Thunder Bay

Netimizaagamig Nishnaabeg First Nation to implement curfew, lockdown due to COVID-19

A First Nation in northwestern Ontario will be one of the first communities in the province to impose a curfew and lockdown.
Netimizaagamig Nishnaabeg First Nation has implemented a curfew and a lockdown will start on Tuesday. (Margo McDiarmid/CBC)

A First Nation in northwestern Ontario will be one of the first communities in the province to impose a curfew and lockdown.

Netimizaagamig Nishnaabeg First Nation, formerly known as Pic Mobert, is located about 360 kilometres east of Thunder Bay.

The community said it would impose the curfew between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., starting on Monday. Nobody would be allowed out of their homes, except for emergency medical reasons.

A lockdown of the community would also start at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, meaning only those who reside in the community can be there after that time.

Netimizaagamig Nishnaabeg is accessed by a single road, connecting it to Highway 17. The nearest community is White River, about 35 kilometres to the east.

Community members who choose to leave after the lockdown is imposed will not be allowed back in. The order, chief and council wrote in a media release, is expected to last several weeks.

Chief and council, along with band staff members, will ensure there is access to food and other essential services, the release said. Those details are still coming.

Supply drivers, bringing in food and fuel, as well as septic pumping services would be allowed into Netimizaagamig Nishnaabeg to do their job, but would not be allowed to interact with community members. They would also be escorted in and out of the community.

Those workers would also be subject to screening along the access road, including a questionnaire, and receiving an infrared scan to take temperature.

"We need you here, your power is here with us," the statement said. It also reminded residents of the need for self-isolation and social distancing.