Brokenhead joins Sagkeeng with COVID-19 check stops

By Don Norman

Brokenhead First Nation joined Sagkeeng in erecting check stops on roads entering the community. The three checkstops in Brokenhead are located west of Hwy 59 on Bear Road (across from the Casino), Bison Road (across from Matthew Sinclair Elders Lodge) and Eagle Road (north of the bridge). There were no check stops on Hwy 59. The check stops were part of the State of Emergency measures the band announced on April 14.

The sign, pictured at the top of this story, reads:
Brokenhead Obiway Naiton is restricting all traffic into our community. Only BON essential service staff & authorized deliveries into the community will be allowed access on to Brokenhead Ojibway Nation lands.
Any person(s) or vehicle(s) that do not abide will be reported to authorities.

Sagkeeng Chief and Council announced that on April 11, Sagkeeng Chief they would begin restricting travel through the community between the hours of 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. with exceptions being for medical reasons and essential staff who are residents of Sagkeeng – ID will be required. This measure was in addition to check stops that began on April 6 that the Band announced on March 31.

In the March 31 announcement that sent out in a letter to community members, Sagkeeng noted their concerns for the many elders and vulnerable people in the community. “We are taking this precautionary step to improve the safety of our community and our members.” The stated intent of the check points are to limit the access of individuals entering Sagkeeng.

The letter said check points will have a crew ranging from 2-4 individuals that will log the names of individuals entering the community, licence plate number of the vehicles, the company they represent and a contact number of those entering the community. “We are also advising all our suppliers and contractors to remain out of community if the work is deemed non-essential.”

There are 3 check points, two on Highway 11: West Side Hwy 11 (Cat Fish Creek); East Side Hwy 11 (Pine Falls); and the North Shore Road. The check points will remain in effect until April 30, 3030 and will be reassessed if an extension is necessary.

On Friday April 17, the crew at the Catfish Creek check point said they were told to let people know they could shop at the Sagkeeng Superstore (Photo: Don Norman)

The sign at the checkstop reads:

Notice: You Are Entering The Sagkeeng First Nation Indian Reserve #262

  • Until further notice, all visitations by non-community members is prohibited.
  • Sagkeeng First Nation members & authorized band employees/contractors are permitted to enter the reserve.
  • Bloodvein First Nation, Hollow Water First Nation and Black River First Nation members will be permitted to enter Sagkeeng to shop at Sagkeeng Superstore only.
  • Unauthorized visitors will be asked to leave and be removed by the authority of Chief and Council.
  • Residents can report unauthorized visitors by calling/texting any one of Chief and Council.

These measures are in place due to the Covid 19 virus and we ask all members to comply and respect our community and to assist in protecting all citizens of Sagkeeng.

By order of Sagkeeng Chief and Council

Despite the stern language on the sign, on Friday April 17, a crew at the Catfish Creek check point said they were told to let people know they could shop at the Sagkeeng Superstore but they would have to follow the store’s social distancing protocols.

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