March 11, 2021, will mark the one-year anniversary of the announcement of the pandemic was officially declared. The government of Quebec has declared this day a National day of observance, in honour of those who have died of COVID-19. In partnership with local and regional entities, the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)/ Cree Nation Government will observe a moment of silence at 1:00PM. You can listen to Grand Chief Dr. Abel Bosum, who will be on the Regional Radio at 12:30.
It has now been one year since the entire world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has been that long that we have all been struggling to find just the right measures and precautions that were needed to keep our communities safe and healthy.
I think it is fair to say that, by any measure, we all have managed to ensure an exceptional outcome for our people. We have had relatively few cases of community transmission, and when those have occurred, we have addressed them swiftly and effectively. We, of course
could not contain the spread of the virus to those individuals who, for various reasons were out of our region, who contracted the virus, and in some cases succumbed to the worst possible outcome. To the families of those individuals we are deeply sorry for your losses, and our entire Nation has mourned with you.
We now know that the reason for our success in protecting our communities is because we took the bold decision to develop precautionary measures, guidelines and laws that were developed by us and adapted to our own circumstances. We knew that simply applying measures that were developed for geographically and demographically very different regions would not necessarily work for our communities, and would not necessarily keep us safe. In some cases, we even developed different measures for different Cree communities based on their own realities and their own circumstances. We acted locally, and by doing so, we contributed to the global control of the virus.
Over the past year, because of our determination and our resolve, we have a lot that we can take pride in. And of course, our success has been, since the beginning of the pandemic, a collective effort. It is because of our cooperation at every level—individuals, families, communities, Cree entities, and our Cree Nation Government—working together, chiyaanuu, that this success has been possible.
I would like to express my gratitude to our people, to our community leaders and to the leadership of our Cree entities for doing their part in our common objective of ensuring that we all remain safe in our communities over this very challenging year. This past year has been a testament to the strength and courage of our Nation to come together in unity when it really matters. This is how we have always been, and let this always be how we remain.
Mista-miigwetch to all.