Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation
Submit Search
Gimaa Toulouse Addresses the Sagamok Community April 18, 2020  
Posted: Apr 18, 2020

Gimaa Toulouse Addresses the Sagamok Community

April 18, 2020  

[Video 1:  16 minutes, 47 seconds …. Video 2: 2 minutes, 36 seconds]


In his April 18 address to the Sagamok community, Gimaa Nelson Toulouse


· Announces the new Funerals and Burials bylaw

· Informs on telephone numbers for community members to call to access services

· Informs community members to expect highway 7300 construction to resume on Monday, April 20. 

· Informs community members that a fire restriction is in effect.

· Refers child welfare issues to the Child and Family Advocacy Unit for services

· Advises on quarantine and isolation centres


Gimaa Nelson Toulouse shared the encouraging world news that China is now starting to ease lockdowns after seeing positive results in containing the illness. 


“I want to thank our people who are constantly constantly working on our efforts here making sure our community is healthy.”


“I know it’s not easy but we are all in this together … and we need to make sacrifices and the hope is there.  Like I said in China, they’ve lifted sanctions there.”


Council has passed bylaws to protect the Sagamok community, including the Travel bylaw (bans travel, with some exceptions) and new Funerals and Burials bylaw. 


Council approved the Funerals and Burials Bylaw this week. 


With it, “I have the sole authority as the Chief to negotiate with you the details of a funeral.” 


He says that he’ll help families understand the rules and regulations in place but understands that families will be asking for exceptions to be made to the travel ban for immediate family who want to visit to lend their support and say their farewells. 


“We make exception, but it’s under extreme controls,” says Gimaa. 


The 3 funerals that have occurred in Sagamok since the beginning of the pandemic, “have been exceptional and I thank the relatives for being able to do that in a controlled way … they make us optimistic that we can do these things.”


He says that outside Sagamok, people are encouraged to have their deceased cremated and put off ceremonies until safer later dates. 


Phone numbers: 

Services Navigator (Marilyn Jones)  (705) 863-2761

After Hours (705) 863-3178


Terra North will begin construction activities to complete the upgrade to Highway 7300 on Monday, April 20.  The will begin with mobilizing their equipment and site for the season with major construction activities beginning in early May.


Fire Restriction in place.


Gimaa says he has been receiving a number of calls concerning child welfare issues.  “Those are legal issues.  I can’t override a court order.” 


He says that community members can still access services through the Child Advocacy Office.  It is there that he directs families. 


“These are tough times.  There are a lot of people who would like visitation.  And yeah we’d like to grant them but It’s just impossible at this time.”


Council meets every Thursday.  EOCG manages the COVID strategy, supported by various core groups.  Council approves bylaws and bylaw amendments. 


“We don’t operate independently.”


Gimaa tells community members again that the community’s quarantine will be at Biidaaban school with 2 classrooms identified to house individuals.  Quarantine is for those who test positive.


The quarantine centre is not for everyone who might test positive for COVID-19.  Those who test positive can self-isolate at home, isolated completely from other family members and all members of the household must isolate as well. 


For those who cannot safely self-isolate at home separate from the rest of the family members or whose family cannot also go into self-isolation, the quarantine centre is available for them.


For those who have not tested positive for COVID-19 but are experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms or have returned from a high risk area that has been restricted for travel and must enter self-isolation, the Fort will be made available for those who cannot safely self-isolate from the rest of their families or other members of their household cannot join them for self-isolation. 


He reminds families that donations of bedding for the quarantine and isolation centre are needed. 


Watch Gimaa Toulouse's April 18 Address to the Sagamok Community here: