COVID-19 RESPONSE NOTICE – May 12, 2020

Curve Lake,

Yesterday Aboriginal Peoples’ Television Network (“ATPN”) released an article that incorrectly implied that Curve Lake First Nation had released the number of confirmed COVID-19 positive cases in our Community. This is factually inaccurate as Curve Lake has not provided any numbers on confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Curve Lake will not release the number of cases as the number is so small it could easily identify who those individuals are. Rest assured those individuals who tested positive, whether or not the results were false, have been under the supervision of Peterborough Public Health and anyone who has close contact with them would have been contacted and monitored by Public Health.

It is important to understand the relationship that Curve Lake has with Peterborough Public Health. We are completely integrated with the health care services provided by Peterborough Public Health and are not in a position at this moment to test or report our cases on our own. Peterborough Public Health reports the data for all of Peterborough County and the City of Peterborough. Peterborough Public Health, Curve Lake Council and myself have the utmost respect for an individual’s right to privacy and will continue to protect that privacy despite demands from individuals on social media that this information should be released to protect us all.  Cleary this is not accurate. We have no new cases due to contact with these confirmed infected individuals because they have followed Public Health guidelines.

The important information to track in our community is a change in numbers – are there more or less cases confirmed in Curve Lake. When we were made aware of this being the important data that Community needed, we updated our Situation Report to share that. For the purposes of our Situation Report we will continue to assume that the small number of cases that originally were positive are in fact positive. We will continue to monitor any change in the number of cases that we have. You will be informed of this in the Situation Report distributed daily at 11:00 am.

Additionally, we would like to clarify the role of Chiefs of Ontario (“COO”). COO is to collect numbers from communities that have that data available. The numbers are reported to COO by the Chiefs of the individual communities. We have reported to COO the same information that we have reported to you, our membership: that there is a small number of confirmed cases. COO’s records show only that the numbers in Curve Lake are unconfirmed. To be clear, COO has been a great support to our community and helped mobilize and pressure federal and provincial levels of government to meet and work with Chief and Council to identify any needed resources.

Right now, when we have members who are scared and are facing a health crisis, Council and myself are fully supportive of the rights of our citizens to choose to keep their information private.

We are working hard to ensure that the members of our community dealing with the health crisis feel safe and have the support they need at this time – supports that allow everyone to stay home. As stated, this requires a huge amount of advocating with various government agencies for additional funding and on the ground support to deliver food and supplies to homes that need it.

We are pleased to share that in an effort to enhance communications and overall crisis management support and advice we have contracted The Loomex Group. You will see today in a joint release that Loomex has hired a dedicated Coordinator to support our Community in any way we require. It is wonderful that this point person is also a member of our community.

Finally, we have had our lawyer reach out to APTN to clarify that we find the inaccurate reporting completely unacceptable. We are demanding that they correct their record to show that Curve Lake has not reported any data for confirmed COVID-19 positive cases.

Please take this opportunity to send expressions of wellness and healing to your fellow community members relaying your concern for their well-being and support for a full recovery. 

Curve Lake First Nation has worked very closely with Peterborough Public Health to ensure they follow best practices, when it comes to the privacy and protection of the community during these unique times. It has been impressive to see how Chief and Council has made all decisions and actions in the best interest of the community. Loomex is dedicated to assist Chief and Council in providing a transparent and effective response to COVID-19. – Trent Gervais, CEO & President