Whitehorse Daily Star

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Chief Dana Tiyza-Tramm

First Nation releases emergency declaration

The Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation of Old Crow has issued its third emergency declaration in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

By Chuck Tobin on November 25, 2021

The Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation of Old Crow has issued its third emergency declaration in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The declaration was made on Nov. 11, at which time the conditions outlined in the emergency order came into effect.

The First Nation, for instance, has restated travel restrictions that will apply to those arriving in the northern Yukon village or leaving by air.

The emergency order says the First Nation will determine what travel is essential, and will review requests for travel to the community.

Chief Dana Tiyza-Tramm said Wednesday the First Nation has the authority under the emergency order to enforce the conditions set out in it, and there is a qualified COVID-19 co-ordinator in the community.

The co-ordinator has the authority under the order to request an immediate COVID-19 test, which they are capable of administering.

Tizya-Tramm told the Star said the test would be a rapid test, but would provide an indication of whether the individual was infected with the virus.

Studies have shown that people who have had their two vaccinations are still getting infected, he said.

Tizya-Tramm said he knows people who have tested positive but did not show any symptoms.

“This virus is changing so we have to change as well,” he said.

The community’s biggest influence on controlling the virus is at the airport, where staff can question arrivals and ask for proof or declarations that individuals have been vaccinated.

The emergency order also sets out requirements for Old Crow residents to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 amongst community members.

Individuals will also have to declare if they have not been vaccinated or if they have been in contact at any time in the previous 14 days with someone who has tested positive.

Community residents will have to wear a mask in all indoor and outdoor public spaces on Vuntut Gwitchin settlement land.

Public gatherings can be held on the condition there is no confirmed cases of COVID in the community.

Households are restricted to have contact with only one other household – creating a bubble of two households.

As of Thursday morning, there were no active cases in Old Crow. There were seven other communities with no cases.

Old Crow did have three positive cases prior to the arrival of the vaccine, but was able to lock down the spread.

The chief said the community members have demonstrated their ability to minimize the spread, and he expects the same under the third emergency declaration should any new cases be detected.

Tizya-Tramm said he is confident the community can and will weather any community infection.

Given Old Crow is the Yukon’s only fly-in community, its remote location and small size, the community presents unique circumstances compared to other communities in the territory, he said.

Tizya-Tramm said Old Crow is amongst the most vulnerable communities in the Yukon.

Under the emergency declaration, the First Nation is imposing several other requirements visitors and locals will have to adhere to in Old Crow.

Those who arrive without the required proof will have to self-isolate for 14 days, for instance.

Tizya-Tramm said they’ve already refused people at the airport and have provided tickets for their return trip.

Comments (20)

Up 3 Down 3

settle down, Josey on Nov 30, 2021 at 4:02 pm

Jeez Lew-eez, a 'cultural and race war'? I think you're "triggered". Several FN communities have taken steps to reduce or prevent cases over the past while, not sure why this story about Old Crow sets you off. And yeah, I'm none of those things you accused me of being... definitely not the first 2, and although not the sharpest knife in the drawer, I'm not a 'complete' idiot.

Up 5 Down 11

Josey Wales on Nov 30, 2021 at 3:11 pm

Hey good move...yeah that seems fine, let Old Crow think and act for themselves...whilst the rest of us can have the state think for us?
You are either a cultural supremacist yourself, a guilty white liberal or a complete idiot to come to that conclusion.

WE SHOULD ALL BE ABLE TO THINK, ACT IN OUR OWN BEST INTERESTS!
Not just the darlings of the LPC, the grievance vote.
Trust me, with this decision...money will flow...faster than now into their darlings ...if that was possible?
Class and race war currently in effect, change my mind!

Up 13 Down 5

Good move on Nov 30, 2021 at 7:06 am

Not sure if any of the commenters have been to Old Crow, or spent time there. If so, you might realize how vulnerable the folks are, if even a few cases began to spread within the community. And 110% vaccinated? If true, it still means that kids under 12 are not vaccinated - and as we've seen over the past few months, it's difficult to keep cases from spreading in households and classrooms, where there's prolonged and close contact. At any rate, let's let the people of Old Crow figure out what's best for them.

Up 8 Down 9

My Opinion on Nov 29, 2021 at 8:03 pm

Ketza Construction and TSL Construction should just put those jobs they have up there on hold. Massive amounts of infrastructure money being spent there and I guess 0 sick people is just unacceptable. Get real people, life has risks, acceptable risks.

Up 14 Down 19

Juniper Jackson on Nov 28, 2021 at 12:19 pm

Yesterdays conspiracy theory is apparently todays truth. No active cases. Old Crow IS small. They will handle this in their community. Personally, I think lockdowns are not a wise move from anyone. I recall trying to put 1 daughter on 'lockdown'.. you're grounded. That did not turn out well and neither will lockdowns and passports.

Up 32 Down 11

Groucho d'North on Nov 27, 2021 at 8:49 am

So does declaring an Emergency entitle the community to special considerations like more money from some tax dollar reserve? Is restricting the travel of 250 people without a road a difficult job? Vuntut Gwitchen own half the airline, so you'd think they could get a handle on citizen movements in and out of the community rather easily. What's the criteria that permits people to leave Old Crow and return?

Up 23 Down 15

Think Dum Dum on Nov 26, 2021 at 7:41 pm

@Erin Giesbrecht

There have been 3 elections in Yukon so far this year; a federal, territorial and municipal one. But sure, what a horrible fascist place we live in! (Pro tip: Look up the definition of the word fascism)

Up 14 Down 8

DMZ on Nov 26, 2021 at 6:39 pm

@The Hammer, I'd be very surprised if there weren't a few FN, Old Crow residents also wondering about the broken clock strategy for Covid management. If you can find unanimity in any community, that would be very surprising, indeed.

Up 9 Down 14

Nope on Nov 26, 2021 at 5:03 pm

@ Max Mack
I can’t seem to find a rep from VGFN as a signatory on the Charter you reference.

Up 22 Down 30

TheHammer on Nov 26, 2021 at 1:23 pm

First Nations issues and Self Government are the favorite target for Extreme right wing closet dictators who want everyone to dance to their tune:
"...an opportunity for small town politicians to play petty dictator.'
'This is the way fascism works'.
'our' leaders are dividing the people'.
We need to stand together against this fascism.'
'Kinda like crying wolf eh little boy.'
'Seems the political blow holes/dictators/ and their blind followers-'.
'Clear violation of mobility rights.'
'Makes sense when govt is your societies life blood.'
'What am I missing here?' Answer: you could try minding your own business.
All these comments could have been written by the same person, called 'group think'. All negative, all saying more or less the same thing. All non FN, all non Old Crow residents.

Up 38 Down 22

MZ on Nov 26, 2021 at 10:57 am

DMZ - They are not relying on data. They are relying on their interpretation of the data. We also know that the vast majority of the population is scientifically illiterate.

So, essentially, everyone is relying on the feelings of others in the middle of a pandemic that is being driven by fear and a generalized, induced hysteria to push forward an agenda based on the need for intrusive societal control, regulation, and indoctrination.

This is the way that fascism works. It starts out as “concern” for the masses… Safety, security, and life itself is put into question because of some other group - This go around is Whites, anti-vaxxers, gun owners etc.

You have to be pretty gullible and sheepish to tolerate and accept the level of control being proposed as a way of life. Yes, a way of life. Well done! Wait until they convince you that mandatory chip implants, cashless societies, and Soylent Green is good for the Common Good - F$@#-tards!

Up 48 Down 34

Erin Giesbrecht on Nov 26, 2021 at 8:31 am

Old Crow has a 110% vaccination rate. When will the public realize that these shots don't prevent transmission or infection? When will Yukoners wake up and see that our leaders are dividing the people for a medicine that is experimental and doesn't work as was promised.
Look at Gibraltar; they are being overtaken with cases despite everyone being fully jabbed.
Wake up Yukon, we need to stand together against this facism!

Up 35 Down 17

Jeff Bikaboom on Nov 26, 2021 at 8:00 am

"Those who arrive without the required proof will have to self-isolate for 14 days, for instance."
How can someone arrive without proof, is it not forbidden to fly without a passport? Is this rule for people traveling by ground from Eagle Plains?

They have zero cases and are nearly all vaccinated and still the lock down. "Declared by The Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation". All of them? Did they vote? Or was the "declaration" handed down from a few at the top as done in the rest of the Canada?

This is a testament to efficacy of the vaccine. The Vuntut Gwitchin have a sense of how well it works. I hope the best for them this winter.

Up 44 Down 23

iBrian on Nov 26, 2021 at 7:33 am

Huh, this chief and getting his brother a $20,000 art prize money for being his brother.
Pretty sure you should have cases and some sort of proof that’s there's an emergency before declaring an Emergency. Kinda like crying wolf, eh little boy.
Pretty soon no one will care what comes out of Dana’s mouth. 3rd declaration, what next. Come April, snows melting, it’s an extreme global warming effect?
You said it right there, Opportunity.

Up 23 Down 26

Josey Wales on Nov 26, 2021 at 12:36 am

Hey Opportunity...yes that is so very true.
Near two years into this plandemic, being obedient lil subjects even too...
more about power and control.

Yet no alleged leaders are cracking down on obesity or poor life choices on what poison you willing put in your body, those pesky co morbidities suppose?
Mask up, be obedient with no questions...and today wear (insert SJW colour) and you may get a treat.
Really cannot believe folks are chewing this giant log of poo down, tricking themselves it’s candy.
Seems the political blowholes/dictators and their blind followers have run a successful gaslighting campaign.
1867 - 2020 Canada, was a nice run.
I was right, that fortunate son...did finish his alleged daddies plan.
And so many helped him do it too, including the cultural elites.
Really was the plan all along, KUNG FLU like typhoid in 1930s Germany just really helped in the most convenient way for the state.

Up 36 Down 18

Max Mack on Nov 25, 2021 at 11:31 pm

Clear violation of the mobility rights guaranteed by the Charter.
But, in this day and age, the Charter apparently means nothing.

Who needs guardrails for democracy?

Up 42 Down 19

Salt on Nov 25, 2021 at 8:33 pm

Zero cases = Emergency. Makes sense when government is your societies lifeblood.

Up 48 Down 17

DMZ on Nov 25, 2021 at 6:24 pm

What am I missing here? There's no active cases? So what was the reason for the emergency order?

Isn't all the land around Old Crow settlement land? Seems like it would be easier to say where you don't have to wear a mask. Nowhere, apparently. Also, it doesn't matter if you're vaccinated, Covid will still get you? Is that his message?

Public officials have a lot to answer for, creating this cloud of uncertainty around the vaccine's effectiveness with the vague data they're relaying.

Up 29 Down 34

Nathan Living on Nov 25, 2021 at 5:29 pm

This is far removed from politics, it's looking after community members, well done.

Up 87 Down 65

Opportunity on Nov 25, 2021 at 2:58 pm

This pandemic has created such an opportunity for small town politicians to play petty dictator.

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