Mandatory and complete shutdown of all businesses in Kanesatake

The Mohawk Council of Kanesatake (MCK) along with the Kanesatake Health Center (KHC), the Emergency Preparedness Team, all other branches of our Community’s services as well as a great majority of Kanesata’kehró:non, are requiring that all stores close-down for an undetermined amount of time. Below is an explanation of the context of this decision. 

Ramping-up our response On Friday, our Emergency Preparedness Team, in collaboration with MCK and KHC went to each individual business in order to discuss, counsel and encourage the implementation of World Health Organisation approved hygiene protocols in order to limit the risk of contamination to their staff, their customers and to our community. We were happy to see that most business owners were receptive with this initiative. The fact is that this situation is evolving very rapidly, and our community’s response must be fluid and unequivocally ramp-up as the situation progresses. 

Kahnawake mandatorily shutdown all businesses In the new context of yesterday’s announcement by our sister community of Kahnawake to shut-down their local businesses, we are very much concerned that we will see a significantly larger influx of people at our community’s doorstep. This will in turn drastically increase the risk of exposure to our members and that of surrounding populations. We’re also seeing other First Nations communities in Canada and in Quebec setting-up control check-points, or closing-down all together in order to protect their members. 

The virus is all around us Over 50% of our members have underlying pre-existing health conditions such as cancer, diabetes, respiratory problems, high blood pressure, etc, which puts them at a higher risk of having serious complications from the virus and possibly result in death. Everyone needs to grasp the precariousness of the situation. The reality is that people in regions all around us have tested positive for Coronavirus, so displaying a huge ‘open for business sign’ at the entrance of our community would make no sense whatsoever. 

• Lanaudière (9 confirmed cases as of March 21st) 

• Laval (3 confirmed cases as of March 21st) 

• Montérégie – including Vaudreuil-Dorion, Hudson, Kahnawake, Montreal south shore 

(26 confirmed cases as of March 21st) 

• Montreal (41 confirmed cases as of March 21st) ***These numbers show only confirmed cases, real cases are certainly much higher *** 

• Death Count in Quebec went from 1 to 5 in a single day on March 21st 

In conclusion The fact is that we can’t prevent the virus from coming in the midst of our community. But if we all work together and come together as one, exactly as our ancestors did, we can limit its spread and limit to a minimum the lasting impacts that these challenging times could have on all our lives. We can beat this thing, but only if we come together. 

Extraordinary circumstances must be met with exceptional measures … let’s all act accordingly. 

Nia:wen ko:wa,