• Elders and people of all ages with chronic illnesses are most at risk
    • Heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, asthma, etc.
  • If there are elders or vulnerable people in a home:
    • Limit access to anyone from outside the home.
    • Try provide them with their own room and bathroom and keep anyone sick in the home away from them.
    • Limit activities outside the home and ensure to keep 2 metres (6 feet) away from others, including when going for a walk, going to work, or picking up essential supplies.
    • Everyone in the house should wash their hands often with soap and water, and keep surfaces that are touched frequently, like door handles and table tops, disinfected.

Talking with Loved Ones about COVID-19

Recognizing Early COVID-19 Symptoms in Seniors

Brought to you by Siksika Health Services Nutrition Services

  1. Writing down a shopping list in advance. Have one designated household member buy just 1-2 weeks worth of
    groceries at a time, buying more than what is needed can create shortages.
  2. Avoid going to the store more than once every week or two, if possible. This helps reduce traffic at the store, making it easier for everyone to practice physical distancing, it can also reduce your families exposure to any possible COVID-19 carriers.
  3. If you are sick, stay home. To protect others do not visit a store If you are experiencing any symptoms. Call 403-734-5690 to contact the Siksika Medical Clinic.
  4. Wear a face mask or covering while you are in the store.
  5. Carry your own disinfecting wipe, or use ones provided by the store to wipe down the handles of your shopping cart or basket.
  6. Avoid using your phone while in the store, as it could become a contaminated surface if it comes in contact with COVID-19 droplets. It is much safer to write your shopping list on paper and leave your phone in the car.
  7. Practice physical distancing while shopping. Keep at least 6 feet of distance between you, other shoppers, and store employees. Keep your hands away from your face.
  8. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you return home and again after you put away your groceries.
  9. There is no evidence of food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19. However, if you wish, you can wipe down product packaging and allow it to air dry, as an extra precaution. For this purpose, you can use soap and water or diluted bleach (1 part bleach to 9 parts water). Remember, though that your hands, and not the food packaging, are most likely the source of contagion. Always wash your hands before eating or touching food.
  10. As always, you should wash and scrub fruits and vegetables under cold running water before eating.

Panic buying, or trying to build up all your households food supplies at once, is unnecessary and can create shortages. However, it is a good idea to gradually build up your household’s supplies of non-perishable items a well stocked pantry is always a nice thing to have! The best way to do this is to add a few extra items to your grocery cart every time you shop.

Good options are easy-to-prepare foods like:

  • Dried pasta and canned sauce
  • Canned soups
  • Canned or frozen vegetables
  • Everyday items like canned meat, peanut butter, and canned beans
  • Cooking essentials such as flour and oil

It is also a good idea to have a small extra supply of :

  • Pet food
  • Toilet paper
  • Facial tissue
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Diapers (if ther are members of your household who use them)

There is no evidence that COVID-19 is spread through eating or touching raw fruits or vegetables. However, you should (as always) wash or scrub fruits and vegetables under cool running water before eating.

For packaged food, it is recommended you wash your hands after storing food packages and before preparing food. If you wish to wipe food packages down for extra peace-of-mind, washing them with soap and water or a bleach solution (1part household bleach to 9parts water) and allowing them to air dry before putting them away is a fine idea.

To prevent food-borne illnesses (such as salmonella), refrigerate or freeze perishable items within a few hors after purchasing. Regularly clean and disinfect kitchen surfaces.

There is no single food, supplement, or natural product that will prevent or treat COVID-19. But a health diet can help strengthen your immune system.

A healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables, protein foods and whole grains is important for a strong immune system as are other healthy lifestyle habits (e.g exercise, not smoking, adequate sleep, managing stress, etc).

There are many nutrients that are involved with the normal functioning of the immune system and therefore we encourage eating a variety of nutrient rich healthy foods each day in order to support immune function.

There are multiple options available to those in self-isolation. Friends, neighbours, or family members may be available to do you grocery shopping for you, and deliver your food/supplies to your door step. Groceries can be ordered online for curbside pick-up, for example from Walmart or superstore. If you are in a crisis, you can call Siksikas Emergency Food Distribution centre at 1-844-312-8758.

This is a critical time for Siksika to come together as a community, reach out to help those in need. Offer to pick up groceries for an elder, or for someone who is feeling ill. Siksikawa are a strong resilient people. If we support one another, and follow public health measure, we will get through this emergency together and save lives.

  • Identify your monthly budget to spend on food.
  • Sit down together as a family and plan your weekly dinners and snacks. Try to let each person suggest at least one dish and one snack they would like to see on the menu.
  • Try Family theme nights, some options might be:
    • Mexican (Tacos and nachos)
    • Italian (Spaghetti and meatballs
    • Barbecue (hamburger and salad)
    • Traditional (Stew and frybread)
    • Pizza party (decorate your own pita pizzas)

5 minute pita pizzas

Yield: 4 pita pizzas


  • 4 pocketless pita flatbreads
  • 3/4 cup of marinara sauce
  • 12 slices of provolone cheese (mozzarella or other cheese would work well too!)
  • Pepperoni, sausage, veggies or other toppings of your choice


  1. Spread a couple tablespoons of sauce on each pita, leaving a small crust around the edge. Top with 3 slices of cheese each and any meat/veggies you like.
  2. Place the pitas one at a time directly on the rack of a toaster oven. Toast for 3-4 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly.
  3. Alternately, bake at 450F on a cookie sheet for about 10 minutes, or until golden, broiling for a minute or two to get the topping extra crisp if desired.

All In One Tacos: (Modified from Old El Paso Recipe)

Time: 25 Minutes

Serving Size: 8


  • 1/2 lb (250 g) lean ground beef
  • 4 cups (250 g) rinsed black beans
  • 1/2 pkg Taco seasoning
  • 1 1/2 cup (375 mL) frozen whole kernel corn
  • 1 cup (250 mL) salsa
  • 1 small red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) each, finely chopped celery, onion
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • Your favourite toppings (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 350F (180C) to heat taco shells.
  2. Meanwhile, brown ground beef in large frying pan over medium-high heat; drain. Stir in 1 cup (250 mL) water, taco seasoning, corn, salsa, red pepper, celery and onion.
  3. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered10 minutes or until celery is tender and the mixture has thickened, stirring occasionally.
  4. Heat taco shells (for crispness) as directed on package. Spoon beef mixture into shells. Garnish with shredded cheese or other toppings, if desired. Serve immediately.

Expert Tip

Have trouble holding taco shells steady while filling them? Place the shells between the cups of an inverted muffin pan and they are a snap to fill! Can do 6 tacos at a time with a 12 cup muffin pan.

Minestrone Soup:

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Serves: 4

This is a great soup to make at the end of the week, or when you have a lot of produce to use up. Any fresh seasonal vegetables can be used in this recipe. This soup freezes well and makes for a great leftover for lunch. Serve with a crusty whole grain bun.


  • Olive oil 1 Tbsp (15 mL)
  • Onion, diced 1 cup (250 mL)
  • Carrot, diced 1 cup (250 mL)
  • Celery, diced 1 cup (250 mL)
  • Cloves of garlic, chopped 2
  • Fresh parsley, chopped 1/2 cup (125 mL)
  • Sodium reduced chicken stock 4 cups (1 L)
  • Water 2 cups (500 mL)
  • Navy beans, drained and rinsed 19 oz (540 mL)
  • Potato, peeled and diced 1 cup (250 mL)
  • Zucchini, diced 1 cup (250 mL)
  • Savoy cabbage, shredded 1 cup (250 mL)
  • Fresh plum tomatoes, diced 2 cups (500 mL)
  • Bay leaf 1
  • Dried basil 1 tsp (5 mL)
  • Dried oregano 1 tsp (5 mL)
  • Dried thyme 1 tsp (5 mL)
  • Pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and saut without browning for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the cheese, and simmer on medium heat for 30 minutes.
  3. Pour into bowls and top with parmesan cheese (if using).


Anyone in Siksika having trouble dealing with anxiety or emotional stress can call 403-734-5660, 9am-9pm, 7days/week to speak with a Siksika Health Services Mental Health Therapist. This is a safe and confidential service.

  • Physical distancing and isolation can add to fear and feelings of loneliness, anxiety and depression.
  • Mental Health Resources

Managing Fears and Anxiety Amidst COVID-19

Mental Health Kids Activities – Flash Cards

Quote for Encouragement and Healing

Mental Health Tips for Parents

Use of Soap:

  • Wash hands often during the day & after touching contaminated surfaces
  • Wash hands with regular soap and water, for 20-30 seconds
  • Avoid touching your face
    • Soaps advertised as antibacterial don’t work any better than regular soap
    • There are no special soaps for COVID-19, or for any age group (e.g. children)

Use of Hand Sanitizers:

  • Using hand sanitizer is a good option when handwashing with soap & water is not possible
  • Hand sanitizers do not replace handwashing
  • The mechanical action of rubbing your hands with a liquid does reduce the number of viruses and bacteria on hands, but it is not as effective as handwashing
  • Only when you cant wash with soap, and you have contact with high touch surfaces, use a hand sanitizer
  • Using hand sanitizers too much can dry out & damage the skin; hand wash instead
  • Hand sanitizers need to be at least 60% alcohol to be effective; not all hand sanitizers are effective

For a downloadable version of this information, click on the link below: Hand Washing Information

So, why does hand washing work so well against viruses like the coronavirus (COVID-19), anyways? Check out this great video to find out:

In addition to practicing good hand washing (hand hygiene), remember to also:
– Refrain from gathering in groups of 5+ people
– Avoid all non-essential travel
– Keep distant (2 metres) from others when outside of your home
– Contact your loved ones, including those who may be at higher risk of COVID-19, like Omahkitapiiks (Elders) or those with chronic conditions, but limit your contact with them in-person when possible

We all have a role to play in preventing the spread of infection to our Nation.

Cleaning and Disinfecting Surfaces

Cleaning is removing dirt from surfaces.

Disinfecting is using a chemical to kill viruses and bacteria after cleaning.

Both actions should be increased to help prevent spread of COVID-19.

  • Clean surfaces as usual, but more frequently at this time
    • Cleaning removes visible soiled surfaces
    • Pay special attention to high touch surfaces
    • Clean bathrooms and kitchens as high traffic areas more frequently
  • Disinfect high touch surfaces
    • Doorknobs and handles, push bars and plates on doors
    • Kitchen countertops, tables, sinks, water faucet handles
    • Bathroom countertops, bathroom sinks
    • Chair backs & arm rests (hard surfaces commonly touched by hands)
    • Items commonly shared
      • Examples: phone, TV remote, hairbrushes, pens, glass water or milk jugs, etc.
    • Wipe high touch hard surfaces and objects with disinfectant solution
      • Allow to air dry –do not dry with cloth or paper towels

Disinfectants to be used on hard surfaces, including high touch surfaces include:

  • Common household cleaning solutions that have the label with the word Disinfectant
  • Bleach solution can be made: 1 part household bleach to 9 parts water.
    • Make a new solution each day. Make up small amounts for use during a day

How to Disinfect a Surface:

  • Wear rubber cleaning gloves (household type) to protect your hands from the disinfectant/bleach (it is hard on the skin)
  • Wipe surfaces with disinfectant solution to ensure the surface is wet with the solution
  • Allow to air dry – do not dry the surface with paper or cloth towel

What not to do:

  • Do not use disinfectants on soft surfaces (such as couches, upholstered chairs, etc.)
    • To clean soft surfaces, vacuum or use other usual cleaning processes
  • Liquids such as vinegar or lemon juice are not strong enough cleaners to kill viruses/bacteria

For a downloadable version of this information, click on the link below: Cleaning and Disinfecting Information

Siksika Nation Chief & Council passed a motion on July 23 which requires face masks to be worn in all Siksika Nation-owned buildings, beginning Aug. 1, 2020.

It is important to note that wearing a mask or face covering is not a substitute for physical distancing and good hand hygiene.

  • The most important steps you can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are to wash your hands, stay home when sick, and keep 2 metres away from others who are not in your household.

Wearing Masks:

  • Masks do cover the mouth and nose and may help protect others, especially if you are sick.
  • Masks prevent respiratory droplets from contaminating people and surfaces around you.
  • Masks can also reduce spread from those infected with the virus but do not know it.
  • Masks may help when in places where you cannot physically distance from others.

Guidance for Mask Use:

  • Continue to practice physical distancing and hand washing, even while wearing a mask.
  • Before and after using a mask, wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with a minimum of 60% alcohol.
  • Ensure your hair is away from your face when wearing a mask. A face mask can be safely worn by someone with facial hair.
  • Check the mask for damage before use. If it is damaged, do not use the mask – discard it and replace with a mask that is not damaged.
  • Ensure the mask fully covers from above the nose to below the chin.
  • Refrain from touching your face while using a mask or face covering.
  • It is important to not share face masks with other people.
  • When wearing a mask, please note that it can become a source of infection when damp or wet. Disposable masks should be discarded after each use. Assume that any mask is contaminated after you wear it.
  • If a mask is single use (disposable), dispose of it in a lined garbage bin after use.
  • If a mask is reusable, place it in a clean plastic bag after use, and clean it thoroughly before reusing.
  • Wash reusable masks using a hot cycle in the wash machine, and then dry it thoroughly.
  • Do not embroider or add beadwork to a mask, as this will poke large holes in the cloth.

Exceptions to Mandatory Masking:

Beginning August 1, 2020, masks are required in all Siksika Nation-owned buildings/facilities. Exceptions include:

  • When eating, provided physical distancing, hand hygiene and sanitation of surfaces is maintained.
  • When alone in an office or workspace that is NOT shared, and where physical distancing, hand hygiene and sanitization of surfaces is maintained.
  • Young children under two years of age.
  • People with underlying medical conditions or disabilities inhibiting their ability to wear a face covering.
  • People who are unable to place, use, or remove a face covering safely without assistance.
  • People engaging in an athletic or fitness activity.
  • In circumstances where a mask detrimentally interferes with an activity or service (for example, lip reading or dentist visit).

Gloves when out in public:

  • Gloves do not stop the transfer of germs to the face.
  • Instead of using gloves remember to:
    • Limit contact with high touch surfaces (door handles, light switches, touchpads, etc).
    • Avoid touching your face.
    • Wash hands with soap and water frequently.

Guidance on Mask Use in Public Places

Mandatory Masks Poster

Mandatory Masks Postcard

How to Use a Mask Poster

Remember to Wear a Mask Poster

How To Properly Wash Your Hands Poster

How to Make a Bleach Solution Poster

Taking Off (Doffng) PPE Poster

Putting On (Donning) PPE Poster

Contact & Droplet Precautions Poster

COVID-19 Transportation Considerations Information

How to Use Alcohol-Based Hand Rub Poster

PPE Checklist Poster

Recognizing Early COVID-19 Symptoms in Seniors

COVID-19 Information for Employers/Employees

Health screening for staff (specific questions and temperature checks) is required at businesses/facilities across Siksika in order to help identify and prevent spread of COVID-19.

What to do if Staff Fail the Health Screening at the Start of a Work Shift, or if Staff Become Ill at Work?

  • If a staff person fails screening or they develop any illness symptoms while at work:
    • The ill staff person should put a mask on immediately.
    • Advise staff to go home immediately and home isolate for 10 days.
  • If they need to see a doctor call 403-734-5690, Mon-Fri from 9am-4pm.
  • COVID-19 testing is encouraged at this time for anyone who lives or works in Siksika with ANY NEW or CHANGE in symptoms, in order to detect COVID-19 on the Nation.
    • Call the CRU at 403-734-3829 to arrange testing for COVID-19.
  • If the staff person is an ESSENTIAL WORKER, in addition to the above steps, their supervisor should encourage the ill staff person to get tested asap and notify them that a referral will be made to the Community Health team to expedite their return to work. They should expect a call from a Community Health Nurse. Please note that this process is for ESSENTIAL STAFF ONLY, as the clinic does not have capacity to accommodate referrals for all staff at this time.
  • Supervisor should email cdc@siksikahealth.com as soon as possible and ask for a call back, or they can call 403-734-5690 and ask for a community health nurse.
    • PLEASE – no employee names or health info in emails
  • Health team will communicate with the Supervisor to get employee details, but please note that workers are not obligated to get tested, and personal health information about employees cannot be shared.
  • Health team will communicate with Supervisor once the staff person is deemed to have low risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace. Return to work can occur once symptoms resolved.

Other Information for Employers/Employees

COVID-19 testing is also encouraged for those WITHOUT SYMPTOMS who live or work in Siksika as an essential worker, front-line worker, or caregiver with clients/patients/customers outside of their home, or if they work within other peoples homes.

To organize regular work-place testing every two weeks for worksites or group living sites with front-line workers and caregivers, managers should contact cdc@siksikahealth.com or 403-734-5720.

People without symptoms do not have to self-isolate unless they are asked to do so by a Community Health Nurse or other member of Siksika’s public health team. Please do not advise your staff to self-isolate without consulting with cdc@siksikahealth.com or unless a public health team member has instructed you to do so.

Public Health Guidance for Funerals, Wakes, Memorials

The need to gather, to mourn and recognize a loved one, and to support each other, is human. Not being able to have a funeral, memorial or other traditional/cultural ceremony following the death of a loved one, can be heartbreaking.

Funerals, wakes, and memorials, like all other Siksika public gatherings at this time, are very risky and should be limited to 5 people or less, regardless if the event is held indoors or outdoors. Even small gatherings can increase the possibility of spreading the COVID-19 virus.

It can be particularly dangerous for Elders and people with chronic medical conditions to attend events such as funerals and wakes.

It is essential that public health directives regarding public gatherings and physical distancing continue to be followed under all circumstances.

Funeral planning should occur as much as possible by phone, and no more than 2 people should attend meetings with funeral directors.

Although burials should take place in a timely manner, in accordance with local practices, funeral ceremonies not involving the burial should be postponed, as much as possible.

Viewing of the deceased is possible, whether occurring in the home or in a facility.

The following procedures are recommended:

  • Individuals who are ill or have chronic medical conditions must not attend.
  • Everyone should wear a procedure mask to cover the mouth and nose.
  • Consider limiting the viewing to only members of the immediate family/same household.
  • Limit the group to less than 5 people at a time, including the funeral attendants.
    • If more than 5 people attend the visitation, stagger the entrance of individuals
    • If paying respects at the casket, ensure 2 meters space between people waiting in line.
  • Family, friends, and other visitors should not touch each other (hug, kiss, shake hands or touch)
  • Family, friends, and other visitors should not touch the body
    • Should touching of the body or clothing occur, ensure that the individuals wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
  • Maintain a list of all participants, in the event that contact tracing needs to be done.
  • Consider the use of virtual technologies instead of in-person services and gatherings.
  • Elders or people who have chronic medical conditions should not attend funerals or any related gatherings.
  • People who are ill with fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, or difficulty breathing MUST NOT attend funerals or any related gathering.
  • Everyone should wear a procedure mask to cover the mouth and nose.
  • Physical distancing of all individuals should be at least 6 feet at all times.
  • Consider limiting the number of people involved in the ceremony to only members of the immediate family/same household.
  • Consider an outside venue
  • If using an indoor venue with limited space, limit the number of people inside the facility to less than 5 people at a time, with staggered entry
  • Close contact such as hugging, handshaking, or kissing mourners should be discouraged, except for those who live in the same household.
  • Recognizing the sacredness of ceremony and the use of ceremonial objects, we recommend that ceremonial objects are not shared amongst participants.
  • Gatherings, such as wakes, held after a funeral should be limited. An outdoor space would be preferable, and only if mourners can keep separated by 2 meters.
  • DO NOT allow self-serve buffets or potluck meals in common serving dishes with common serving utensils.
    • If necessary, provide single-serve foods in individual containers, and ensure people can maintain physical distancing of 2 metres or 6 feet.

Funerals/Wakes – Restricted Access Sign

Downloadable Signage & Poster PDFs Available Below:

Siksika Nation Health & Safety Notice

Temporary Building Closure Sign

Physical Distancing Sign

Protecting Yourself and Others Sign

Restricted Access – Approved Staff Only Sign

Screening Required Sign

Security Notice for Deliveries Sign

Kitchen Staff Requirements Sign

How to Hand Wash Sign

How to Use a Mask Sign

Remember to Wear a Mask Sign

Downloadable Signage & Poster PDFs Available Below:

Help protect our elders

mask mandatory unbranded sign

Self isolate if you are sick

Safe workplace poster

Protect yourself and others

Home Isolation Guide

My Mask Protects You: Owl

My Mask Protects You: Buffalo

Home isolation message

No symptom is too small: fever

No symptom is too small: muscle aches

No symptom is too small: runny nose

No symptom is too small: sore throat

How to Hand Wash Sign

How to Use a Mask Sign

Remember to Wear a Mask Sign

Drummers social distancing

medical mask translucent?

non-medical mask translucent

N93 mask translucent

face covering translucent

COVID – Essential Services Facility Sign

COVID – Protect Yourself and Others Sign

COVID Protect Yourself Banner- stay home if unwell

COVID Protect Yourself Banner- wear mask

COVID Protect Yourself Banner-avoid touching

COVID Protect Yourself- physical distance

COVID Protect Yourself Banner- wash hands

Please Do Not Share Food or Drinks

Thank you Essential workers

Self-isolation prep guide unbranded

Talking with elders unbranded