Huu-ay-aht mourns the loss of member to COVID-19

Vancouver, BC

A Huu-ay-aht person has died after contracting COVID-19. Edward Johnson of Huu-ay-aht’s Executive Council confirmed that their member died on Nov. 25 in a hospital located on the Lower Mainland. The member’s name will not be released out of respect for the privacy of the family and at the request of Huu-ay-aht leadership.

Huu-ay-aht Chief Councillor Robert Dennis is asking people to abide by provincial health authority pandemic restrictions, including avoiding all non-essential travel.

Johnson reminds people that when they grocery shop, they should stock up rather than making several small trips to the grocery store. He went on to say that food is being delivered to Huu-ay-aht elders so that they will not have to risk exposing themselves to the virus by going to grocery stores.

Johnson said he knows that maintaining social distance from our loved ones is difficult given the fact that Nuu-chah-nulth-aht are a gathering people.

“This can be tough on us mentally, but we can seek out other ways to connect with family members using social media platforms and making phone calls,” he said.

In a phone call with his grandmother, Johnson said she reminded him that everyone needs to be careful and stay home.

“What I got from the conversation with my grandma was exactly what our three sacred principles say – we need to respect one another but most importantly we need to respect ourselves and take care of ourselves [so we can] take care of our families,” he shared.

In response to the rising number of cases the provincial health authority as issued more safety restrictions including the mandatory wearing of masks in public spaces, avoiding all non-essential travel and limiting your core bubble to household members only. The restrictions are in place until Dec. 7, 2020.

HFN asks everyone to follow the new restrictions to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

On Friday the B.C. Ministry of Health announced 911 new cases, with another 11 deaths. The number of people hospitalized with symptoms has risen to 301, including 69 in critical care. To date 395 people have succumbed to the respiratory disease.

Huu-ay-aht is sending out relief payments to members to assist them during this time of rapidly increasing COVID cases. 

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