The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) is calling for Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe to close provincial borders to help stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
“Some First Nations have already exercised their autonomy by closing their borders and are limiting traffic in and out of their communities,” said a release from FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron sent out Saturday evening.
“We are calling on this Saskatchewan Government to do the same.”
At the time of this posting, Saskatchewan has eight confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 18 probable cases.
No one has died as a result of the virus.
There are 1,048 confirmed cases across Canada and 33 probable cases. 13 people have died.
The FSIN says access to the province should be limited to people who live there.
“The traffic on our highways coming in and out of the provincial borders continues to put everyone in Saskatchewan at unnecessary risk,” said the FSIN. “Travelers from all over Canada continue to travel into Saskatchewan and could be unknowingly transmitting Covid-19. We must work together to stop or decrease the spread of Covid-19.
“We must limit these travelers to only our Saskatchewan residents that are coming home for mandatory 14-day self-isolation and to essential services and suppliers.”
The province of Saskatchewan declared a health state of emergency Mar. 18.
Further measures including the closure of restaurants, schools, gatherings of 25 people or more and nightclubs are also in place.
“We are dealing with an invisible enemy and every Saskatchewan resident, First Nations and non-First Nation, must do everything necessary to protect everyone within our region,” said the FSIN statement.
“We will overcome this together, if we unite and make hard decisions for the protection of our most vulnerable populations.”
On March 11, the World Health Oganization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. APTN News is reporting from across the country on the viral outbreak and how it is impacting Indigenous communities. For more information click here: COVID-19