September 1, 2021
Bulletin 27: CAFN COVID-19 Planning and Response
Message from the Chief
Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) is continuing with robust COVID-19 safety practices and taking a cautious approach. This week we updated our safety measures under Kwätsi Dän (Our Plan to Get Back to Work). The number of active COVID-19 cases in the Yukon has gone down and is staying fairly low for now, so we are lessening a few restrictions, but keeping many safety measures in place, plus implementing limits on gathering sizes. Please see the full list of safety measures in effect as of today on page 3. The CAFN Council will review these measures by the end of September or sooner if required.
Yukon Public Health and Safety
With the easing of COVID-19 measures by the Government of Yukon and the end of the Yukon State of Emergency, many rules for the general public have changed. The Yukon government is moving away from public orders and toward individual responsibility. Some strong tools will remain, such as the requirement to self-isolate if you have tested positive or been exposed to COVID-19.
Why are CAFN’s COVID-19 safety measures staying strong?
Though we value the return of some freedoms, CAFN’s approach is different because we must do what is right for our people and communities. It is our way to make sure everyone is protected. The Government of Yukon has not consulted with us when making recent decisions about COVID-19, so dän k’e – our way – is not part of their new approach.
It is important for CAFN to keep up strong safety measures to protect our most vulnerable, especially our young children who cannot be vaccinated yet. The more contagious delta variant has arrived in the Yukon, and we want to ensure that everyone stays safe.
We are also being cautious because we know that First Nations people in the Yukon and rural communities are more vulnerable to COVID-19. Though we make up only about a quarter of the Yukon population, the proportion of First Nations people impacted by COVID-19 is much higher.
As of August 9, 2021, First Nations people in the Yukon made up:
- 57% of active COVID-19 cases: 25 of 44
- 56% of all cases since June 1: 321 of 571 cases
- 63% of the cases hospitalized since June 1: 40 of 64
- 56% of the medevacs since June 1: 9 of 16
- 50% of the deaths since June 1: 3 of 6
Source: Government of Yukon
These numbers are too high. We must work together to bring them down and look after our friends and families.
Vaccines are the best way to keep everyone safe. If you are able to get the COVID-19 vaccine, please seriously consider getting it. Our Council is all vaccinated and believes the vaccines are safe and effective to prevent serious illness and death. The risk of becoming seriously ill and dying of COVID-19 is much higher if you are not vaccinated.
If you are not vaccinated, please take other steps to keep yourself safe: keep your personal bubble very small, avoid large/crowded gatherings and parties, wear a mask, wash your hands and safe distance.
We can all keep practicing the Safe 6 + 1.
Gunałchish, Kaaxnox, Dän nätthe äda
Chief Steve Smith
LEARN MORE: CAFN.ca/covid-19
What is the status of COVID-19 in the Yukon? Please visit Yukon.ca
What is the status of COVID-19 in Canada? Please visit Canada.ca
Council of Yukon First Nations COVID-19 information hub: CYFN.ca/covid-19