Seabird Island Chief Jim Harris delivers an update to the community during his September 15 address. (Screenshot/Seabird Island)

‘My hands go up to the people’: Chief Harris reflects on other Indigenous communities facing COVID

Seabird Island chief delivers updates on the pandemic, smoky conditions and community happenings

Seabird Island Chief Jim Harris turned his thoughts to other First Nations facing the coronavirus in a very real way.

During his September 15 address to the Seabird Island First Nation, Chief Harris asked for the thoughts and prayers of the community as the Squamish and the Tla’amin First Nations are currently facing rising COVID-19 numbers.

“Once it hits a person, it can spread and move fast to bring a person’s health down,” Chief Harris said. “I am glad they have a good plan in place and have a good team to help their people. My hands go up to the people on their health teams in their communities.”

RELATED: Seabird Island COVID-19 ‘scare’ has passed, Chief states

Chief Harris said COVID may have entered one of the communities through someone attending a funeral service.

“This is one of the reasons we need to limit the number of people we gather with,” Chief Harris. “This also goes for people who like to have celebrations of any kind or the ones who like to gather on the weekends and have parties. Remember, COVID doesn’t start where the gathering is. It started by somebody bringing it to the gathering and then it spreads from there.”

Chief Harris thanked the community for their continued vigilance in keeping coronavirus out of the community.

Chief Harris urged community members to exercise caution as smoky conditions persist due to wildfires along the U.S. west coast. He asked residents with respiratory conditions to stay indoors at this time and to keep children from playing outdoors while the smoke lingers.

RELATED: Seabird Island Chief wishes class of 2020 well

“I know this can be a challenge at times, but we need to keep them safe and healthy,” Chief Harris said. He added he hopes the rainy conditions.

Chief Harris said he wanted to give a “great big hands-up” to one of the community’s young anglers, who offered to go fishing for the community’s elders. He donated enough fish for the elders and for their families as well.

“I am sure his late grandfather would be very proud of him and what he did,” Chief Harris said.


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