Blueberry River First Nation says it will be removing its security checkpoint and reopening backroad access to the reserve starting June 1.
"We’re doing so because all Treaty 8 Bands have removed or are working on removing security from their lands," the band said Tuesday. "British Columbia is easing restrictions across the province because we have followed the protocols laid out by the BC government and the federal government."
"We are grateful for the partnership created with Gardaworld and to the following community members who worked on the frontline ensuring safety and security in our community: Sandra Apsassin, Kayla Jensen, Thunder Apsassin, Samantha apsassin, Maryann Adekat, Patricia and Floyd Apannah, Stacey Davis, Norman Apsassin, Denell Greyeyes, Tianna Yahey, Jhonika Chipesia Bailey, Ticha Davis, Randa Adekat, Geraldine Davis-Greyeyes, Dennis Davis (JSD ) for the trailer."
There have been 62 cases of COVID-19 in northern B.C. as of May 25, and of those 59 people have recovered. Blueberry was the centre of a small community outbreak in April, as first reported by Alaska Highway News.
"Adding security was designed to help keep our community and our neighbours safe. It has done so as needed and we are happy to report our community has been COVID free for a month," the band said.
Still, the COVID health threat remains: "The removal of the security checkpoint does not mean the COVID 19 virus is gone," the band said.
Residents are reminded to maintain two-metre social distancing, to regularly wash hands for at least 20 seconds, to wear a mask when in public, and to stay home as much as possible.
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