Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh and Grand Council Treaty #3 ask for citizens’ assistance in curbing misinformation

Over the past week the rise in cases of COVID-19 in Kenora and the surrounding area has led to a great deal of misinformation being spread. Grand Council Treaty #3 is asking everyone to be mindful of their participation in spreading rumours, half-truths, and hearsay.

“Over the course of the pandemic it has been difficult for leadership and service providers to make informed decisions due to the constant spread of misinformation,” said Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh. “In order for our region to effectively respond to these outbreaks we must all ensure that we only share factual information. We must do this so that decisions can be made based upon fact and not upon fear and confusion.”

Throughout the pandemic, our health entities, organizations, and leadership from Northwestern Ontario municipalities and First Nation communities have collectively advocated for our citizens well being and implemented practices to safeguard our most vulnerable. We cannot allow rumours to create divisions at this critical time when vaccines have begun arriving in the region. 

Everyone in the region is being asked to only share information from reliable sources such as the Northwestern Health Unit, First Nation/city/town officials, police services, hospitals and health access centres, and organizations such as the Kenora Chiefs Advisory or Fort Frances Area Tribal Health Services.

By creating fear and mistrust, this misinformation is harming the efforts of service providers and may cause individuals to hide symptoms rather than seek the help that ultimately stops the spread.

Being thoughtful about the information we spread, being kind, and remaining calm while staying home is the greatest contributions that citizens can make to slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the Treaty #3 Territory.

Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh

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