Military lands in Shamattawa First Nation to aid with COVID-19 outbreak

A Hercules military aircraft from the Canadian Armed Forces arrived in Shamattawa First Nation Wednesday afternoon. The plane came with additional medics and rangers to help with the COVID-19 outbreak.

Canadian Armed Forces say the military is doing an assessment on how to proceed next

Shamattawa Chief Eric Redhead has been calling for military support since the end of November. (Eric Redhead/Facebook)

A Hercules military aircraft from the Canadian Armed Forces arrived in Shamattawa First Nation Wednesday afternoon to assist with the community's COVID-19 outbreak. 

Indigenous Services Canada said medics and additional rangers will conduct a full assessment over the next 48 hours to determine what additional resources are required to meet the community's needs. 

"As the emergency at Shamattawa First Nation evolves, we will continue to work closely with the nation and all partners," the statement from the federal government reads. 

Canada's Department of National Defence said the liaison and reconnaissance team was dispatched from the forces' base in Shilo, Man. to rapidly assess the situation.

As of Wednesday, 48 people have been removed from the community and sent to Winnipeg to isolate, according to a statement from ISC. The federal government says it's working with the First Nation to secure more isolation accommodations.

On Tuesday, Shamattawa Chief Eric Redhead wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, calling on the federal government to move elders out of the remote, fly-in community, located 745 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.

The Hercules military aircraft that arrived in Shamattawa First Nation. Indigenous Services Canada said additional rangers and medics were dispatched on Wednesday afternoon to assist with the efforts. (Kischimattawow Public Announcements/Facebook)

The letter was also signed by Grand Chief Garrison Settee of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, a political advocacy group that represents 30 northern Manitoba First Nations.

Redhead said 25 per cent of the community, which has approximately 1,300 people, have tested positive for the virus.

Four members of the Canadian Red Cross are also there to assist with the COVID-19 response efforts. 

Military arrives in Shamattawa First Nation

CBC News Manitoba

3 months ago
The chief of Shamattawa First Nation says members of the Canadian military have completed a reconnaissance mission, and more help might be on the way in the northern Manitoba community's COVID-19 fight. 2:12