Oki Siksikawa,

Siksika Nation has been preparing for months to respond to the COVID19 pandemic, and we are very confident in our Nation’s ability to prevent and contain the spread of infection in the community.

As you know, we were one of the first to establish testing capacity on reserve 7 days per week. Our public health team quickly follows up with all suspected individuals to support them and to contain any spread. We have created isolation options to support those who cannot isolate safely at home.We provide supports, such as food, supplies and medical follow-up for those isolating.

We are in close and regular contact with Indigenous and AHS public health authorities.We have been preparing and monitoring the situation continuously so that we are ready to respond. To date, Siksikas Community Health Team has investigated nearly 500 individuals with possible COVID19 infection and followed-up nearly 800 individuals who have been tested within the Nation.

On June 10, 2020 we announced our first case of COVID19 infection in Siksika.

This is in addition to 4 other cases of infected individuals, who do not live in the Nation, but who had links to the Nation over the past week and a half. 4 out of 5 of these infected individuals were identified by testing carried out in Siksika. All individuals are isolating and being supported.

Our Health Services team is working diligently to contain further spread and to support all families who are affected. As the incubation period of the virus can be up to 14 days, the outcome for those who are affected may not be known for several weeks.

Siksikawa, this is a time to remain calm and patient. This is a time to remain strong and to continue to care for and be kind to one another. It is important to let our Health Services team carry out their work.

Please respect the privacy of any individuals and households who are affected. This is a time for compassion and support ? not blame. Those who are tested and who come forward should be commended and not attacked online or stigmatized. They are doing their part to protect the community.

No person who was infected suspected this, they found out through testing. No person knowingly spread infection to others. If people who have symptoms or who are contacts of those with infection are scared to come forward because their privacy may be violated or because of the possibility of cruel attacks on social media, they will be less likely to get tested and we will not be able to contain the spread of COVID19.

Please do not spread rumours or misinformation on social media. This creates confusion and interferes with accurate and important information that needs to be shared.

Updates will be shared as they are available by Siksika Chief and Council and Siksika Health Services official communications outlets. If anyone needs to get tested or to isolate, they will be contacted by Siksika’s Community Health Team.

If you receive a call from a community health nurse, please listen to them – they are here to help you, support you and help contain the spread of COVID19 within the community. If they ask you to isolate yourself or the household, please listen to them. If you have concerns about being able to safely isolate at home, please let them know so that they can discuss supports and isolation options with you.

Siksikawa, we are in this together Please know that your health services team and the Nation are working hard to provide excellent care for the Nation, and to provide open, honest, and timely information.

#SiksikaCares #SiksikaStrong