Nuu-chah-nulth against reopening of its traditional territory to non-residents due to COVID-19

Nuu-chah-nulth against reopening of its traditional territory to non-residents due to COVID-19
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Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council president Judith Sayers, above, says the risk of reopening is too high and are not willing to put the their health aside for the economy.

The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council says it opposes the reopening of its traditional territory to non-residents due to the continuing risk from COVID-19 to its members.

The council says importation of the virus to remote and Indigenous communities is a risk and the health of its members must take priority over any economic considerations.

“The risk is simply too high and we are not willing to put the health of our members to the side simply to benefit the economy. The health and well-being of all Nuu-chah-nulth-aht will continue to be the priority as B.C. begins to reopen,” Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council president Judith Sayers said in a press release.

Access to the ḤahuuĹ‚i of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nations shall remain restricted to ḤahuuĹ‚i residents and essential service providers until a number of conditions are met such as ensuring testing of residents is “readily and consistently” available, and screening of non-residents seeking to enter the ḤahuuĹ‚i, according to the tribal council.
Other conditions include ensuring contact tracing measures are in place and that communications protocols are established between the Nuu-chah-nulth Nations and provincial health authorities.
The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council says only once those conditions are met, will they allow the can the federal and provincial governments to open up “recreation and other non-essential economic activities” within the Nuu-chah-nulth ḤahuuĹ‚i.
Nuu-chah-nulth traditional territories include much of the west coast of Vancouver Island including Port Renfrew, Tofino and Pacific Rim National Park.
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