Grand Chief Arlen Dumas statement on declared COVID-19 state of emergency
March 20, 2020
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – In line with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) declaration of a state of emergency announced March 17th, Grand Chief Arlen Dumas, and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Secretariat Inc., are today expressing their support of the declaration of a state of emergency by the province of Manitoba as long as the measures respect First Nations’ autonomy and decision-making processes. Today, Premier Pallister declared a state of emergency in response to the escalating COVID-19 pandemic and announced special measures along with Families Minister, Heather Stefanson, to address this health and economic crisis.
Grand Chief Arlen Dumas said, “By invoking the emergencies measures legislation, the province is acting proactively to ensure that the COVID-19 virus is contained while the science and research is being conducted to find a cure. The AMC supports these emergency measures for as long as they need to be in place and as long as they don’t interfere with local First Nations decision-making; I commit the AMC Secretariat to working with the Premier, all Ministers, and provincial health professionals to contribute to a collective Manitoba process on preparedness, mitigation, and pandemic planning efforts. To this end, the First Nations COVID-19 strategic response team, developed in partnership with our fellow regional PTOs and affiliated entities, is in constant communication with the Premier’s Office, the Manitoba Chief Provincial Public Health Officer, and all Regional Health Authorities, to ensure Manitoba First Nations are supported and that we are doing our part to minimize the spread of the virus across the region and within our individual First Nations.”