Move elders out of Shamattawa now, COVID-afflicted First Nation urges Prime Minister

A remote fly-in First Nation in Manitoba, where COVID-19 cases are surging, is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for urgent help to move out its elders.

There are 264 confirmed cases in Shamattawa, a community of about 1,300 people, according to a letter sent Tuesday by Shamattawa Chief Eric Redhead and Grand Chief Garrison Settee of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, a political advocacy group that represents 30 northern Manitoba First Nations

Just a few weeks ago, in mid-November, there were only a handful of cases on the reserve, which is about 745 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.

The Canadian Armed Forces announced Saturday it would be deploying six Canadian Rangers to help in any way it can in the community.

But Redhead and Settee said the issue needs to be escalated and are calling on Trudeau to help airlift seniors to communities where they are closer to health services.

More to come

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