Beatrice Carpentier is the O'Chiese First Nation Band Manager

May 29, 2020

 

Ahneen, hopefully you are still healthy, well and safe! This COVID19 Virus Pandemic has kept us apart but I have seen families riding horses, biking and walking.  This is the part of COVID19 that I particularly like.  We have managed to keep the Virus out of our community, and we need to continue to keep it that way.  There are so many to thank but especially you, our membership, our Leadership, our essential teams and our Health team.  We have over 65 Elders in our community, several of them and others with asthma, diabetes, and other chronic vulnerabilities that we need to continue to be mindful of as we cautiously transition to opening our community again.  As you know, Alberta and other Provinces are feeling the economic impact of the COVID19 Virus Pandemic and are trying to manage beginning to work toward phasing in the businesses if we begin to flatten the curve and reduce the upward trend.

 

During this time, we have been assessing and planning to move our businesses forward as well and we are just about ready, so opening on June 1st will begin that process. The Leaders could see the restlessness of the populations even our own.  We were struggling to keep our people in our community but in the end the majority stayed within our community.  You need to congratulate yourselves and hopefully we realized that we have more appreciation for our families and our community. 

 

I have moved offices to be closer to finance, to make room for more office space and trying to prepare for opening again cautiously for June 1st, 2020, just for our on reserve employees. Those, like Teachers or staff who want to come to work from Edmonton or elsewhere have to test where they are or test at our Nation to ensure that they are COVID19 free.  We will have masks, cleansers, and most of us have our own offices and our offices are big enough to separate meters apart. We still need to wash our hands, keep our distance, and stay as much as we can within our own community. 

 

This COVID19 Virus Pandemic prevented us from keeping our offices open, prevented us from gathering and visiting each other in the way we are comfortable with.  It has also highlighted issues in our community and families that we were not prepared for and caused security and safety concerns to our members, to our children and to our Security/Road Monitors.  Even though we have followed the rules and managed to keep the COVID19 Virus out of our community, our Leadership was unable to keep the dangers from impacting our community. As a result, we experienced fear, sadness and powerlessness.  Our Leaders tried to work with the RCMP but believe a mark was missed. Our Leaders and Community/Family members are very worried and troubled as to how to address this dangerous drug environment and the criminality of sellers and users. Please utilize the resources that are available on our Nation. Seek help with NNADAP, the mental health worker Loretta, the nurses, family members want you well, we all want you well in all aspects including physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and covid free!

 

Thank you and talk to you next month,

Beatrice Carpentier, BSW

O’Chiese First Nation Band Manager