COVID-19 Memo

Willow Cree Health Services Memo: COVID-19

To: Membership of the Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation

From: Willow Cree Health Services, Inc.

Date: March 17, 2020

Re: Doctor Days/Appointments

Tansi Membership,

Please be advised that WCHS operations will be adjusted to ensure the health and well-being of our community.

Effective immediately, there will be no gathering of individuals in the clinic and the following measures are being implemented:

  1. Individuals attending appointments must call reception @ (306) 467-4402 to advise them of their arrival at the health clinic. Individuals will not be permitted to wait in the waiting area.
  2. Doctor days will continue via telehealth with a Primary Health Nurse representative. Doctors will not be on-site. The following doctors will be available on the following days:
    1. March 19 – Dr. McMillan
    2. March 24 – Dr. Melle
    3. March 27 – Dr. Melle (OAT)
    4. March 31 – Dr. Silver
  3. Immunizations are available by appointment only.
  4. If you require prescription refills, please contact your doctor in Rosthern to make arrangements.
  5. The Mental Health Team remains available by appointment. Individuals requiring additional Mental Health supports are encouraged to contact:
    1. Crisis Centre – 306-933-6200 (Saskatoon Mobile Crisis) or 306-764-1011 (Prince Albert Mobile Crisis)
    2. Suicide Prevention Centre – 1-833-456-4566
    3. Crisis Service Canada – 1-833-456-4566 or text “START” to 45645
    4. Kids Help Phone – 1-800-668-6868 or text “CONNECT” to 686868
    5. For additional information and Mental Health Supports, please contact WCHS @ 306-467-4402
  6. Patients requiring dialysis treatment are encouraged to contact Ivie should you be unable to make arrangements with family for transportation.  Medical transportation remains available.

If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding these or other health related matters, please contact Willow Cree Health Services @ 306-467-4402.

Thank you,

– Willow Cree Health Services

COVID-19 Memo

Emergency Management Team Memo: Update on COVID-19

To: Members of the Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation

From: Emergency Management Team (EMT)

Date: March 17, 2020


Tansi Membership,

The Emergency Management Team (EMT) continues to meet daily to address the many concerns that are being raised by community members.

Here is an update on some of our activities to date:

  1. Supplies have been purchased to provide a basic care package to assist with disinfecting your home for community members. Due to commercial demand these supplies are limited. Delivery will be door-to-door over the next couple days. Distribution will begin today, Tuesday, March 17th.
  2. Social development clients are asked to contact the Band Office via phone and leave your name and number so that Social Development staff may contact you. Social assistance will be disbursed on Tuesday, March 31st. Distribution will be conducted like a drive-thru so that clients/staff interaction is limited. Distribution will be conducted at the Arena parking lot. Additional specific instructions will be provided soon.
  3. The Public Works department has advised that only EMERGENCY situations will be handled until the situation improves. Emergencies include: a) Furnaces – no heat; b) no water; c) sewer problems; d) no power.
  4. A separate Willow Cree Health Services Memo will be distributed shortly.
  5. At this time, we are requesting our hunters and gatherers to contact the Band Office and leave your name and number.
  6. Information on the upcoming Nominations and Elections will be provided on Wednesday, March 18th. We expect that significant precautionary measures will be in place to ensure the safety of our community members, while maintaining the integrity of the election.
  7. Elders and sickly in our community are at the highest risk of contracting COVID-19. We are encouraging families to check on our Elders and sickly in ways that limit actual, physical contact. Make sure they are receiving medications and their prescriptions are being filled. If shopping is needed, please offer these supports; and anything else that may be needed. We strongly recommend that one (1) CHAMPION from each family is chosen to support our Elders and help keep them informed. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of LIMITING physical contact with our Elders. Please do not place them in a situation of unnecessary risk.
  8. The Canada Child Tax Benefit will be distributed by the Government of Canada on Friday, March 20th as normal. We are encouraging community members to avoid taking families on outings as this could potentially increase the risk of exposure to your families to COVID-19, and subsequently cause an outbreak in our community.
  9. We are working with Education department officials to address some of the concerns community members have raised while our schools are closed. More information will be forthcoming by the end of the week.

If you suspect you may have come in contact with someone who has COVID-19, or you have traveled abroad within the last 2 weeks, you can use this SELF-ASSESSMENT TOOL to see if you should be tested for COVID-19.

The most important thing at this point in time is our collective effort to ‘flatten the curve‘.

You can do your part by:

  1. Practicing ‘social distancing’: 2 metres or 6 feet apart, avoiding unnecessary travel, avoiding shaking hands, hugging, kissing, etc.
  2. Washing your hands thoroughly and regularly;
  3. Staying home; and
  4. Practicing proper cough etiquette (into your sleeve or shoulder).

In closing, we understand that these are challenging and worrisome times in our community, but in order to protect the health and well-being of our community members, we all have to do our part. Our team will continue to monitor the situation and adjust our plans as the situation evolves. Our primary methods of communication will continue to be our text blasting service (to subscribe text “BOCN” to 393939), and our nation’s website (, and social media (Facebook/Instagram).

If you have any questions, suggestions, concerns, or thoughts, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team at the Band Office: 306-467-4523; or email:

Thank you,

– Emergency Management Team

COVID-19 Statement

Statement from the Chief: COVID-19

For Immediate Release

March 16, 2020


Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation, Treaty 6 – The following statement was released by Chief Petit in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

During this time, we are asking that membership please take all recommended precautions to ensure that you are doing your part to help stop the potential spread of the virus; language and behavior that can cause undue panic in the community does not help anyone. If you have legitimate information, recommendations, or solutions, please share those – everyone’s input is welcome.

The BOCN has in place an Emergency Management Team (EMT) consisting of leadership, health, and other staff who are trained in preparation for all kinds of different emergency scenarios. These individuals continue to monitor the situation for any changes as they occur locally, provincially, and nationally.

Since before the World Health Organization (WHO) announcement that the situation had been upgraded to a pandemic, preparations had already been underway to update and formulate the plan for how we as a community would deal with the situation as it unfolded. During the past few days, the EMT has met daily to review information as it comes in; and following the latest reliable medical advice, news reports, and the decisions that are being made by other governments. The EMT is using all tools available to keep the community informed.

Information will continue to be shared through:

    1. Text Blasting – this is the easiest, most efficient way to keep informed. Simply text “BOCN” to 393939 to be added to the service.
    2. Website –
    3. Social Media – only reliable, relevant, and credible information will be posted to the Chief & Council Facebook and Instagram accounts.
    4. Direct Delivery – to on-reserve households will continue as the situation warrants.
    5. Local Radio – 103.3 CHIT FM. Timings will be announced.

Please do your part by sharing information with your clans, families who might not have access to the above methods of information distribution.


You can do your part by:

    1. Washing your hands thoroughly and regularly;
    2. Practicing proper cough etiquette (into your sleeve or shoulder)
    3. Practicing ‘social distancing’: 2 metres or 6 feet apart, avoiding unnecessary travel, avoiding shaking hands, hugging, kissing, etc.
    4. STAY HOME.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation during this difficult time.

An updated information package is being prepared and will be delivered as soon as possible.

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For more information, please contact:

Chief & Council Communications  |  306-467-4523

COVID-19 Statement

Emergency Management Team Statement: COVID-19

For Immediate Release

March 12, 2020


Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation, Treaty 6 – The following statement was released from the Emergency Management Team (EMT) in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic:

The World Health Organization has declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic.

The Emergency Management Team – Councillor Kevin Seesequasis, Councillor Jeremy Seeseequasis, Emergency Response Manager, Brenda Seesequasis, Director of Health, Kim Jonathan, Emergency Management Assistants Carmel Cameron and Loressa D’Jonaire, Community Health Nurses Mary Salisbury and Carrie Hadland, the Chief Executive Officer, Jaye Cameron, and the Chief Financial Officer, Daryle Gardipy – met this afternoon and well into the evening to discuss the community response to the COVID-19 pandemic and continue planning a responsible path forward.

The Emergency Management Team is taking this issue very, very seriously.

Many questions have been posed to members of Council, and to members of the Emergency Management Team.

We would like to update you on our response to-date, what steps we’re taking moving forward, and answer some urgent questions.

To date, we have:

    • Conducted a community information session with Dr. Khan, the Regional Medical Health Officer with Indigenous Services Canada during Emergency Preparedness Week last week;
    • Sent multiple text blasts with relevant, reliable information to educate community members about COVID-19;
    • Distributed door-to-door, detailed information regarding COVID-19;
    • Allocated funding to purchase additional disinfecting and cleaning supplies for public buildings; and
    • Reviewed the BOCN Pandemic Plan to ensure our community is prepared to responsibly deal with this situation.

Due to the rapidly evolving local, regional, national, and global situation, we are taking the following precautionary measures:

    • Individuals arriving back home from anywhere out-of-province will be required to self-monitor for a period of not less than 14 days;
    • All individuals entering public buildings shall be required to sanitize/wash their hands prior to conducting their business;
    • All public gatherings have been cancelled including:
      1. Community and sporting events;
      2. Out-of-community forums, workshops, professional development and training events, and conferences;
      3. Gym/Youth Centre activities; and
      4. Health Centre groups and events (essential services will still be delivered).

*NOTE: the cancellation of public gatherings does not include cultural ceremonies – these activities are encouraged to continue – please pray for our community.

    • All non-essential travel amongst Band staff has been cancelled;
    • In consultation with, and on the advice of Dr. Khan, the Regional Medical Health Officer, the decision has been taken NOT to close the schools AT THIS TIME;
    • Mandatory hand-washing at all public institutions and CRCEC/CBMES/Daycare shall be instituted daily at 11am and 1pm OVER AND ABOVE regular hand-washing practices;
    • Special provisions for Social Assistance day will be made – detailed instructions and information will be provided at a later date;
    • Each household will also receive a jug of soap to support the primary method of prevention. Additional details will be provided at a later date;
    • All custodial staff will receive information on how to effectively disinfect surfaces using appropriate products; and
    • The Emergency Management Team will meet daily to assess the situation and adjust plans accordingly.

We wish to reinforce a few things to community members:

    • The most important step you can do to protect your family and prevent an outbreak in our community is to simply – AND THOROUGHLY – wash your hands! When done in conjunction with proper cough etiquette, social distancing (2 metres or 6 feet), avoiding unnecessary travel, not shaking hands, and frequent disinfecting, we can all do our part to prevent an outbreak from occurring in our community.
    • Do not panic. The Public Health Agency of Canada and the Regional Medical Health Officer maintain that the risk to residents of Saskatchewan is generally low. All our decisions are being guided by up-to-date medical advice, experience, and common sense.
    • Do not share inaccurate information or jokes about COVID-19. Inaccurate information on social media has a common tendency to be taken seriously. Let’s all work to ensure our community has the most accurate, up-to-date information possible and that we’re all working collectively to prevent an outbreak.

These steps are initial, temporary measures put in place to reduce the risk of an outbreak today. As the situation evolves, additional measures may be taken to prevent and/or combat an outbreak in our community.

We will continue to provide detailed information about our on-going efforts to prevent an outbreak using 4 primary methods: Door-to-door delivery, our Nation’s website:; the Chief & Council Facebook page; and our text blasting software.

In conclusion, our Emergency Management Team is working diligently to prevent an outbreak in our community. All BOCN members are strongly encouraged to join the BOCNs Text Blasting service to receive up-to-date information. To subscribe, simply text “BOCN” to the number 393939.

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For medical information, please contact:

Willow Cree Health Services: 306-467-4402;

or visit:

For general information, please contact:

Chief & Council Communications: 306-467-4523  |