skype a mental health expert but try to not use drugs and alcohol as coping mechanisms during this different time in our life. Look to our culture, our traditions and teach and talk to your children, relatives and other family members.

 

The road monitor stats show that vehicles coming and going from our Nation have significantly decreased! Since there was one confirmed case of covid-19 in Rocky Mountain House, and earlier in the County of Clearwater, this has helped to decrease traffic going in and out of our community. The Security/Road Monitors are doing their best to keep the covid-19 virus from entering our community.  Remember they are not RCMP, not trained with Bruce Lee moves and not trained in the GI Joe marines (obviously, not knowledgeable in the art of combat and who does what).  They are there to ask and remind you of the covid-19 virus symptoms and to tell you to stay home, to stay in the community, to wash your hands and to practise safe distancing.   Thank you to the Security/Road Monitors as they are doing the best they can.

 

The Health Centre, Tyson and I have been working with FNIB on re-fitting the old band office building for surge/triage/ isolation/examination rooms as there could possibly be another wave of the covid-19 virus. So, by the end of May, we should be renovating the building.

 

O’Chiese First Nation will have its community clean up competition for the year 2020 soon watch for posters. Teachers will be taking pictures (before and after) of each participating occupant’s yard. The teachers will oversee choosing the winners. Please participate as it is an opportunity to be outside cleaning up our beautiful Nation and the prizes are pretty skookum! Some prizes will be ride on lawnmowers, sheds, rototiller, gardening equipment, patio furniture, plants, and children’s prizes etc. Have fun cleaning and good luck to all the participants. Please slow down as there will be many O’Chiese staff cleaning the ditches on our main road and areas.

 

The provincial government has announced it will be working towards a relaunch strategy early May. O’Chiese First Nation will be more cautious and relaunch slowly to ensure the safety of our community and watch for a possible covid-19 virus surge.

 

We understand there was some issues with billing with O’Chiese Utilities we are working to rectify this issue as soon as possible thank you for your patience and understanding in the matter.

 

I have noticed some people have such big hearts, their love for the community shows through and their passion for what they are doing is so big, it gets overwhelming. Enjoy the nice weather out there!

 

Beatrice Carpentier, BSW        

O’Chiese First Nation Band Manager