Quebec is in the 3rd wave of the pandemic. COVID-19 cases continue to go up in many regions including Ontario. This is related to variants of the virus that spread more easily. In our neighbouring regions of Lac St-Jean and Abitibi there are new cases reported every day. This continues to be a concern for people travelling to and from Eeyou Istchee.
The Cree Nation has not reported any cases of the variant up until now in Eeyou Istchee. Our communities enjoy the freedom and benefits of gathering and visiting family. This is because of our collective efforts and sacrifices this winter. The Health Board and Cree leadership encourage everyone to keep up with precautionary measures as the Cree Nation prepares for Goose Break.
The second dose of the Moderna vaccine is available in each community. We have done well with vaccination. So far in Eeyou Istchee:
10,461 people have received the 1st dose
5,496 people have received the 2nd dose
Drop-In Clinics are open for people to be vaccinated. We hope to see as many people as possible vaccinated before going on Goose Break. Visit the Cree Health website for details about vaccination in your community.
If people can’t get their 2nd dose before Goose Break, they will be able to receive it when they return to their community later this spring.
It’s important to remember that people who are vaccinated are still subject to the Mandatory Self-Isolation Law if they travel to an Area of Risk. This measure is still needed for the time being.
Eeyou Istchee is the safest region for this year’s Goose Break, as we see what is happening elsewhere in Quebec and Ontario. We invite people to visit the updated Bush Safety guidelines on the Cree Health website.
Cree beneficiaries outside of Eeyou Ischee who want to get vaccinated can still make arrangements.
Please note that this process may now take longer because mass vaccination campaigns are underway in the south. People are encouraged to consider waiting until they return to Eeyou Istchee this spring to receive the vaccine.
Wiichihiituwin clients and escorts in Montreal are being vaccinated. Wiichihiituwin will contact these people about how this is being done.
Cree Health Board employees in the south should talk to their supervisor or human resources for details about how they can get vaccinated.
Intercommunity travel in Eeyou Istchee is allowed to visit family, and for essential reasons. People are required to share information when they pass through community gates.
This information is useful in case there’s an outbreak, and we have to do contact tracing. We appreciate people’s cooperation with this measure.
Travel Outside Eeyou Istchee
Cree Leadership will review travel restrictions to Saguenay and Abitibi after Goose Break. This is because of the current risks presented by the variants of COVID-19.
People can travel to the following regions without having to isolate when they come home:
Region 10 (Chibougamau, Chapais, Lebel sur Quevillon, Matagami, Radisson)
Region 17 (Nunavik)
There may be other measures in place in your community. Check with your PSO to be informed.
All other regions in Quebec, and Ontario are still considered Areas of Risk. People who travel from these regions will have to self-isolate for 14 days when they return to Eeyou Istchee.
There are curfews in place in orange and red zones. If people plan to travel outside Eeyou Istchee they should check rules at their destination.
Vaccination clinic in your community
The Cree Board of Health and Social Services is offering a Re-Entry Vaccination Program for some Cree beneficiaries currently living outside Eeyou Istchee, in the province of Quebec.