Tłı̨chǫ Government COVID-19 Programs Update
Behchokǫ̀, NT (June 11, 2020) – Since mid March 2020 all citizens of the Northwest Territories have been ordered to follow Public Health Emergency Guidelines under the Emergency Management Act to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to our communities. In response to this pandemic the Tłı̨chǫ Government’s senior staff met to quickly provide COVID-19 programs to help support Tłı̨chǫ citizens during this new pandemic.
The Tłı̨chǫ Government approved the following programs to support its citizens:
- Hamper Program
- Families On-the-land Program
- Elder Calls
- Mask Making Project
- Dǫtaàts’eedı Program
- Emergency Fund Assistance
Each program assisted Tłı̨chǫ citizens from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s impacts on personal health, social wellbeing and economic stability. Tłı̨chǫ Government’s support to date consists of the following:
- The Hamper Program consisting of food and cleaning supplies was provided to Tłı̨chǫ Citizens in Behchokǫ̀, Whatı̀, Gamètı̀, Wekweètı̀, and Yellowknife. A total of 2866 hampers were distributed from late March to May 22, 2020.
- Families On-the-Land Program assisted 162 family units with gas and groceries to spend time out on the land practicing the Tłı̨chǫ traditions of harvesting, gathering, sharing and teaching.
- Elders Calls Program – 11 Tłı̨chǫ speaking staff have been identified to make weekly calls to Elders 65 years of age and over. This program began in late March to check up on our Elders. Any health and wellness issues are followed up on by the TCSA staff. Approximately 300 calls have been made to our Elders to date.
- Mask Making Project – We have 18 sewers making cloth masks. To date over 2500 masks have been made for our citizens. The goal is to make one mask for each Tłı̨chǫ Citizen to wear when going out of their homes.
- Dǫtaàts’eedı Program – To assist with food security and the craving of traditional food, the Tłı̨chǫ Government has approximately 15 harvesters from the region distributing traditional food such as fish, rabbit, ptarmigan, ducks and muskrat. To date approximately 500 lbs of traditional food has been harvested and shared with Elders.
- Emergency Fund Assistance – Assisting Tłı̨chǫ Citizens directly impacted by economic hardships from significant loss of income who are not receiving compensation from any other source. To date 82 applications have been approved for assistance under this program.
Tłı̨chǫ Government leadership would like to thank the staff, and acknowledge the time and effort put into these special programs to support our Tłı̨chǫ Citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a reminder we must continue hand washing, physical distancing, wiping down frequent use areas, staying home as much as possible and follow the public health measures to eliminate the contraction and transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
As the Territorial and Federal Governments offer a variety of programs to assist all Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic, we, the Tłı̨chǫ Government are in the process of adjusting our present COVID-19 programs. Some of the programs listed above will be phased out or changed. Therefore, we are urging all Tłı̨chǫ Citizens to use your resources wisely to provide for your families’ personal needs.
Tłı̨chǫ unity is essential to ensure everyone in our communities from our children to our elders and the rest of the members of our families are safe and economically stable. I want to thank all of you who have supported our region and communities during this difficult time. Masi cho.
The pandemic is not over, and we may yet see this disease cause huge challenges to our families in the months to come. We must be prepared to re-focus on the many important issues that will face us. The Tłı̨chǫ Government will do this by carefully looking at what the Tłı̨chǫ region needs – we will ensure program supports are in place for our Tłı̨chǫ families during this crisis. - Grand Chief George Mackenzie
- Update from Government of the Northwest Territories visit: https://www.gov.nt.ca/covid-19/en/services/public-health-orders/emerging-wisely
- Updates from the Government of Canada, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html
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