The circumstances surrounding the global Covid-19 pandemic continue to evolve and while there remains no known cases in the Northwest Territories, GTC wishes to act with diligence and take appropriate pre-cautions to protect the health and safety of the Gwich’in people and all people who work and reside in the Gwich’in communities. We especially want to protect our elders and those who have underlying health issues and who are more vulnerable than others.
Therefore, GTC will be closing its offices to the public effective immediately and will begin having employees work from home commencing Friday, March 20th. In keeping with the expert guidance and recommendations of Public Health officials, this measure will:
- Promote social distancing in an effort to minimize the risk of the spread of any virus;
- Be in the best interest of our staff, communities and people;
- Contribute to ‘flattening the curve’ and reduce the rate of possible infection.
In order to promote healthy living and secure food supplies in our communities, GTC is providing financial assistance to the Tetlit Gwich’in Council, Nihtat Gwich’in Council, Ehdiitat Gwich’in Council and Gwichya Gwich’in Council to carry out community hunts, wood gathering, traditional medicine gathering as may be required over the next several months. This initiative will be led by each of the four Gwich’in communities in accordance to their community response plans. GTC expects the community leadership to work in collaboration with other local organizations in the best interest of the residents.
GTC will continue to work to support participants and community members as efficiently as possible during this time. We take our commitment to serving the Gwich’in seriously and critical services will continue to be provided to members within and outside the Gwich’in Settlement Area to the best of our ability. The various GTC Departments can be contacted by phone and email; a contact list is attached to this announcement.
It is important to get good factual and reliable information, more so now because of the problems and concerns that false or misleading information can cause. Fear and panic is not helpful to anyone. Please do not spread information on social media unless you know it is the truth. Grand Chief Bobbie Jo Greenland-Morgan will provide regular updates on social media and directly to the communities as new information unfolds. She is available to Gwich’in participants at all times via telephone, email and/or facebook.
In the meantime, the following websites are reliable and helpful for more information regarding Covid-19:
The Gwich’in Tribal Council wishes you and your family health and safety during this period of uncertainty and looks forward to working together for the continued betterment of the Gwich’in community.
In talking to our elders, many are reminding us to keep focused on K’egwaadthat (God). They remind us to stay calm, to pray for protection and guidance. They also remind us to be kind to one another, to help each other, not just our own families and people, but all people. Keep the faith and together we can get through this as best we can.
K’egwaadthat nahkwah Vili’ (God bless you all).