As part of its social distancing campaign called Our Home is Our Camp (#homeiscamp), Hotıì ts'eeda and FOXY (Fostering Open eXpression among Youth) are continuing to promote social distancing that is both culturally relevant and safe in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus.
“Going out on the land is a good way to practice social distancing if you can,” said Hotıì ts'eeda Chairperson John B. Zoe. “We want to remind everyone of what our Elders and Knowledge Holders have always taught us: plan well, stay safe and ask for guidance if you need it.”
“Everyone needs to practice social distancing right now. It is the most important thing we can all do to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect our families and communities,” said Executive Director Candice Lys. “We care about each other’s safety and we want everyone who goes out on the land to do it safely.”
The two organizations are expanding their campaign in coordination with Government of the Northwest Territories, Department of Health and Social Services. They are releasing a new poster by Dene artist Melaw Nakehk’o of Yellowknife, that provides reminders about how to be ‘Safe On The Land’. These include:
Continue social distancing. This means ‘Stay at camp’ and ‘No visiting.
- Talk with Knowledge Holders about your plans.
- Bring enough supplies and medications and know how to get more when needed
- Check weather forecasts.
- Tell family where you are going and for how long.
- Have a way back.
- Have a way to stay connected and in touch.
- Keep busy. Everyone has a role and things to do (e.g. sewing, crafts, games, puzzles).
- Only go as far, or as long as you feel comfortable (camp does not need to be far away).
Please note, going out on the land is for social distancing only. It is not a way to self-isolate. Anyone required to self-isolate must do this at home. Also, it is recommended that anyone feeling sick should stay at home. Continue to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 while on the land and consider heading back to town if someone develops symptoms.
Because not everyone can or should go out on the land at this time, Hotıì ts'eeda and FOXY note that it is important to make sure there is a plan and support for those who stay behind.
The two organizations also recommend that everyone stay informed on the latest COVID-19 information and recommendations by checking: hss.gov.nt.ca or canada.ca/coronavirus.