Important information during these pandemic times.
In these challenging times surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to have some clear and concise communication about what WLFN Chief and Council and Administration staff are doing to address the financial, social and other hardships caused by the spread of the coronavirus.
Please be assured that we are working diligently to do everything we can to support members
through this crisis. WLFN Government staff are still working (even though our offices are closed to the public) and doing their best to continue with the delivery of programs and services needed by WLFN members. In particular, our Social Services Department is still operational and ensuring that those in serious need are able to access any benefits which may be available through our social programs
In addition to these core services, we are also introducing the measures set out below:
I. TENANCIES AND RENTS
- During the period of the COVID-19 crisis, while business and other activity is significantly
restricted, there will be no evictions from WLFN-owned housing.
- No rent increases will be implemented during the period of the COVID-19 crisis.
II. PANDEMIC KITS AND EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTRE (EOC)
- We have activated WLFN’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) which will work with other
government entities and Emergency Operations Centres to ensure that we have access to
the most current information, and that we are appropriately tailoring our response to the
COVID-19 pandemic as things evolve.
III. WLFN MEMBER COVID-19 HELP LINE
- WLFN has established a COVID-19 Help Line for WLFN Members. This is a critical resource
that is intended to help WLFN Members navigate through as many as possible of the
challenges that arise during the COVID-19 pandemic. These can include:
1. Questions about existing WLFN services and programs that may be of assistance.
2. Questions about how to access Government of Canada and Government of BC
programs and services that have been introduced in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The government of Canada has developed a COVID response program worth more
than $80 billion, and the government of BC is committing a further $5 billion. These
programs are the primary source of support for all Canadians – including First
Nations – in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Questions about where to access COVID-19 testing or where to get more information
to assess whether you should be accessing medical care.
- The COVID-19 Help Line for WLFN Members can be accessed at 250-296-3507 ext.138
IV. FOOD SECURITY AND SUPPORT
- In addition to the items provided in the Pandemic Kits, WLFN is working to distribute food
items to WLFN Members who may be in need. WLIB is accumulating a quantity of food
supplies and other items that will be circulated to members to support them during the crisis.
Further information will be distributed on how to access this food supply. Follow our
Facebook page or website for the most up-to-date information.
V. EDUCATION – LITTLE CHIEFS PRIMARY SCHOOL
- Our first priority is the safety of our staff, students, parents and the well-being of our
community. Educators will be essential in supporting our community and creating a sense
of calm and stability. We need to set the stage for teachers to do what they do best which is
to care for the learning of our students and to provide quality instruction.
- While it will be difficult to replicate the learning structures that exist in our school, we will do
our best to stay connected with you and use a variety of strategies to keep your child
learning and engaged to make this as easy as possible.
VI. ELDER SUPPORT
- Elders or individuals with compromised immune systems are strongly encouraged to socially
distance from the comfort of their homes. Your safety is of the utmost priority and we ask all
community members to respect the recommendations of health authorities and practice safe
social distancing, or self-isolation if experiencing symptoms.
- Elders or individuals with compromised immune systems can call Carla Berkelaar, Elder
Support Worker at (250) 296-3507 ext. 119 to request grocery pickup, transportation, or
reasonable, personalized support with household needs or supplies.
VII. PURSUIT OF ADDITIONAL GOVERNMENT FUNDING AND SUPPORT
- To date, there have been limited funding commitments from Indigenous Services Canada
(ISC) or other entities which are specific to First Nations. We have seen a modest
commitment from ISC, but most of those funds have been used in the preparation of the
- WLFN is committed to continuing the dialogue about additional funding and ensuring that our
community is provided with financial resources to respond to this crisis. We will circulate
additional information to the WLFN Membership as we make further progress with the
government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia.
Again, WLFN Chief and Council would like to assure the Membership that we are doing all that we can to support our community in this challenging time. While our mobility and ability to gather is restricted, your government has adapted as best it can and our staff are working tirelessly to deliver services and programs on your behalf.
We thank all our members for their patience, for their commitment to ensuring the security of our community and for their support during this very challenging time.
We will forge on. We will make it through this crisis. And we will do it as a strong, united
WILLIAMS LAKE INDIAN NATION CHIEF AND COUNCIL
Update Your Contact Information
Update your contact info form
COVID-19 BC Support App and Self-Assessment Tool
BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) COVID-19 Resources
COVID-19 Community Resources and Forms
- Williams Lake Doctors Office Hours COVID-19
- Williams Lake Resources COVID-19
- COVID-19 Financial Aid Form – April 17, 2020
- Essential Visitors Only Poster
- Know the Difference: Self-Monitoring, Self-Isolation and Isolation for COVID-19
- Self-Isolating Poster for Members
- Guidance for Members Who are at Higher Risk for Serious Illness
Social Distancing and Other requirements
The BC Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, has declared a public health emergency in BC and in order to stop the spread of the COVID-19 has requested people to stay at home and away from others as this is the only way to stop the spread of the disease. As a government entity with jurisdiction over its reserve lands, it is the obligation of WLIB to take steps to enforce the provincial state of emergency.
We have observed and had recent reports of members not abiding by the rules established by medical professionals to avoid the spread of the COVID-19.
WLFN is therefore requiring as follows:
- All individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, who have COVID-19 symptoms or who are for other reasons in self-isolation must stay home.
- If you are sick and still going out to stores or visiting – You are endangering the health and safety of the workers and the public. If you are sick and require assistance, call the WLFN COVID-19 Help Line at (250) 296-3507 ext. 138.
- Every person (regardless of whether you have any COVID-19 symptoms) must maintain social distance and remain at least 6 feet away from any person who is not a permanent household member.
- If there is a self-isolation sign on the door of any residence, do not enter that house
- Elders and others with compromised immune systems are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and extra efforts must be made to ensure that these individuals are protected. Ensure that your children understand these rules and that they comply with them.
- A violation of these rules presents a threat to public safety that is prohibited by the WLFN Trespass & Nuisance Law. If people are found in contravention of the COVID-19 rules, the WLFN will be issuing fines under the Trespass & Nuisance Law. Any person in contravention of this law is liable: To a fine not greater than $ 2, 000.00 but not less than $ 50.00
- Any unpaid fines will be deducted from any payments issued by the WLFN to that Nation Member. If the offending party is not a Nation member, they may be subject to removal from the community and/or other legal action.
COVID-19 is causing deaths around the world. These rules are for your safety and for the safety of the community – please abide by them.